Pay law hurts hiring plans
Food and Beverage (F&B)
The F&B sector has long been regarded as an economic barometer. When the economy is good, the industry prospers; when the economy is bad, the industry will follow.
It has undoubtedly greatly benefited since mainland tourists have been allowed to visit Hong Kong on an individual basis. The statutory minimum wage, however, has hit the industry badly. After the regulation came into effect, the industry has generally faced the problem of not being unable to hire enough people, especially low-skilled labourers such as dishwashers.
Staff who normally earned HK$6,000 a month now make about HK$8,000. Many opt for jobs which are more comfortable in nature, such as a security guard. Subsequently, since the minimum wage was implemented, it seems the F&B sector is forever hiring.
In order to solve the labour-shortage problem, many Chinese restaurants will tend to hire part-timers for events such as banquets. But they may lack experience, and service quality will therefore be affected.
Li Kwok-wah, secretary, Hotels, Food and Beverage Employees Association
As told to Chiu Po-sze