26 September 2023

HONG KONG: Secretary defends pay awards system

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Secretary for Hong Kong’s Public Service, Ingrid Yeung Ho Poi-yan has said the 2.5 per cent proposed increment for all officers, with high performers receiving further increases on an individual basis, is an efficient rewards system.

However, Ms Yeung (pictured) pledged to take another look at the presentation of salary changes following controversy after the city’s pay trend survey recommended increases of more than seven per cent for senior Public Servants.

“The pay adjustment and how we treat individual employees are separate things. We have an annual increment system, and those who don’t perform will not advance,” Ms Yeung said.

“However, my team is looking into making reward schemes more attractive.”

Hong Kong’s key decision-making body, the Executive Council has approved a 2.5 per cent pay rise for all Government workers, citing the need for fiscal prudence amid economic uncertainties.

Chief Executive, John Lee Ka-chiu, agreed to send the proposed pay rise, which is to cost taxpayers an additional $HK6.8 billion ($A1.2 billion ) a year, to the Legislature, where it is expected to be passed.

The rate is far below the 7.26 per cent jump the Pay-trend Committee recommended for senior Government workers, as well as a 4.55 per cent bump suggested for those in the middle ranks.

However, the eventual mark was higher than the 2.04 per cent rise proposed for junior Public Servants.

Critics, including the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, earlier slammed the Committee’s proposal as “out of touch with reality”.

However, lawmaker, Chau Siu-chung said the small increase would make the Government less competitive in retaining talent, compared with the private sector.

Hong Kong, 14 July 2022

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