Gov’t considers wage subsidy buffer mechanism


A proposal for a wage subsidy buffer mechanism, to be in place until a full universal minimum wage is implemented, could be taken into account by the government, according to a Labour Affairs Bureau response to a legislator’s enquiries. The proposal, by pan-democratic legislator Ng Kuok Cheong, urges the government to roll out a dynamic buffer mechanism to support local workers who are receiving wages that don’t meet the minimum wage rate, by providing subsidies during the first year of the law’s implementation.
The DSAL response noted that ‘the MSAR Government would continue to hold open attitude to listen to opinions from different groups’.
The legislator also enquired of the government about its plan to encourage small businesses to continue to employ their staff after the implementation of the minimum wage.
Ng further urged the government to request small businesses that are being supported by the wage subsidies to increase the salary rate by no less than 6 per cent for workers every year.
Meanwhile, DSAT confirmed that public consultation on the implementation of a universal minimum wage will start in the fourth quarter this year.
The consultation period will span 45 days.
A year after the minimum wage law for property security guards and cleaners was implemented, the Bureau stated it has commenced a review of the situation, which will act as a reference for the future implementation of a universal minimum wage.

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