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Statutory Minimum Wage

Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) has come into force since 1 May 2011. The current SMW rate is $32.5 per hour effective from 1 May 2015. The Chief Executive in Council has adopted the recommendation of the Minimum Wage Commission to raise the SMW rate to $34.5 per hour. Subject to approval by the Legislative Council, the revised SMW rate will take effect from 1 May 2017.

Please find details on the Guidelines and Calculator on the website of Labour Department. Statutory minimum wage does not apply to the following student employees:

  • student interns; and
  • work experience students during a period of exempt student employment

For any university student who is eligible to work in Hong Kong, before confirming any employment, please observe the following steps:

  • Check with your respective academic department/school/faculty/academy on whether the employment or internship is arranged or endorsed by the programme; and forms a compulsory or elective component of it.If this is the case, you will be exempted from SMW under the category of Student Intern. There is no restriction on age or duration for student intern in taking up the internship. Your department/school/faculty/academy shall issue the documentation to you that is necessarily to be presented to your employer.

    If Step 1 is negated, that is, the work is not arranged or endorsed by the programme; and is not curriculum-related; students may still be exempted from SMW under the category of Work Experience Student during a period of exempt student employment. He/She has to fulfill the following:

  • Be under the age of 26 years at the beginning of employment;
  • Has agreed with his/her employer to treat a continuous period of up to 59 days as exempt student employment; at most one period of exempt student employment may commence in the same calendar year (whether under the employment of the same employer or not);
  • Has obtained the student status verification from the Academic Registry; and
  • Has made a statutory declaration (through any district office under the Home Affairs Department , a justice, notary, commissioner or other person authorized by law to administer an oat) verifying the above and provide the declaration (or copy) to the employer.

For more detailed information, please check with the following guidelines:

*counting of a continuous period of 59 days is based on calendar days and not working days. A calendar year runs from 1 January to 31 December.