People cross a road in Causeway Bay district in Hong Kong, Feb 21, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s statutory hourly minimum wage is set to increase to HK$40 ($5.12) by May, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said Tuesday.

The Chief Executive in Council has adopted the recommendation of the Minimum Wage Commission on raising the hourly statutory minimum wage from the current HK$37.5 to HK$40, an increase of HK$2.5 or 6.7 percent, the government said in a statement.

Subject to the approval of the Legislative Council, the revised statutory hourly minimum wage rate will come into force on May 1 this year, Labor Day

The government will publish the Minimum Wage Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 3) Notice 2023 in the Gazette this Friday and table it in the Legislative Council on Jan 18. Subject to the approval of the LegCo, the revised SMW rate will come into force on May 1 this year, Labor Day.

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"After careful consideration, the government is of the view that the MWC has ably discharged its statutory function of reviewing the SMW rate after thorough and balanced deliberation,” Secretary for Labour and Welfare Chris Sun was quoted as saying in the statement.

“The recommendation of the MWC has struck an appropriate balance between the objectives of forestalling excessively low wages and minimizing the loss of low-paid jobs, while giving due regard to sustaining Hong Kong's economic growth and competitiveness,” he added.

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Sun paid warm tribute to Chairperson of the MWC Priscilla Wong, and all MWC members for their untiring efforts in reviewing the minimum wage.