Workers from almost 150 SMEs did not take annual leave in 2020 – Survey

About 12.5 per cent of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) surveyed by the Macau Human Resources Association, almost 150 companies, admitted that their workers did not take holidays in 2020, newspaper Hoje Macau reported.

The data was presented yesterday by the Macau Human Resources Association, based on a study carried out through 1,192 surveys completed by local SMEs between March 2020 and February 2021.

According to the Macau Labour Relations Law, companies whose workers have been in a company for more than a year must be entitled to six days of vacation. However, if there is an agreement between the parties, they can accumulate, at most, the days corresponding to two years of work, that is, 12 days.

“Maybe the employees have agreed with their employers that they will give up this vacation year and that next year they will be compensated. But, we think that the Government needs to reinforce the disclosure of the Labour Relations Law, so that employees and employers know their rights and obligations ”, the association President, Man Choi stated to the newspaper.

The study, presented yesterday, also showed that since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak about 8.1 per cent of local SMEs have cut wages, the equivalent of 97 companies. Among these, about 38 companies made cuts of between 20 and 50 percent of the salary of employees.

In the same period, 11.2 per cent of the surveyed companies declare that their salaries have increased, which represents a number of 134 companies operating in the MSAR.

Among this number, 94 companies or 70 per cent, reported having increased wages by 3 to 6 per cent of salaries, that is, above the level of inflation.

However, the president of the Macau Human Resources Association noted that the overall economic situation of the surveyed SMEs was worrying and could generate a wave of redundancies.

“There was a higher percentage of companies reducing employees’ salaries than increasing them. We are concerned, because if the financial health of the companies is not resolved properly, or if the Government does not provide other support, there may be a wave of redundancies,” Man Choi warned.