Possible increase in the minimum wage
The Minimum Wage Commission set up to review the statutory minimum wage agreed in late September 2012 that the minimum wage should be increased from HK$ 28 per hour to HK$ 30 per hour. The Commission submitted its recommendations to the Chief Executive at the end of October 2012. The Chief Executive has now adopted the recommendation of the Minimum Wage Commission that the statutory minimum wage should be adjusted to HK$30 per hour. The Chief Executive has also confirmed that the amendment will come into force on 1 May 2013. The Minimum Wage Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 3) Notice 2012 was published in the Government Gazette on 14 December 2012. The amendment will be tabled at the Legislative Council on 19 December 2012.
New rights to paternity leave for government employees may lead to paternity leave for other employees
Since 1 April 2012, new fathers who are full time government employees who have more than 40 weeks continuous service are eligible to take 5 daysâ€" paternity leave on full pay. Recently the Labour Advisory Board gave its endorsement for men in the private sector to be be paid for 3 days of paternity leave. Like mothers in Hong Kong who are on statutory maternity leave, fathers who will enjoy paternity leave will be paid at the same rate i.e. four fifths of their salary. It was also agreed that unmarried men may also enjoy the benefit as long as they can prove that they are the father of the child. Employers in Hong Kong have fought against plans to provide paternity leave to working fathers claiming that it will raise labour costs and will place them under an unnecessary burden. No timetable has yet been given as to when the draft bill will be introduced.
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