POLS 7050 HKBU/MPA Exclusions from Minimum Wage Legislation

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Powerpoint presentation for HKBU POLS 7050 Public Administration on 24 Nov 2009. Team Members: Phoebe Lau and Grace Leung

Powerpoint presentation for HKBU POLS 7050 Public Administration on 24 Nov 2009. Team Members: Phoebe Lau and Grace Leung

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  • 1. Exclusions from Minimum Wage Legislation POLS 7050 Public Administration Team Members: Grace Leung Tse Wai 09410236 Phoebe LAU Siu Yin 09410295
  • 2. Exclusions from Proposed Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) Bill
    • In HK , exclusion of domestic workers and student interns are suggested.
    • Examples of other countries
      • D omestic workers (South Korea, Guangdong , Shenzhen)
      • T rainees (Australia, France, Japan , UK)
      • Young Workers (US, UK)
      • F ishermen (Taiwan , UK)
      • P rofessionals (US)
  • 3. (A) Exclusion of All Live-in Domestic Workers (both foreign and local)
    • Distinctive working pattern
    • Enjoyment of in-kind benefits
    • Possible significant and far-reaching socio-economic ramifications
    • Fundamental erosion of the Foreign Domestic Helper Policy
  • 4. Our Comments
    • Exclusion of Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDHs)
      • Justified
      • Financial difficulties of Employers
        • $3580 vs $4800 ( ↑ 34%)
        • may lead to large unemployment of FDHs
      • Induce social problems that harm harmony
      • Under protection from Minimum Allowable Wage
      • Good and Prevailing FDH Policy
      • Conditions of Employment and Stay
        • Practical difficulty in alternative lodging
  • 5. Our Comments (Cont’d)
    • Exclusion of Local Live-in Domestic Workers
      • gardeners, boat boys, post-natal care workers & live-in farmers
      • A group of vulnerable ought to be protected
      • No entitlements guaranteed that FDHs are entitled
  • 6. Our Comments (Cont’d)
      • Different identities i.e. Nationality/ citizenship
      • Risky to classify local & foreign “live-in domestic workers” as same group
      • The L ocal s could attempt the judiciary review on the exclusion from SMW
        • provide a bullet for FDHs to fight
  • 7. Our recommendations
    • To include local live-in domestic workers but allow conditional arrangements
      • wage deduction on free lodging & food
    • T o exclude “Foreign Domestic Helpers” under the “Standard Employment Contract”
    • To lobby the FDH employers’ unions and FDH unions to illustrate possible costs and outcomes, e.g.
      • financial burdens of employers
      • unemployment of FDHs
  • 8. Our Recommendations (Cont’d)
    • To restate the importance of I mportation of L abour P olicy and protection under the regular minimum allowable wage and its review mechanism
    • To align with Race Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 602) & Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57)
  • 9. (B) Exclusion of Student Interns Internship f orming a compulsory or elective part of the requirement for the award of the academic qualifications in full-time locally-accredited programmes . The interns should be arranged or endorsed by specified local education institutions .
  • 10. Our Comments
    • Importance of Internship programme
    • Hosting companies will offer less position if SMW is enacted
    • High cost to have “Blanket Exemptions”
  • 11. Our Recommendations
      • To exempt students undertaking internship overseas programmes.
      • Students responsible to provide sufficient programme information (as a proof of compulsory part in achieving the award)
  • 12. Special Arrangement for Vulnerable Group
    • Young Workers / Apprentices
    • Persons With Disability (PWD)
  • 13. (A) Young Worker / Apprentices
    • For Young Worker…
      • In US, employers have to pay the SMW after 90 consecutive days of employment or when the employee reaches 20 years of age.
      • For Apprentice…
      • In France, apprentices are paid accordingly to their age and qualification.
  • 14. Our Recommendations
      • Safeguarding their job opportunities
      • To recommend youth worker (say under 20) could have flexibility to receive less than SMW during the probationary period.
      • To recommend government service contract should be restricted tenders and priority should be given to social enterprises operated by NGOs.
  • 15. (B) Persons With Disability
      • NO DIFFERENCE from their able-bodied counterparts.
      • Comparatively lower productive capability because of their disability.
      • How to safeguard their employment ?
        • Excluded: France, Guangdong, Shenzhen and South Korea.
        • R eceive wages corresponding to a percentage of the SMW : Australia, Taiwan and US.
        • Receive SMW when one a ble to perform job duties : UK and Japan.
  • 16.
    • In Hong Kong, A ssessment M echanism is suggested
      • D etermin e the rate of SMW
      • Initiated by the PWD and assessed by an approved assessor.
      • A probationary period (say 4 weeks) before the assessment is conducted.
  • 17. Our Comments
      • Registration Card for PWDs as a proof of his/her disability status
      • Actual no. of PWDs subject to assessment is uncertain
      • Underestimate the c ost of conducting assessment
      • Subject to one-off assessment
  • 18. Our Recommendations
      • Re-assessment after certain period of time (say 1 year)
      • Establishment of appeal mechanism
      • Amend Disability Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 487)
      • To support NGOs to operate social enterprises on a sustainable basis by awarding restricted tenders or introduction of tax concessions.
  • 19. “ The function of the Government is to secure conditions upon which its citizens are able to win by their own efforts all that is necessary to a full civic efficiency…The “right to work” and the right to a “living wage” are just as valid as the rights of person or property.” - Leonard Hobhouse 1911. Thank You! Q & A