Monday, 9 May 2011

Keeping to a Minimum

On May 1 Hong Kong instituted its minimum wage law of HK$28 ($3.60) per hour to much debate. Some complained the city should not have a minimum wage because it was a capitalist society, or that companies wouldn't be able to make ends meet. Others of course welcomed the higher wages.

However scheming employers are finding ways to cut costs. Some laid off staff before May 1, others reduced the number of work hours or even break times. Last week the Labour Department found that a boss was reported to have deducted wages from workers for taking toilet breaks to offset the new minimum wage.

Only in Hong Kong would an employer cut wages if one of his staff went for a two-minute pee.

There's also speculation that Chinese restaurants have cut the number of waitstaff and cooks due to the new minimum wage law, resulting in slow service and waiting a long time for food to arrive at the table.

We all understand companies are striving to make a profit and with high rents that can be difficult. But hey -- we all need to make a living too.

And since the government instituted this minimum wage law, perhaps it should also implement some kind of law that prevents landlords from increasing rents over 30 percent?

Only seems fair, don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. in a prosperous city like hong kong a minimum wage of $3.26 comparing to $12 here in vancouver it is just pittance. shame to the hong kong government. this problem is most acute when i learn from the news reports that those billionaires spend millions for a wedding or even a baby shower.