Trade Boards Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 63 - TRADE BOARDS ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 63 TRADE BOARDS ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997


To provide machinery for fixing minimum wages, determining normal working hours, and fixing overtime rates in
trades where the wage standards are unreasonably low.


[21 June 1940]


(Originally 15 of 1940 (Cap 63 1950))

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Trade Boards Ordinance.

Section: 2 Trade Boards and minimum wages 54 of 2000 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 54 of 2000 s. 3


(1) The Chief Executive in Council may, at any time he thinks fit, by Government notification published in the
Gazette, fix minimum rates of wages for any trade in Hong Kong either generally or in any specified area or district in
any case in which he is satisfied that the minimum rates of wages being paid to any persons employed in any such
trade are unreasonably low. Every notification fixing minimum rates of wages may be varied from time to time or
revoked.

(2) For the purpose of instituting, making, and conducting any inquiry that may be deemed advisable in
connection with fixing any minimum rates of wages in any trade under this Ordinance, and for reporting thereon, the
Chief Executive may at any time establish for any trade, or for any branch of work in a trade, a Trade Board,
consisting of members representing employers and members representing workers, in this Ordinance referred to as
representative members, in equal proportions, and of appointed members, provided that the number of appointed
members shall be less than half the total number of representative members. Where a Trade Board has been
established for any branch of work in a trade, any reference in this Ordinance to the trade for which the Board is
established shall be construed as a reference to the branch of work in the trade for which the Board has been
established. [cf. 1909 c. 22 ss. 2(2), 11 & 13 U.K.]

(3) Women shall be eligible as members of Trade Boards as well as men.
(4) The Chairman of a Trade Board shall be the Commissioner for Labour or such other public officer as the

Chief Executive may appoint. (Amended L.N. 142 of 1974)
(5) All members shall be appointed by the Chief Executive, but the employers and workers may nominate

representatives for appointment, subject to the Chief Executive's approval, as representative members.
(6) In order to constitute a meeting of a Trade Board, at least one-third of the whole number of the

representative members and at least one appointed member must be present. [cf. 1909 c. 22 s. 11(6) U.K.]
(7) A Trade Board for any trade shall consider, as occasion requires, any matter referred to them by the Chief

Executive with reference to the industrial conditions of the trade, and shall make a report upon the matter to the Chief
Executive. [cf. 1909 c. 22 s. 3 U.K.]

(Amended 54 of 2000 s. 3)

Section: 3 Application of Cap 86 30/06/1997


The provisions of sections 3 to 10 of the *Commissioners Powers Ordinance shall apply to any Board so
appointed.
___________________________________________________________________
Note:
* See 1968 Extractions-Cap 86, 1964 Edition




Cap 63 - TRADE BOARDS ORDINANCE 2

Section: 4 Duties and powers of Trade Boards with respect to
minimum rates of wages

54 of 2000 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 54 of 2000 s. 3


Every Trade Board shall, subject to the provisions of this section, recommended a minimum rate of wages for
time-work in their trade, in this Ordinance referred to as a general minimum time-rate, and may also recommend for
their trade-

(a) a general minimum rate of wages for piece-work, in this Ordinance referred to as a general minimum
piece-rate;

(b) a minimum time-rate (which shall not be higher than the general minimum time-rate) to apply in the
case of workers employed on piece-work for the purpose of securing to such workers a minimum rate
of remuneration on a time-work basis, in this Ordinance referred to as a guaranteed time-rate;

(c) a minimum rate (whether a time-rate or a piece-rate) to apply, in substitution for the minimum rate
which would otherwise be applicable, in respect of hours worked by a worker in any week or on any
day in excess of the number of hours considered by the Trade Board to be the normal number of hours
of work per week or for that day in the trade, in this Ordinance referred to as an overtime rate.

Any of the minimum rates aforesaid may be fixed so as to apply universally to the trade or so as to apply to any
special process in the work of the trade or to any special area, or to any class of workers in the trade, or to any class of
workers in any special process or in any special area. If a Trade Board report to the Chief Executive that it is
impracticable in any case to fix a general minimum time-rate in accordance with this section, the Chief Executive may
so far as respects that case relieve the Trade Board of their duty.

(Amended 54 of 2000 s. 3)
[cf. 1909 c. 22 s. 4 U.K.]


