The rights and obligations of employers and employees are found in many common law cases, many legal principles of which are now more conveniently consolidated/modified by modern legislation in the Employment Ordinance, Chapter 57 of the Laws of Hong Kong.
Disputes between employers and employees (for example, whether an employer is entitled to dismiss an employee summarily) at an early stage are often referred to the Labour Department whose officers will try to reconcile their differences through conciliation and mediation. If all settlement attempts and proposals fail to resolve the matter, then either employer or employee may seek redress at the Labour Tribunal which has exclusive jurisdiction over labour disputes and contractual claims between the parties. Legal advisers, even though they can give legal advice to either party in the background, could not formally attend Labour Tribunal to represent either party on record.
For complicated matters/disputes, the Labour Tribunal presiding officer may transfer the proceedings to a higher level of court i.e. District Court (having jurisdiction from HK$75,000 up to HK$3 million) or The High Court (having unlimited jurisdiction) depending on the quantum of subject matter.
If an employee is injured in the course of and arising out of work, the injured employee may seek compensation against the employer under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, Chapter 282 of the Laws of Hong Kong. The employee must make sure that he/she is being employed and is not an independent contractor. The difference between an employee/independent contractor lies in the extent of control to be exerted by the paying employer/company over the recipient person. Sometimes, the distinction can be complicated and you should consult a lawyer for legal advice. If before payment to injured employee an employer is bankrupt or wound up without any employee compensation insurance cover, the injured employee may seek assistance from Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board established under the Employees Compensation Assistance Ordinance, Chapter 365 of the Laws of Hong Kong.