Hong Kong Statutory Minimum Wage to Come into Force

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Apr. 1 – The Minimum Wage Ordinance (MWO) was passed by Hong Kong’s Legislative Counsel and will come into force on May 1, 2011. The initial statutory minimum wage (SMW) rate is HK$28 per hour. The same protection applies also to employees with disabilities, who may choose to undergo a productivity assessment to determine whether they should be remunerated at not lower than the SMW level or at a rate commensurate with their productivity.

SMW applies to all employees, whether they are monthly-rated, daily-rated, permanent, casual, full-time, part-time or other employees, with certain exceptions such as student interns, live-in domestic workers and a family member who lives in the same dwelling as the employer. Wages payable to an employee, when averaged over the total number of hours worked in the wage period, should be no less than the SMW rate.

The hours worked by an employee include traveling in connection with the employee’s employment. However, they do not include traveling between the employee’s place of residence and his or her place of employment (other than a place of employment that is outside Hong Kong which is not his or her usual place of employment).

Any provision of a contract of employment that purports to extinguish or reduce any right, benefit or protection conferred on the employee by the MWO is void.

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