Hong Kong (RAE - China) - Hong Kong passes minimum wage law – excludes migrant domestic workers (2011)

In July Hong Kong passed a minimum wage bill after many years of campaigning by unions and other groups and despite resistance from businesses and the government. The law will take effect in 2011. However, pro-democracy legislators, whose numerous attempts to have the bill amended were blocked by their pro-government counterparts, said there were many loopholes in the new law including the fact that the legal framework for setting the minimum wage will be largely controlled by the government.

Unions had pushed for the minimum wage to be fixed at HKD 33 (USD 4.2) an hour to cover basic living expenses; however, the final amount set in November was only HKD 28. In 2009 the UN Development Programme estimated Hong Kong’s income gap to be the world’s biggest among wealthy economies.

Migrant domestic workers will also be excluded from the minimum wage and continue to have their monthly wage set separately by the government without reference to maximum working hours.

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