Hong Kong’s civil servants slated to get a pay rise after two years, will the private sector follow suit?

Hong Kong’s civil servants slated to get a pay rise after two years, will the private sector follow suit?


The proposed increases of up to 7% for upper salary bands appear to be in line with Hong Kong's private sector, where a candidate-driven market may see job hoppers outpacing the wage increases earned by the civil servants.

After two consecutive years of pay freeze, Hong Kong’s civil servants may see more money in their pockets for the coming year.

The Pay Trend Survey Committee (PTSC) released the results of its 2022 Pay Trend Survey Report (2022 PTS Report) on 18 May 2022 (Wednesday), suggesting junior, middle-level and senior civil servants may get a pay rise of 2.04%, 4.55%, and 7.26% respectively after deducting the costs on increments, as reported by RTHK.

For reference, the statement put by the PTSC listed out slightly different figures, which it noted were subject to verification: 

  Basic Pay Indicator+Additional Pay Indicator=Gross Pay Trend Indicator
Lower Salary Band
(below $24,070 per month)
Middle Salary Band
($24,070 - $73,775 per month)
Upper Salary Band
($73,776 - $150,915 per month)

The committee said the survey results reflect the pay adjustments of nearly 130,000 employees in 111 companies over the 12-month period from April 2, 2021, to April 1, 2022, which comprise 83 larger companies (employing 100 or more staff) and 28 smaller companies (employing 50 to 99 staff).

Per its statement: "Members of the PTSC are at present studying the PTS Report in detail. Subject to their analysis and deliberation, the PTSC will verify and consider whether to validate the findings of the survey at its meeting scheduled for 25 May 2022."

As such, the PTSC will submit the survey findings to the HKSAR government for consideration after discussing and verifying the results next week (25 May 2022).

A spokesperson for the Civil Service Bureau said the government will fully consider all relevant factors under the established annual civil service pay adjustment mechanism in determining the annual civil service pay adjustment.

“These factors include the 'net PTIs' calculated from the 'gross PTIs', the state of Hong Kong's economy, the Government's fiscal position, changes in the cost of living, the pay claims of the staff side and civil service morale," said the spokesperson.

Will the private sector follow suit?

Commenting on the results, Scott Thomson, Group Managing Director, Links International told HRO that the salary increments proposed in the guide are, in fact, relatively low compared to the trend in the local private sector this year, as the private sector is already increasing salaries significantly in Hong Kong to retain and attract the best talent.

"In Hong Kong it’s a very candidate driven market this year due to basic supply and demand - job postings in Hong Kong have increased by over 75% since January 2021. At the same time, high emigration in the first three months of 2021 means (there are) less candidates to choose from which, means Hong Kong employers are having to pay more to attract and retain the best talent,” explained Thomson.

For a quick snapshot, the following is data from Links International on expected salary increments in Hong Kong this year, for those who stay at their current job as well as for those who change jobs:

links international hong kong salary increments

READ MORE: Hong Kong's executives can expect pay rises in 2022 either by job hopping or staying put

Lead image / 123RF
Salary table / Provided by Links International

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