Hong Kong’s civil servants may receive a pay rise of 2.5 per cent, after Chief Executive John Lee and his Executive Council approved a proposal on Tuesday.

The government will meet with four civil servant consultative councils on Wednesday, and will aim to submit a proposal to the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee during this legislative year, Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung said on Tuesday.

Photo: Almond Li/HKFP.

The proposed pay rise, which deviated from suggestions put forward by the 2022 Pay Trend Survey report, would apply to all grades of civil servant.

The suggestions in the report, published in May, would have meant a net increase of 7.2 per cent for senior staff, 4.55 per cent for middle-rank employees and 2.04 per cent for lower-ranked staff.

Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung meeting the press on July 5, 2022. Photo: GovHK, via video screenshot.

But Yeung said that net pay trend indicators had “never been the sole consideration in civil service pay adjustment,” and that the government also took into consideration factors including the increase in the cost of living, and the economic situation.

When asked if staff morale would be affected, Yeung said she trusted that civil servants would “understand the rationale” behind the administration’s decision.

“As Hong Kong is progressing on a recovery path, I’m sure our civil service colleagues… will strive [with] their best to help the recovery,” said Yeung, adding that civil servants contributions in anti-epidemic work and other areas were “greatly appreciated” by Lee and the council when making the decision.

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce welcomed the pay adjustment, adding it was “concerned” about the higher amounts suggested in the Pay Trend Survey.

“The Chamber is pleased to see that the Government has taken the current challenging business conditions and uncertain economic outlook into consideration in formulating the pay adjustment,” it said.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.