The Minimum Wage Ordinance establishes a Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) regime aimed at striking an appropriate balance between forestalling excessively low wages and minimising the loss of low-paid jobs while sustaining Hong Kong’s economic growth and competitiveness.

SMW provides a wage floor to protect grassroots employees.

Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) has come into force since 1 May 2011. With effect from 1 May 2017, the SMW rate is raised from $32.5 per hour to $34.5 per hour. Concurrently, the monetary cap on the requirement of employers keeping records of the total number of hours worked by employees is also revised from $13,300 per month to $14,100 per month.

SMW is expressed as an hourly rate. In essence, wages payable to an employee in respect of any wage period should be no less than the SMW rate on average for the total number of hours worked.

The major provisions of the Minimum Wage Ordinance - e.g. definition of wages - are aligned as closely as possible with those of the Employment Ordinance to ensure consistency and effective enforcement, avoid confusion to employers and employees and minimise the compliance cost for employers.

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