The minimum wage in Macao is currently 32 patacas per hour. It is subject to review every two years. The penalty for not paying the minimum wage is quite stiff. You will have to pay much more than this to work in the casino and other casinos. In addition to this, you can also be penalized if you don’t meet the minimum wage. Read on to find out more about the laws regarding the minimum wage in Macao.
32 patacas per hour
The Macau legislature has passed a law introducing a 32-patacas per hour minimum wage. This wage will be applicable to all private sector employees, except for domestic helpers and disabled people. This wage is equivalent to 256 patacas per day or approximately 6,656 patacas per month. The law also stipulates that employees must receive at least two hours of rest each day.
While the minimum wage in Macao will raise the city’s inflation rate by 0.3 per cent, it is not expected to have a significant effect on the employment situation. It will only be a temporary measure and the minimum wage will not last very long. In the meantime, the government can continue to increase wages to improve the working environment for its citizens. Macau has a long way to go before it has an overall minimum wage system.
As of January 1, 2016, the statutory minimum wage in Macao for property management sector cleaners and doormen was 30 patacas per hour. This equated to around 6,240 patacas per month. As of September 1, 2017, the minimum wage for cleaners and doormen was increased by two patacas or 6.7%. However, casual workers and people working in the construction industry are not exempted from paying this amount.
Review every two years
The new law enshrines the right for the government of Macau to review the minimum wage every two years. The amount of the minimum wage must be based on the average remuneration of workers in the past two months. According to the law, Macau will conduct the review in line with the economic development of the SAR. The Labour Affairs Bureau and Economic Department will likely coordinate the review.
The government will prepare to revise the minimum wage every two years, but the process could take longer than that. In the meantime, the law excludes domestic helpers and disabled workers from its coverage. This is not an issue, however, as the local government has the plan to ensure the minimum wage for such workers. The government is drafting administrative regulations to include these workers in the minimum wage system.
Critics of the current minimum wage have expressed their displeasure with the move. They say it is not appropriate to freeze it yearly and would only cause unrest and turmoil. But, Chow says that it is the best period to conduct statistical analysis. Besides, if the economy falls into deflation or after hitting a high point, society will not accept the decrease in wages in a quiet way.
The government also imposed penalties for non-compliance with the new minimum wage. Employers will be fined between MPtc20,000 to MPtc50,000 if they fail to pay the new minimum wage and overtime rules. In addition to fines, employers will face penalties under the Labour Relations Law. The penalties are steep, but it is still worth mentioning that the minimum wage is still lower than the previous one.
Penalties for not paying minimum wage
The government of Macau has started public consultations to determine the maximum amount an employer must pay employees to meet the minimum wage requirements. The minimum wage amounts are based on average remuneration over two months and must be adjusted every two years to reflect the economic development of the city. According to the Labour Affairs Bureau chief Wong Chi-hong, the bureau will focus on gathering opinions and ideas from the public to formulate a statutory city-wide minimum wage system. The current minimum wage is 30 Macau patacas (US$3.74) per hour.
Apart from the minimum wage, the Labour Code of Macau also stipulates a rest period for employees. This rest period must be at least 24 hours a week and the employer must pay half the amount of basic remuneration for every month an employee has worked for. If the employee is terminated before the end of the notice period, the employer will have to pay MOP30 as a penalty. Moreover, the penalty for not paying minimum wage in Macao can range from MOP20 to MOP100 per month, depending on the severity of the offence.
Penalties for not paying minimum wage in Hong Kong or Macao are imposed on employers if they fail to meet the minimum wage and fail to comply with overtime rules. In the SAR, there is no official poverty line, but the minimum wage is well above the World Bank’s $1.90-per-day poverty line. Workers are also entitled to statutory holidays, sick leave, and specified working hours.
Interestingly, higher minimum wages affect firms that are more labour-intensive and have lower assets-per-worker ratios. This is consistent with the findings of Sun et al. (2013). Further, firms that rely on exports tend to be labour-intensive. The higher minimum wage is expected to impact export-oriented firms in particular. But, for firms in the more developed eastern provinces, there is little impact on their profits.