Gaming operators not permitted to pay employees with company shares – Labour department

The Labour Relations Law does not allow for gaming concessionaires to pay employees in the form of company stocks, the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) has stated in a reply to an inquiry by legislator Ron Lam U Tou.

It was reported last week that gaming operator Wynn Macau has introduced a voluntary scheme asking its management-level staff to take 10 per cent of their monthly base salary in return for company shares, according to an internal memorandum recently sent to employees.

The employees who choose to participate in this voluntary stock-for-salary scheme would then have 10 per cent of their monthly base salary exchanged for a grant of Wynn Macau shares.

Recently some labour associations, together with Lam in his written interpellation, have raised concerns that although the scheme was defined as voluntary, employees could feel pressured to opt for this stock exchange plan.

In its reply, DSAL noted that employees who found their own labour rights and interests to be impacted, especially when pay is cut without employee consent, can report to the bureau.

DSAL also pointed out that the agreement between the company and the employee to pay remuneration in a non-currency form didn’t comply with the stipulations of Labour Relations Law and any relevant agreement would be seen as non-existent.

The bureau noted that once it was confirmed that the employer breached the law, the employer will be punished and be asked to perform its obligations, in order to protect the legitimate labour rights and interests of employees.