HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong legislation passes minimum wage bill

Fate of labor groups' HK$33 per hour floor proposal depends on Chief Executive Donald Tsang's decision.

Hong Kong lawmakers approved the territory’s first minimum wage, which may increase costs for employers including Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. and Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd.

Legislators passed the government’s minimum wage bill after a 41-hour debate, according to an e-mailed statement. Secretary of Labor and Welfare Matthew Cheung said in the statement the law is expected to take effect in the first half of next year.

The bill provides the framework for a legal minimum wage that will be decided by Chief Executive Donald Tsang as early as October, lending protection to Hong Kong’s 3.67 million-strong labor force. Labor groups have proposed a floor of HK$33 per hour.

Dairy Farm’s 7-Eleven convenience store chain pays some Hong Kong workers as little as HK$20 an hour, the South China Morning post reported on July 13, citing a survey by the Hong Kong People’s Alliance for Minimum Wage.

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