In effect since 13 July 2007, a considerable number of companies in Hong Kong remain uninformed about the stipulations outlined in the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2007 (“the E(A)O 2007”). The primary aim of the 713 Ordinance is to ensure that all elements of wages, as defined in the Employment Ordinance, are considered when calculating relevant statutory entitlements. Here’s a concise guide around the calculation of the 12-month average wage as instructed in the 713 Ordinance.
Calculating Statutory Entitlements Using the 12-Month Average Wages
Annual leave (and other statutory leave e.g. maternity leave, sick leave) pay in Hong Kong is calculated from the average daily wages earned by an employee over a 12-month period. Refer below for details on how the 12-month period is determined.
The main purpose of the 12-month average wages calculation is to protect employees. Implementation of this calculation minimises the chance of unfair reduction of statutory entitlements that’s resulted from deflation of average wage.
Employers with large portions of sales staff who have a higher amount of variable or non-base salary benefits (e.g., commissions) are at higher risk of the chance of calculating Average Daily Wages incorrectly.
The 12-month average wages is applicable to all employees covered by the Labour Ordinance regardless of how they’re rated (monthly, daily, or piece rated). It is used to calculate the following statutory entitlements:
- Holiday pay
- Annual leave pay
- Sickness allowance and related provisions
- Maternity leave pay and related provisions
- Paternity leave pay
- End of year payment
- Payment in lieu of notice
- Further sum for non-compliance of an order of reinstatement or re-engagement for unreasonable and unlawful dismissal
How the 12-Month Period of Average Wage is Calculated (713 Ordinance)
For employees who have been with the company for less than 12 months, the calculation should be measured on a shorter period. Regularly, the 12-month period will be calculated as follows:
Reference: Labour Department, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Periods and Wages to be Disregarded
To avoid deflating the amount due for the statutory entitlement, periods where the employee is not paid the full wages, or any wages should be excluded. Wages from these periods are also excluded from the calculation.
This includes the following scenarios:
- The employee takes any of the following leave:
- Leave provided under the Employment Ordinance
- Rest day
- Statutory holiday
- Annual leave
- Maternity leave
- Paternity leave
- Sick days
- Sick leave due to work injuries as provided under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance
- Leave taken with the agreement of the employer (no pay leave)
- Leave provided under the Employment Ordinance
- A normal working day where the employee is not provided with work by the employer.
How to Calculate the Average Wage in Hong Kong According to E(A)O 2007
Under the Amendment Ordinance, the 12-month average wage should be calculated as follows.
To put it more simply, the 12-month average wage is the eligible wages divided by the total days for these wages (depicted below). With this figure, the employers can then calculate the pay due.
Example: Calculating 1-Month Wages in Lieu of Notice
(The below example is referenced from the Labour Department – The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China)
- Basic pay at HK$6,000 per month
- Contractual commission accrued and calculated on a monthly basis according to a sliding scale
- 12-month wages earned before the day on which notice of termination was given: HK$600,000 including basic pay and commission
- Leave taken with less than full wages in the 12-month period: 15 days of half-pay study leave (i.e. 50% of basic pay) at HK$1,500
Periods and wages to be disregarded:
- 15 days of study leave with half pay at HK$1,500
Calculating 1-month wages in lieu of notice on the basis of the 12-month average
- The number of months included in the calculation:
- Average monthly wage
1-month wages in lieu of notice:
Read also: Guide to Hiring in Hong Kong
Accurate reporting and payroll calculations:
The 713 Ordinance is now over 10 years old and can sometimes be overlooked. However, the consequences of doing this may be high. Keep yourself informed and updated of the latest amendments to avoid legal penalties. Stay compliant the easy way!
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Want to learn more on the above and other major changes in labour laws in Hong Kong so you can remain compliant and updated?
Come join our COMPLIMENTARY 2023 Hong Kong Labour Law & Compliance Workshop happening on Wednesday, 22 November 2023 from 11AM to 12PM HKT. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have during the Q&A session!
- Hong Kong Labour Law & Compliance
- Hong Kong Payroll Basics
- Q&A Session
|Date:||Wednesday, 22 November 2023|
|Time:||11AM to 12PM HKT|
|Venue:||Online (Zoom) Webinar|
*Please note that all the information provided above is to be used as a general guideline. For more detailed information on Appendix 1 – A Guide to the Calculation of Relevant Statutory Entitlements on the Basis of the 12-Month Average Wages with Examples, please visit the official governmental websites: https://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public/wcp/ConciseGuide/Appendix1.pdf.
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