Impact of enforcing a statutory minimum wage on work and quality of life of vulnerable groups in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

1 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-235
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Issue number3
Online published10 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


The statutory minimum wage (SMW) law was enforced in Hong Kong on 1 May 2011. To examine its impact, this longitudinal study measured the quality of life, job and pay satisfaction, monthly income, hourly rate and working hours of vulnerable groups (n = 253) before and after the legislation. The findings confirmed that the enforcement of the SMW induced a positive impact as intended. The introduction of the SMW induced a positive wage and employment effect on the vulnerable groups in Hong Kong without harming their employment rate. Job and pay satisfaction, as well as most domains of the quality of life (i.e., physical and psychological health, and environment), increased significantly. In general, the positive impact of the SMW was more prominent for employees who previously worked less than 18 hours a week and who had hourly rates less than 28 HKD. The implications of the findings are discussed in the social context of Hong Kong. Key Practitioner Message: {filled circle} Enforcing minimum wage induced a positive impact on quality of life, job and pay satisfaction, and a monthly income of vulnerable groups. {filled circle} The social relations (quality of life) decreased after implementing minimum wage for workers working longer than 18 hours a week. {filled circle} Longer working hours is a key factor for the increase of a monthly income among the vulnerable groups.

Research Area(s)

  • Employment effect, Hong kong, Job satisfaction, Minimum wage, Quality of life, Vulnerable groups, Wage effect