Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) applies to all employees, whether they are monthly-rated, weekly-rated, daily-rated, hourly-rated, piece-rated, permanent, casual, full-time, part-time or other employees, and regardless of whether they are employed under a continuous contract as defined in the Employment Ordinance, with the following exceptions:
- persons to whom the Employment Ordinance does not apply, please click here.
- live-in domestic workers
This refers to domestic workers (including domestic helpers, carers, chauffeurs, gardeners, boat-boys or other personal helpers) who dwell free of charge in their employing household, irrespective of their sex, race or nationality.
Points to note :
The following persons are not live-in domestic workers and SMW applies to them :
- domestic workers not dwelling free of charge in their employing household
- live-in employees who are not domestic workers
- Specified student interns and work experience students during a period of exempt student employment
A specified student intern is :
- a student undergoing a period of work arranged or endorsed by a local education institution specified in Schedule 1 to the Minimum Wage Ordinance, and the work is a compulsory or elective component of the requirements of a full-time accredited programme being provided by the institution to the student; or
- a student resident in Hong Kong and undergoing a period of work arranged or endorsed by an institution, and the work is a compulsory or elective component of the requirements of a full-time education programme for a non-local academic qualification at degree or higher level being provided by the institution to the student.
A specified work experience student is :
- a student who is enrolled in a full-time accredited programme provided by a local education institution specified in Schedule 1 to the Minimum Wage Ordinance; or
- a student who is resident in Hong Kong and enrolled in a full-time education programme for a non-local academic qualification at degree or higher level
and is under the age of 26 years at the beginning of employment. The work experience student may agree with the employer to have a continuous period of up to 59 days as exempt student employment if:
- the student has not commenced another exempt student employment period within the same calendar year (A calendar year runs from 1 January to 31 December.) (whether under the employment of the same employer or not); and
- the student has made a statutory declaration verifying the fact in (a) above and provided the declaration (or copy) to the employer.
Points to note :
Employees with disabilities
- SMW also applies to employees with disabilities. Special arrangement is provided under the Minimum Wage Ordinance so that they have the right to choose to undergo productivity assessment and receive wages based on the assessment result. For details, please refer to the Concise Guide to Productivity Assessment for Employees with Disabilities under the Statutory Minimum Wage Regime.
- SMW does not apply to contractors and self-employed persons. For information about the difference between an “employee” and a “contractor or self-employed person”, please refer to the leaflet on Employee? Contractor / Self-employed Person? (PDF)
- Even though a worker is called a contractor or self-employed person or has been labelled as a self-employed person in the contract, the employer is still required to fulfil his responsibilities under the relevant legislation by paying back statutory benefits retroactively to the worker who is falsely labelled as a self-employed person if in essence there exists an employer-employee relationship between the parties. The employer may also be liable to criminal sanctions for contravention of the relevant legislation.
- An employer should not unilaterally change the status of his employee to a contractor or self-employed person. Otherwise, the employee may lodge a claim for remedies against the employer under the Employment Ordinance and common law. If an employee intends to change his status to a contractor or self-employed person, he must carefully assess the pros and cons involved, including the employment rights and benefits that he may lose in such a change.
For further details on Statutory Minimum Wage, please refer to Labour Department's website, please click here.