Employment Ordinance Chapter 3 (Wages)
“Wages” means all remuneration, earnings, allowances, tips and service charges, however designated or calculated, payable to an employee in respect of work done or work to be done. Allowances including travelling allowances, attendance allowances, commission and overtime pay are within the definition of wages. However, it does not include:
1. the value of any accommodation, education, food, fuel, water, light or medical care provided by the employer;
2. employer’s contribution to any retirement scheme;
3. commission, attendance allowance or attendance bonus which is of a gratuitous nature or is payable only at the discretion of the employer;
4. non-recurrent travelling allowance or the value of any travelling concession or travelling allowance for actual expenses incurred by the employment;
5. any sum payable to the employee to defray special expenses incurred by him by the nature of his employment;
6. end of year payment, or annual bonus which is of a gratuitous nature or is payable only at the discretion of the employer;
7. gratuity payable on completion or termination of a contract of employment.
An employee’s entitlements to end of year payment, maternity leave pay, paternity leave pay, severance payment, long service payment, sickness allowance, holiday pay, annual leave pay and payment in lieu of notice are calculated according to the above definition of wages.
Deductions from Wages
An employer is prohibited from deducting wages from his employee, except under the following circumstances:
1. deductions for absence from work. The sum to be deducted should be proportionate to the period of time the employee is absent from work;
2. deductions for damage to or loss of the employer’s goods, equipment, or property by the employee’s neglect or default. In any one case, the sum to be deducted shall be equivalent to the value of the damage or loss but not exceeding $300. The total of such deductions shall not exceed one quarter of the wages payable to the employee in that wage period;
3. deductions for the recovery of any advanced or over-paid wages to the employee. The total sum to be deducted shall not exceed one quarter of the wages payable to the employee in that wage period;
4. deductions of the value of food and accommodation the employer supplies to the employee;
5. deductions, at the written request of the employee, in respect of contributions to be paid by the employee through the employer for any medical scheme, superannuation scheme, retirement scheme or thrift scheme;
6. deductions, with the employee’s written consent, for the recovery of any loan made by the employer to the employee;
7. deductions in respect of paternity leave pay paid to the employee before the required document is provided if the employee fails to provide the employer with the required document within 3 months after the first day of paternity leave taken, or if the employee has ceased to be employed, fails to provide the required document before the cessation;
8. deductions which are required or authorized under any enactment to be made from the wages of the employee;
9. deductions for outstanding maintenance payment owed by the employee pursuant to the Attachment of Income Order issued by the court.
Payment of Wages
Wages shall become due on the expiry of the last day of the wage period. An employer should pay wages to an employee as soon as practicable but in any case not later than seven days after the end of the wage period. An employer is required to pay interest on the outstanding amount of wages to the employee if he fails to pay wages to the employee within seven days when it becomes due.