Non-resident import policy only to temporarily make up for lack of local human resources – Labour authorities

The Macau SAR government has always adhered to the policy of importing non-local employees only to “temporarily make up for the lack of local human resources”, the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) stated in an announcement.

The statement was issued after an undisclosed news report that claimed a gaming operator had a larger proportion of non-resident workers than resident workers, with labour authorities responding that the operator in question held 6,610 non-resident workers and 19,022 local employees, representing 74.2 per cent of the total.

In addition, DSAL added that the number of local workers hired by the six leisure operators corresponded to 76.8 per cent of the total.

“It should be noted that, regarding the requests for outside labour from the six gaming concessionaires and monitoring the situation of hiring local workers, the Macau SAR Government considers this group as a whole,” the DSAL added.

“Both the workers of the gaming concessionaires and their related companies provide services to the leisure operator, therefore, the MSAR Government does not weigh the local workers’ non-residents as if it were for a single company”.

Non-resident workers cannot be casino dealers under policy arrangements maintained by successive Macau administrations, but many non-residents employed in the casino resort sector work in functions such as security, hotel housekeeping, restaurant services, and cleaning duties.

According to data published by DSAL, by the end of February 2022, the number of non-resident work permit holders – known as blue cards – reached 168,442, a number that has decreased by 28,096 compared to the period before the outbreak of the pandemic.

The reduction of non-resident workers mainly covers the following sectors: less 12,641 workers in hotels and restaurants, 4,806 workers in cultural and recreational activities, lotteries and other services, 2,677 workers in wholesale and retail trade, 1 623 workers in transport, storage and communications, 1,475 in other sectors and 4,874 in domestic work.