In response to media enquiries of today (August 6) about the arrangements of vaccination for staff of Hongkong Post and its manpower deployment, Hongkong Post gave a reply as follows:
Hongkong Post has been supporting all the anti-epidemic measures introduced by the Government and strongly encourages staff of all ranks to go for vaccination as early as possible, so as to build an immune barrier in the community. To tie in with the measure of "vaccination leave" introduced by the Government which gives staff sufficient time for rest after vaccination, Hongkong Post has deployed internal resources, on the premise of not causing any impact on postal services as far as possible, for necessary arrangements in view of the overall manpower situation and operational needs.
Hongkong Post has made flexible manpower deployment based on the ratio of vaccination of its staff in respective divisions and sections. In view of the rising number of vaccination appointment in recent days, further efforts have been made to employ extra postal staff who have recently retired to take up short-term duty on contract basis, with a view to increasing the supplementary workforce. To minimise the impact on public services, a system of daily quota on "vaccination leave" has been put in place for each frontline division and section to facilitate manpower planning. Hongkong Post has been closely communicating with staff of all ranks with respect to these arrangements.
Hongkong Post has to reiterate that all its staff are entitled to "vaccination leave" for receiving each dose of COVID-19 vaccine on or before August 31 according to the prevailing arrangements announced by the Civil Service Bureau (CSB).
As at yesterday (August 5), over 3 800 staff out of 6000 (about 63 per cent) of Hongkong Post have at least taken one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while around 1 060 staff (about 18 per cent) has booked for their first dose on or before August 16. By then (i.e. August 16), more than 80 per cent of Hongkong Post's staff would have received at least one dose of vaccine. Hongkong Post will continue to encourage its staff to receive vaccination as early as possible.
The spokesperson of Hongkong Post said, "Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our staff of all ranks give their full support and co-operation to the Government's anti-epidemic measures. We offer our due recognition for the endeavours our team made for this."
With regard to manpower planning, Hongkong Post draws up its manpower plan every year taking into account its operational needs, business development and estimated mail traffic. It also ensures the efficient and proper use of resources under the CSB's mechanism. In the course of recruitment or manpower deployment, Hongkong Post will consider whether the service demands are short-term or seasonal in nature, or whether the duties are time-limited, in addition to the consideration given to its business nature and operational needs. When vacancies arise, Hongkong Post will review its manpower situation based on the actual operational needs in a prudent manner, and make internal manpower deployment or assess whether the vacancies need to be filled and at what time if so required. In fact, Hongkong Post has conducted recruitment exercises for vacancies of different ranks over the past few years and filled the vacancies as appropriate. In addition, Hongkong Post has also been working on the ratio of leave reserve based on the CSB's mechanism to meet the operational needs arising from absence of staff due to taking of vacation leave and sick leave.
Hongkong Post has been operating as a trading fund department since 1995 and its key difference with conventional vote-funded government departments is the accounting arrangements. Operating on a self-financing basis, Hongkong Post can retain the revenue generated from its business to cover the cost of service provision. This mode of operation enables Hongkong Post to make use of resources more flexibly and fulfill its role as a logistics service provider. Hence, it can closely follow the needs of the market promptly and provide services that cater for the public and the business sector. Hongkong Post can also subsidise the universal postal services with the profit generated, and continue to provide reliable services for the community at large with reasonable prices.