Hong Kong’s statutory minimum wage came into force on 1 May 2011 and the current rate is HK$28 per hour (US$3.59). In the past month the Minimum Wage Commission together with employer and employee representatives have engaged in discussions and tentatively agreed to increase the rate to HK$30 per hour (US$3.85). The MinimumWage Commission will prepare its report to Hong Kong’s Chief Executive before the end of October and many expect the new rate to come into force in May 2013, at the earliest.

Since the introduction of the Statutory Minimum Wage, average wages in the Hong Kong retail industry have increased by 13%. Concerns have been expressed that another increase in the minimum wage is likely to push wages up further, possibly by as much as 10%, and that this could have a detrimental impact on the economy.