Macau | Domestic workers in Macau paid less than in Mainland China – scholar

Macau (MNA) – With higher wages in Mainland China, more migrant workers may find Macau less attractive as a working prospect, Alex Choi, an Assistant Professor at the University of Macau who studies migrant issues, told Macau News Agency (MNA).

Manila’s special envoy to China, William J. Lima, is expecting to sign a landmark deal at the end of the year that could grant 300,000 Philippine nationals legal employment status in Mainland China.

Choi also said he believes that the Macau SAR Government should implement a minimum wage for foreign domestic workers.

“As far as I know, the wage level for domestic workers is around MOP4,000 per month, which is lower than the minimal survival index. Before, the Macau Government created a pilot scheme for the importation of domestic workers from China. But the quota could not be filled apparently because domestic workers from the Mainland earned more than their counterparts in Macau,” explained the professor.

“There are plenty of signals showing that the wage level in Macau is not competitive.”

The Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) have previously put forward discussions about the issue of minimum wage, although these have been delayed until 2019. However, foreign domestic workers are not included as part of the workers being considered for minimum wage.

The Phillipine Consulate General has been contacted by MNA for comment but had not replied at the time of publication.

According to the latest statistics from DSAL, the number of Filipino residents working in Macau in March amounted to 29,367, which represents the second largest group of foreign workers in the city.

Of these, 44.6 per cent of Filipino nationals worked as domestic workers as of March.

[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]