Frequently Asked Questions about
The Minimum Wage Ordinance, Cap. 608

Hours worked


Q1 : What should be counted as hours worked for computing the minimum wage?
A1 :

According to the Minimum Wage Ordinance, for the purpose of computing the minimum wage, hours worked (including any part of an hour) include any time when the employee is, in accordance with the contract of employment or with the agreement or at the direction of the employer:

* in attendance at a place of employment, irrespective of whether he is provided with work or training at that time; or
* travelling in connection with his employment, excluding travelling (in either direction) between his place of residence and his place of employment (other than a place of employment that is outside Hong Kong and is not his usual place of employment).

A place of employment means any place at which the employee is, in accordance with the contract of employment or with the agreement or at the direction of the employer, in attendance for the purpose of doing work or receiving training.

Apart from the provisions of the Minimum Wage Ordinance, if the time in question is regarded as hours worked by the employee under the employment contract or agreement with the employer, such time should be included in computing the minimum wage.

 

Q2 :

Is it required that any part of an hour be rounded up to one whole hour in counting hours worked for computing the minimum wage?

A2 :

The Minimum Wage Ordinance does not require that any part of an hour be rounded up to one whole hour in counting hours worked for computing the minimum wage. The Ordinance only provides that any part of an hour should be included in the hours worked for the SMW computation. Therefore, if the hour worked is less than one whole hour, the minimum wage should be computed based on the actual period of time worked.

Example:

The total number of hours worked by an employee in a wage period, including overtime work of eight hours and 45 minutes, is 208 hours and 45 minutes (i.e. 208.75 hours). The SMW rate is $34.5 per hour (with effect from 1 May 2017). The minimum wage of the employee according to the total number of hours worked for that wage period shall be:

208.75 hours (total number of hours worked) × $34.5 (SMW rate) = $7,201.9 (minimum wage)

 

Q3 :

Are meal break of employees counted as hours worked for computing the minimum wage?

A3 :

When an employee during his meal break also falls under the circumstances of hours worked as specified in the Minimum Wage Ordinance, such meal break is hours worked for computing the minimum wage. Hence, if an employee is, during his meal break, in accordance with the employment contract or with the agreement or at the direction of the employer, in attendance at a place of employment, irrespective of whether he is provided with work or not, such time should be included in the hours worked for computing the minimum wage. On the contrary, meal break falling outside the provisions on hours worked under the Minimum Wage Ordinance is not included in the hours worked for computing the minimum wage.

Besides, if meal break is regarded as hours worked by the employee according to his employment contract or agreement with the employer, such time must also be taken into account in computing the minimum wage. Although the Employment Ordinance does not provide specific regulation for meal break, after an employer and his employee have included meal break as hours worked by the employee in accordance with their employment contract or agreement, the employer shall not unilaterally vary or remove such contractual terms or agreement concerning hours worked. The Employment Ordinance already accords protection to employees in this respect.