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Issue 52 (10/2023)

Table of Contents
  • Main Focus – Q&A
  • Work Reports
  • Sharing of Complaint Case

    Main Focus – Q&A

    1. Owing to a moment of carelessness, I was late by several days in applying for renewal of registration. However, the Board cancelled my registration and required me to re-apply in order to reinstate my status as a registered social worker. In addition to filling out forms and paying fees, it also requires me making a statutory declaration at the Home Affairs Office, which is quite time-consuming. As a result, my agency has asked me to take leave to avoid misuse of the social worker title. I would like to ask if the Board can consider being more flexible and provide a grace period for social workers in situations like mine?

    According to section 20(2)(c) of the Social Workers Registration Ordinance (“the Ordinance”), a registered social worker (“RSW”) shall apply for renewal of registration not later than 28 days prior to the expiry. If the Board has not received renewal applications from RSWs after this deadline, the Board will issue per statutory requirement an “Intention Notice on Removal of Name from the Register” by registered mail to those RSWs, and will also remind them to renew as soon as possible by other viable means (including email and SMS). If the Board does not receive the renewal application from social worker 28 days after issuing the notice of intent, his/her name will be removed from the register in accordance with the Ordinance, and under section 20(6) of the Ordinance and the Board's current policy, s/he will be required to re-apply for registration if s/he wishes to resume his/her registration status. The Board understands that social workers may miss the expiry date of their registration due to different reasons, but it is the responsibility of individual social workers to renew their registration. In addition, social workers are advised to notify the Board of any changes in their registered addresses, emails or other contact means as soon as practicable. Apart from fulfilling the statutory requirements, this is to ensure that social workers will receive the Board's correspondence and messages related to renewal of registration. According to section 16(3) of the Ordinance, RSWs shall within 3 months notify the Registrar of any change in the particulars in the register.

    I recently received a fixed penalty notice for illegal parking. May I ask if I need to report this to the Board?

    If a RSW has paid the penalty (including but not limited to contraventions like littering, illegal parking and smoking in public places etc.) according to the fixed penalty notice, as there is no charge involved, the RSW needs not report the fixed penalty to the Board. However, if the RSW does not pay the fixed penalty and does not institute legal proceedings to challenge the penalty notice, s/he will be first given a demand notice, followed by a summons. At the point of receiving summons, the RSW is charged of an offence, as a summons is a command or order by court in writing directed to an accused person, requiring him/her to attend before a magistrate to answer a charge at a time set out in the summons.