Consultation of full minimum wage implementation begins

The government’s recent legal consultation draft suggests that some employees, including domestic workers and handicapped citizens, should be excluded from the region’s planned universal minimum wage.

Starting  yesterday, and lasting until December 27, the SAR government is carrying out a public consultation on the legislation for full implementation of a minimum wage.

Based on the experience it gained with the implementation of a minimum wage for cleaning and security workers, the government has decided to extend the implementation of a minimum wage to all sectors in Macau.

However, the consultation draft excludes domestic helpers and workers with disabilities due to “the uniqueness” of the nature of domestic workers and also due to the fact that “the most important” thing for disabled workers is to have “employment rights,” according to Wong Chi Hong, director of the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL).

According to the consultation draft, 25,300 people working in Macau provide domestic help, and 24,200 of them are non-local employees.

Wong also noted that the government currently does not hold a fixed stance towards which sectors should be excluded from the minimum wage scheme, and mentioned the possibility of some other sectors also being excluded from the implementation.

It has been suggested that the minimum wage should be composed of a basic payment and other periodic benefits such as food allowance and family allowance, but it increases in remuneration resulting from the provision of extraordinary work, night or shift work, as well as the 13th month of salary or other periodic benefits of a similar nature should be excluded from the draft.

The consultation draft does not indicate the exact amount of the minimum wage, and, as explained by Wong Chi Hong, that is because the consultation focuses on the establishment of a minimum wage system, and, in turn, the exact minimum wage shall be considered based on the economy.

“We need to listen to the opinions,” said Wong, who also noted that the affordability of employers and consumers should be considered, as well as the city’s business environment.

The minimum wage for cleaning and security personnel working under property management companies has been set at MOP30 per hour. JZ

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