Section: 5 Penalty for not paying wages in accordance with minimum

rate which has been made obligatory
54 of 2000 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 54 of 2000 s. 3


(1) Where any minimum rate of wages has been fixed by the Chief Executive in Council under this Ordinance,
an employer shall, in cases to which the minimum rate is applicable, pay wages to the person employed at not less
than the minimum rate clear of all deductions, and if he fails to do so shall be liable on summary conviction in respect
of each offence to a fine of $500 and to a fine of $50 for each day on which the offence is continued after conviction
therefor. (Amended 22 of 1950 Schedule; 54 of 2000 s. 3)

(2) On the conviction of an employer under this section for failing to pay wages at not less than the minimum
rate to a person employed, the court may by the conviction adjudge the employer convicted to pay, in addition to any
fine, such sum as appears to the court to be due to the person employed on account of wages, the wages being
calculated on the basis of the minimum rate, but the power to order the payment of wages under this provision shall
not be in derogation of any right of the person employed to recover wages by any other proceedings.

(3) Where an employer has been convicted for failing to pay wages at not less than the minimum rate to any
worker, then, if notice of intention so to do has been served with the summons, warrant, or complaint, evidence may
be given of any failure on the part of the employer to pay wages at not less than the minimum rate to that worker at
any time during the two years immediately preceding the date on which the information was laid or the complaint was
served, and on proof of the failure the court may order the employer to pay such sum as in the opinion of the court
represents the difference between the amount which, having regard to the provisions of this Ordinance, ought properly
to have been paid to the worker by way of wages during those years and the amount actually so paid. [cf. 1918 c. 32 s.
9(1) U.K.]

(4) It shall be the duty of every employer in a trade to which a minimum rate is applicable, to keep such records
of wages as are necessary to show that the provisions of this Ordinance are being complied with as respects persons in
his employment, and if he fails to do so he shall be liable on summary conviction in respect of each offence to a fine
of $500 and also to a fine of $25 for every day during which the default continues after conviction. (Amended 22 of
1950 Schedule)



Cap 63 - TRADE BOARDS ORDINANCE 3

(5) On any prosecution of a person for failing to pay wages at not less than the minimum rate, it shall lie on that
person to prove that he has not paid wages at less than the minimum rate.

(6) Any agreement for the payment of wages in contravention of this provision shall be void.
[cf. 1909 c. 22 s. 6 U.K.]


Section: 6 Liability of agents and other persons 30/06/1997


(1) Where an offence for which an employer is by virtue of this Ordinance liable to a fine has in fact been
committed by some agent of the employer or other person, that agent or other person shall be liable to be proceeded
against for the offence in the same manner as if he were the employer, and either together with, or before or after the
conviction of, the employer, and shall be liable on conviction to the same punishment as that to which the employer is
liable.

(2) Where an employer who is charged with an offence against this Ordinance proves to the satisfaction of the
court that he has used due diligence to enforce the execution of the Ordinance, and that the offence was in fact
committed by his agent or some other person without his knowledge, consent, or connivance, he shall, in the event of
the conviction of that agent or other person for the offence, be exempt from any fine in respect of the offence, without
prejudice, however, to the power of the court under subsections (2) and (3) of section 5 to adjudge him to pay any sum
which appears to the court to be due to the person employed on account of wages.

(3) Where the immediate employer of any worker to whom a minimum rate of wages applies is himself in the
employment of some other person and that worker is employed on the premises of that other person, that other person
shall for the purposes of the provisions of this Ordinance relating to the penalty for not paying wages in accordance
with the minimum rate be deemed to be the employer of the worker jointly with the immediate employer.

[cf. 1918 c. 32 s. 5 U.K.]

Section: 7 Provision for case of persons employed by piece-work

where a minimum time-rate but no general minimum
piece-rate has been fixed

54 of 2000 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 54 of 2000 s. 3


(1) An employer shall, in cases where persons are employed on piece-work and a general minimum time-rate
but no general minimum piece-rate has been fixed, be deemed to pay wages at less than the minimum rate-

(a) in cases where a special minimum piece-rate has been fixed under the provisions of this Ordinance for
persons employed by that employer, if the rate of wages paid is less than that special minimum piece-
rate; and

(b) in cases where a special minimum piece-rate has not been so fixed, unless he shows that the piece-rate
of wages paid would yield, in the circumstances of the case, to an ordinary worker at least the same
amount of money as the basis rate.

(2) For the purpose of this section the expression "basis rate" (基本工資率) means the general minimum time-
rate or, where a rate, in this Ordinance referred to as a piece-work basis time-rate, has been fixed by the Chief
Executive in Council for the purpose of being substituted for the general minimum time-rate as the basis rate, the rate
so fixed.

(3) The Chief Executive in Council may fix a piece-work basis time-rate in any case in which, having regard to
all the circumstances of the case, he is of opinion that the general minimum time-rate does not form a proper basis for
the purposes of paragraph (b) of subsection (1), and a piece-work basis time-rate may be higher or lower than the
general minimum time-rate and may be fixed so as to apply universally to the trade or so as to apply to any special
process in the work of the trade or to any special area, or to any class of workers in the trade or to any class of workers
in any special process or in any special area.

