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Hong Kong’s statutory minimum wage to be raised by HK$2.5 to HK$40 per hour in May 2023

  • Hong Kong
  • Employment law - Business and human rights

13-01-2023

After a 4-year freeze, the Executive Council endorsed the Minimum Wage Commission’s recommendation on 10 January 2023 to raise the statutory minimum wage by HK$2.5 to HK$40 per hour, representing a 6.7% hike. Subject to the approval of the Legislative Council, the revised rate will come into force on 1 May 2023, the Labor day.

An employer will be exempted from the requirement to record the total number of hours worked by an employee who is paid not less than HK$16,300. The current monetary cap stands at HK$15,300.

The government will gazette the Minimum Wage Ordinance (Amendment of Third Schedule) Notice 2023 and the Employment Ordinance (Amendment of Ninth Schedule) Notice 2023 to introduce the proposed changes.

The statutory minimum wage was first introduced in 2011 at HK$28 per hour. It was reviewed every 2 years and reached HK$37.5 in 2019. The rate was frozen for the first time following the 2021 review due to the struggling economy battered by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers must ensure that their employees are paid not less than the statutory minimum wage (and, where applicable, records of hours worked by an employee are properly maintained). Failure to do so could give rise to both criminal and civil liabilities.

For further details, please see the 2022 Report of the Minimum Wage Commission and the press release of the Hong Kong Government.