Fong (2009) states that “When the minimum wage carried out to protect the employees, employers either reduce their workforce or number of hours. Allowing a lower wage allows those same employers to hire more people, decreasing unemployment statistics." This is one of the problem appeared after the minimum wage policy is working. Employees may try to lower the number of working hours of employees to balance the amount of salary paid and some of the small size companies even cut off the number of staff as they could not afford the increase of salaries. As this happens, the unemployment rate may increase and to contribute nothing on the poverty problem.
The range of salaries is always representing the ability and education of a person. As the wages become higher, the requirements of jobs will increase relatively. “There hasn't always been a minimum wage law to protect unskilled or semi-skilled workers.” (Lord 2008) The words that pointed out by Lord is representing the situation in Hong Kong, people with no skills or low abilities are difficult to apply for a job or even no chance of applying for a job. This problem may also continually worsen and affect the poverty problem in Hong Kong.
As the minimum wage policy launched, employees have to pay more cost on their business that they may not willing to give much welfare to the workers in order to increase or to balance their profit. Song (2011) mentioned that some employers have reacted to demands by their workers for paid lunch hours and paid days off, by requiring the employees to sign up as "self-employed contractors", thus effectively removing those workers from protection of the minimum wage. As what Song had mentioned, after the minimum wage carried out, there appeared Self-employed system which means employees would never have any insurance at work and the burden of employees will be increased but not covered by their salaries.
In conclusion, Minimum wage system sounds like the safeguard of employees and the way of easing the poverty problem in Hong Kong, yet there are still a lot of potential problem that have not been solved. Indeed, the poverty problem in Hong Kong is not solving directly and even become more serious. Reference
LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL HONG KONG(1999) Panel on manpower [WWW] Legislative council of Hong Kong. Available from: http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr98-99/english/panels/mp/papers/mp2207_3.htm
LORD, L. (2008) What is minimum wage?. [Yahoo knowledge] 07/10. Available from: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090427140522AAip0Sr
FONG, B. (2009) ‘Decrease minimum wage to save economy’ [Online] The pioneer or opinion. Available from: http://whitmanpioneer.com/opinion/2009/02/19/decrease-minimum-wage-to-save-economy/
LI, J. (2010) ‘The minimum wage debate’ [Online] China daily. Available from: http://www.cdeclips.com/en/hongkong/The_minimum_wage_debate/fullstory_47773.html
SONG, SC. (2011) ‘Minimum wage: Danger of uncertainty’ [Online] China daily. Available from: http://www.cdeclips.com/en/hongkong/Minimum_wage_Dangers_of_uncertainty/fullstory_66109.html