Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac declined on Wednesday to say whether the government could keep its promise that the city’s law on a statutory minimum wage for all workers will finally be implemented in 2019.
According to a report in the Chinese-language newspaper Macao Daily News on November 23, Leong told reporters that the government would implement the statutory minimum wage in 2019, three years after the implementation of the minimum wage law for doormen and cleaners employed by property management companies on January 1 last year.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Standing Council on Social Concerted Action, Leong said the council was reviewing the effectiveness of the minimum wage for doormen and cleaners, and its impact on Macau.
Leong added that after the review was completed, the government would start the preparatory work for the statutory minimum wage law for all workers.
According to Leong, the council discussed its agenda for this year, which would include the preparatory work for the implementation of the minimum wage for all workers.
Leong said the preparatory work would include the launching of a public consultation process and the referencing of how other regions prepared for the implementation of a statutory minimum wage for all workers.
When asked by reporters if he could guarantee that the statutory minimum wage for all workers would be implemented in 2019, Leong replied indirectly: “The law [on the minimum wage for doormen and cleaners employed by property management companies] came into effect on January 1, 2016. In three years’ time, we would like to see… the legislation [on a minimum wage for all workers] to happen.”
The council, chaired by Leong, consists of five business sector representatives, five labour sector representatives and a number of government officials.