Hong Kong to raise statutory minimum wage by 8.7%

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is to increase its statutory minimum wage from $34.50 (£3.42) an hour to $37.50 (£3.72) an hour, equating to an 8.7% pay rise for employees.

The minimum wage increase was approved by Hong Kong’s executive council last week, following recommendations from the territory’s Minimum Wage Commission (MWC).

Hong Kong’s Government Gazette will publish the Minimum Wage Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 3) Notice 2019 on Friday 18 January, which will contain details of the $3 rise.

The wage increase is also due to be tabled in the Legislative Council on Wednesday 23 January 2019. If approved at this stage, the new statutory minimum wage rate will be effective from 1 May 2019, to coincide with Hong Kong’s Labour Day.

Dr Law Chi-Kwong, secretary for labour and welfare, said: “The government has carefully considered the report of the MWC and is of the view that the MWC has ably discharged its statutory function of reviewing the [statutory minimum wage] rate with thorough and balanced deliberation.

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“Since the [statutory minimum wage] cam into effect on [1 May] 2011, the earnings of low income employees have continued to improve, and the employment market has remained largely stable. The smooth implementation of the [statutory minimum wage] has been attributable to the support of the community and co-operation of stakeholders.”

The Minimum Wage Ordinance Notice will also amend the monthly monetary cap, which pertains to employers recording the total number of hours worked by each member of staff within specific wage periods. Employers will be exempt from this requirement, as of May 2019, if employees earn more than $15,300 (£1,516.59) a month; previously, the cap was set at $14,100 (£1,397.64) a month.