Standard working hours will lead to more overtime: study

July 22, 2015 11:58
Employers say they may be forced to cut employees' wages if they reduce their working hours. Photo: HKEJ

One in four of workers in Hong Kong, whose income is under HK$15,000 a month, will have to work overtime if the proposed standard of 44 working hours a week is applied, Ming Pao Daily reported on Wednesday, citing a government-commissioned study.

The study, prepared by government economic advisors for the Standard Working Hours Committee, aims to evaluate the impact of standardized working hours on employees with lower income.

If the standard is set at 44 hours per week, around 10 percent of workers with income below HK$10,000 and 26 percent of workers earning less than HK$15,000 will have to work overtime, it showed.

If it is capped at 52 hours a week, 5 percent of those earning less than HK$10,000 and 13 percent of those with income below HK$15,000 will have to work extra hours.

Leung Chau-ting, speaking on behalf of the labor unions, said he is disappointed with the study results as those with income of over HK$15,000 have not been covered.

Leung said he will try to raise the minimum wage to HK$25,000 a month, although he is not optimistic that such a proposal will be implemented.

Stanley Lau Chin-ho, a representative of the employers, said he rejects the decision to adopt a “one size fits all” formula, adding that many companies will be forced to cut wages if they are told to reduce working hours.

He said the problem of labor shortages should be resolved first before the government looks into the issue of standard working hours.

-- Contact us at [email protected]