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BritCham Members Report High Hong Kong Staff Turnover

Nearly half of respondents to the British Chamber of Commerce survey said some staff had decided to leave their company or Hong Kong due to strict quarantine restrictions

Hong Kong
Debentures are one of the main sources of income for international schools, and are used to finance construction, maintenance and equipment. Photo: AFP.


Nearly half the members of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong have reported an unusually high staff turnover, a survey has found, while a majority said they worried about recruitment and talent retention as a result of Covid-19 measures.

Almost half of the BritCham members who responded to the survey said some staff had decided to leave their company, or Hong Kong, due to strict quarantine restrictions.

The chamber conducted a survey among its members to better understand the implications for international businesses in the city of the current restrictions on international travel.

About 80% of respondents said they have been seeking new staff in Hong Kong but more than 70% of those said they had experienced difficulties bringing talent to Hong Kong.

Almost 60% said there had been an impact on their corporate and strategic planning, which has primarily lead to plans being put on hold.

“Hong Kong is home for many of our members and we remain very excited about the future of Hong Kong and the business opportunities,” BritCham executive director David Graham said. “However, the current situation is presenting real challenges.”

The survey was conducted between October 25 and November 8, and received 152 responses – representing 15% of the membership – on an anonymous and non-attributable basis.


Broad Range of Respondents

Responses were received from a broad range of multinational members across many different sectors and size of companies.

More than half said the extension of restrictions for another year could result in either the relocation of some business and/or loss of staff.

Separately, about 4,500 students and 1,000 teachers left Hong Kong secondary schools in the last academic year, a rare occurrence triggered by the emigration wave, a survey found.

This year’s figures were a sharp rise over the 2,700 students and 498 teachers leaving in the 2019-20 academic year.

The increase prompted the association to warn of the dangers of a “brain drain”.

The Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools surveyed 140 high schools in the city, meaning each of the institutions suffered an average loss of 32 students and seven teachers.

“The present survey is apolitical and merely hopes to explore education issues from an education perspective,” the association said in a statement.


  • George Russell




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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