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Outsourcing Policy in CUHK (Abridged Version for the Web)

  1. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), as a publicly-funded institution and a good and responsible employer, strives to provide a safe and healthy working environment to its employees. In some circumstances where outsourcing of services may be necessary, the University commits to exercising due care in considering the outsourcing proposals and putting in place proper mechanism to select and monitor the performance of the contractors, whose workers also deserve fair compensation and treatment.

Guiding principles governing outsourcing of services

  1. The following are some general principles guiding outsourcing of services:
    1. The University attaches great importance to social justice and social responsibility, and outsourcing of services will be considered in those lights and attempt will be made to keep outsourcing to a minimum as far as possible, especially if such will jeopardize existing staff employed in a certain position.
    2. In order for the University to focus on its core mission of education and research, and to be accountable for the use of public money, it will not be entirely practicable for the University not to consider outsourcing certain supporting activities or services, especially a) those requiring access to special expertise, skills, facilities and technology, or b) those requiring flexibility in service delivery.
    3. The University endeavours to exercise due care in considering outsourcing of services, especially for cleaning and security services involving non-skilled labour, and will explore measures to facilitate the engagement of social enterprises where appropriate for the provision of such services.
    4. It is necessary to maintain a balance between upholding social justice and public accountability, with cost-effectiveness in service delivery being one of the considerations. Cost reduction and efficiency, however, should not be the sole reasons for considering outsourcing. It should be noted that in some cases, direct employment may be a more cost-effective form of engagement of services than outsourcing.
  2. The above guiding principles should be communicated to all Faculty Deans, College Heads/Masters, Department Chairmen and Unit Heads, as well as staff and students of the University community for information. It is however acknowledged that the considerations for outsourcing vary across Departments/Units, and the ultimate decision of whether to outsource or not has to be made on a case-by-case basis by the University taking into account all relevant factors.

Criteria for selection of contractors

  1. The procedures for selection of contractors should be open, fair and transparent, so as to allow the participation of any interested service providers. Apart from considering the usual criteria such as meeting the specified service requirements, and reasonable costs as determined through the quotation/tendering procedures, the following criteria be taken into account and where applicable, appropriately reflected in the tendering/contractual documents:
    1. The contractors should provide fair compensation package to the workers which reflects market value, and with proper terms and conditions meeting statutory requirements. For example, caterers should include meal time and statutory rest days for their employees as paid working hours. Preference may be given to those who provide better terms and conditions exceeding baseline requirements, and contractors which uphold their social responsibility in their business practices.
    2. The contractors should endeavour to maintain a harmonious labour relation and safeguard labour rights of the outsourced workers.
    3. Proven track record of the contractors (e.g. reputation in the business, labour relations, past conviction records) should be properly declared and made available upon request.
    4. The contractors should commit to support the sustainable development at CUHK and adopt the policies and practices listed in:
    5. With commitment to the following code of conduct:
      1. The contractors should commit to conducting their businesses in an ethical manner, and be accountable, transparent and reputable in the business practices.
      2. The contractors should observe the fundamental principles of human rights and equal opportunities, and not be involved in any form of discrimination in hiring and employment practices.
      3. The contractors should provide a safe and healthy working environment to the employees with appropriate training.
      4. The contractors should treat employees with respect and not engage in any form of exploitation of employees.
      5. The contractors should affirm freedom of expression and association by employees, and provide communication channels to engage their views appropriately.
      6. The contractors should hold subcontractors responsible for the same code of conduct.

Hotline for outsourced workers

A hotline for outsourced workers has been set up at the Human Resources Office of CUHK. Outsourced workers who wish to seek assistance from the University on employment or work safety issues are welcome to call the hotline at 3943-1795 during office hours.

Outsourcing Policy in CUHK (Full Version)

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