PLC Paper No. LS 41
Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Provisional Legislative Council
on 31 October 1997
Legal Service Division Report on
Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Bill 1997
Object of the Bill
To amend sections 11(4), 15(4) and 16(4) of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 480) (懀he SDO�, as amended by the Sex and Disability Discrimination (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance 1997 (71 of 1997) (懀he MP Ordinance� to make it clear that the commencement date for those provisions to grandfather contributions in relation to death or retirement schemes made for a person is 15 October 1997.
Provisional LegCo Brief Reference
2. G4/30C (96) V issued by the Financial Services Bureau in October 1997.
Date of First Reading
3. 29 October 1997.
4. The MP Ordinance was passed in June 1997 to amend, inter alia, the SDO. With the exception of sections 2 to 4 , which came into operation on 15 October 1997, the rest of the MP Ordinance had come into operation on 27 June 1997. Sections 2 to 4 of the MP Ordinance amend sections 11, 15 and 16 of the SDO. The intended effect of the amendments was to allow the non-application of certain anti-discriminatory requirements of the SDO to contributions in relation to death or retirement schemes made for a person before a specified date (懀he commencement date� and continues for that person on and after that date. The existing drafting in sections 2 to 4 of the MP Ordinance is to fix the commencement date with reference to 懀he commencement of this section� However, it is subsequently revealed that when reading sections 11, 15 and 16 of the SDO, as amended by sections 2 to 4 of the MP Ordinance, there is an ambiguity as to whether the phrase 懀he commencement of this section�means the commencement date for sections 11, 15 and 16 of the SDO, which is 20 December 1996, or the commencement date for sections 2 to 4 of the MP Ordinance, which is 15 October 1997.
5. The Bill amends sections 11(4), 15(4) and 16(4) of the SDO, as amended by sections 2 to 4 of the MP Ordinance, to make it clear that the date when these grandfathering provisions came into operation was 15 October 1997. The Bill also contains a declaration to the effect that the reference to 懀he commencement of this section�in those relevant provisions before the commencement of the Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (upon enactment of the Bill) meant, and always meant, 15 October 1997.
6. Paragraph 14 of the Brief states that there is no public consultation on the Bill.
Consultation with the Provisional LegCo Panel
7. The relevant Provisional LegCo Panel has not been consulted on the Bill.
8. The Bill seeks to remove an ambiguity in drafting of certain provisions in the MP Ordinance in order to clarify the original legislative intent. The drafting and legal aspects of the Bill are in order. Members are recommended to support passage of the Bill.
Lam Ping-man, Stephen
Assistant Legal Adviser
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
28 October 1997
Last Updated on 4 November 1997