The second phase of consultation on the statutory minimum wage review mechanism commenced today (5 December), and the labour sector has been advocating shortening the review cycle from "biennial inspection" to "annual inspection", and the CMA today expressed its disagreement with this, pointing out that excessive review not only "wastes social resources", but also increases the compliance cost and administrative burden of enterprise personnel management.

Mr. Shi Lide, President of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong (Profile photo/Photo by Cheng Zifeng)

CMA Chairman Shide said that since the establishment of the statutory minimum wage in 2010, the business community has accepted a number of labour welfare policy reforms introduced by the HKSAR Government, including raising the minimum wage, implementing the abolition of MPF hedging and gradually increasing labour leave.

The CMA also pointed out that the number of employees earning the minimum wage in Hong Kong has been decreasing year by year, reflecting the employers' initiative to hire employees with higher remuneration packages in response to economic growth and market trends, which is sufficient to prove the effectiveness of the current minimum wage mechanism.

With effect from 2023 May 5, the statutory minimum wage will be raised to $1 per hour. (Profile picture)

According to the Government's estimates, the number of beneficiaries will range from 4,7 to 8,7, including cleaners, property management and nursing care. (Profile picture)

CMAs have indicated that if the existing minimum wage review mechanism is changed and an overly frequent and "mechanical" review method is introduced, it may aggravate administrative work and waste social resources, affecting the salary structure of the entire human resources market.

Manufacturers will respond (photo by Zheng Zifeng)

CMAs also oppose formulating minimum wage levels or directly linking them to inflation, pointing out that it may trigger a vicious circle of wage and price chasing, which will have irreversible negative impacts on Hong Kong's economic environment, business operations and people's livelihood.

CMAs reiterated that the current minimum wage review mechanism is comprehensive, covering data analysis, collective bargaining and public consultation procedures. The Minimum Wage Commission is urged to continue the current system, including the review periodicity, the determination methodology, and the composition of the Minimum Wage Commission, so as to maintain a stable business environment in Hong Kong.

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