(Amended 54 of 2000 s. 3)
[cf. 1909 c. 22 s. 8 U.K.]





Cap 63 - TRADE BOARDS ORDINANCE 4

Section: 8 Prevention of evasion 30/06/1997


Any shopkeeper, dealer, or trader, who by way of trade makes any arrangement express or implied with any
worker in pursuance of which the worker performs any work for which a minimum rate of wages has been fixed under
this Ordinance, shall be deemed for the purposes of this Ordinance to be the employer of the worker, and the net
remuneration obtainable by the worker in respect of the work after allowing for his necessary expenditure in
connection with the work shall be deemed to be wages.

[cf. 1909 c. 22 s. 9 U.K.]

Section: 9 Employers not to receive premium where minimum rates

in force
54 of 2000 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 54 of 2000 s. 3


(1) Where a worker in any trade, being a person to whom a minimum rate of wages fixed by the Chief
Executive in Council applies, is an apprentice or learner, it shall not be lawful for his employer to receive directly or
indirectly from him, or on his behalf or on his account, any payment by way of premium: (Amended 54 of 2000 s. 3)

Provided that nothing in the foregoing provisions shall apply to any such payment duly made in pursuance of
any instrument of apprenticeship not later than four weeks after the commencement of the employment.

(2) If any employer acts in contravention of this provision, he shall be liable on summary conviction in respect
of each offence to a fine of $500, and the court may by the conviction, in addition to imposing a fine, adjudge him to
repay to the worker or other person by whom the payment was made the sum improperly received by way of premium.
(Amended 22 of 1950 Schedule)

[cf. 1918 c. 32 s. 7 U.K.]


Section: 10 Powers of officers 30/06/1997


(1) Any officer of any Government department for the time being assisting in carrying this Ordinance into
effect shall have power for the performance of his duties-

(a) to require the production of wages sheets or other record of wages by an employer, and records of
payments made to outworkers by persons giving out work, and to inspect and examine the same and
copy any material part thereof;

(b) to require any person giving out work and any outworker to give any information which it is in his
power to give with respect to the names and addresses of the persons to whom the work is given out or
from whom the work is received, as the case may be, and with respect to the payments to be made for
the work;

(c) at all reasonable times to enter any factory or workshop or any place used for giving out work to
outworkers;

(d) to inspect and copy any material part of any list of outworkers kept by an employer or person giving
out work to outworkers; and

(e) to examine, either alone or in the presence of any other person, as he thinks fit, with respect to any
matters under this Ordinance any person whom he finds in any factory or workshop or any place used
for giving out work to outworkers, or whom he has reasonable cause to believe to be or to have been a
worker in any trade to which a minimum rate under this Ordinance is applicable, and to require every
such person to be so examined, and to sign a declaration of the truth of the matters in respect of which
he is so examined.

(2) If any person fails to furnish the means required by an officer as necessary for any entry or inspection or the
exercise of his powers under this section, or if any person hinders or molests any officer in the exercise of the powers
given by this section, or refuses to produce any document or give any information which any officer requires him to
produce or give under the powers given by this section, that person shall be liable on summary conviction in respect of
each offence to a fine of $250; and, if any person makes, or causes to be made, or knowingly allows to be made any
wages sheet, or record of wages, or record of payments, or any list of outworkers which is false in any material
particular, or produces or causes to be produced, or knowingly allows to be produced any such sheet, record or list to



Cap 63 - TRADE BOARDS ORDINANCE 5

any officer acting in the exercise of the powers given by this section, knowing the same to be false, or furnishes any
information to any such officer knowing the same to be false, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of
$500 or to imprisonment for 3 months. (Amended 22 of 1950 Schedule)

[cf. 1909 c. 22 s. 15 U.K.]

Section: 11 Officers to produce certificates when required 30/06/1997


Every officer of any Government department for the time being assisting in carrying this Ordinance into effect,
shall be furnished by the Commissioner for Labour with a certificate of his appointment, and when acting under any or
exercising any power conferred upon him by this Ordinance shall, if so required, produce the said certificate to any
person or persons affected.

(Amended L.N. 142 of 1974)
[cf. 1909 c. 22 s. 16 U.K.]


Section: 12 Power to conduct proceedings 30/06/1997


Any such officer may, although not a barrister or solicitor, prosecute or conduct before a court of summary
jurisdiction any proceedings arising under this Ordinance.

[cf. 1909 c. 22 s. 17(2) U.K.]

Section: 13 Consent of Commissioner to prosecution 30/06/1997


No prosecution under this Ordinance shall be commenced without the consent of the Commissioner for Labour.
(Amended L.N. 142 of 1974)

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