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Hong Kong

Basic Economic Summary


Hong Kong expects to see a rise in demand in system development, data, innovation, artificial intelligence, internet of things and software development. (Robert Walters 2020 salary guide)

On the software engineering side, there is continued high demand for experience in C++ and Python to accommodate the increasing prevalance of blockchain. Developers with a background in Java, C# and PHP web development and data analysts specialising in SQL, Python and Advanced excel are also sought after as well. There has been a trend towards candidates developing specific skillsets due to increasing specialisation within the IT industry. (Robert Walters 2019 tech salary guide)

Basic Information

  • Local Languages: English (Official), Chinese (Official), Cantonese
  • Major Economic Hubs: Hong Kong
  • Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Population: 7,583,253
  • Time Zone: UTC+08:00 (HKT)
  • Date Format: dd/mm/yyyy

Useful Information

  • GDP Per Capita (in USD): $49,036
  • Exchange Rate (HKD/USD): 0.13
  • PISA Ranking: 4

Local Universities

Renowned Local Universities:

University Rankings
Chinese University of Hong Kong World Ranking: 1

Ranking in Hong Kong: 88

University of Hong Kong World Ranking: 2

Ranking in Hong Kong: 91

City University of Hong Kong World Ranking: 3

Ranking in Hong Kong: 137

Hong Kong Polytechnic University World Ranking: 4

Ranking in Hong Kong: 201

Hong Kong Baptist University World Ranking: 5

Ranking in Hong Kong: 549

Further details on the top universities in Hong Kong can be found on Webometrics.

Salary Data

Average Monthly Salary of Jobs:

Job Title Average Salary Range (HKD) Average Salary Range (USD)
Accounting Manager 45,000 – 70,000 5,804 – 9,028
Software Developer 20,000 – 35,000 2,579 – 4,514
Data scientist 30,000 – 45,000 3,869 – 5,804
UX/UI Designer 40,000 – 60,000 5,159 – 7,738
Project Manager 25,000 – 45,000 3,224 – 5,804
Sales Manager 58,333 – 83,333 7,523 – 10,748

The table below shows the average salaries for some permanent roles in 2021. More information about salaries in Hong Kong can be found on Salary Explorer.

For tech professionals staying in a role, 24% expect a 1-6% annual salary increment, 49% expect a 7-15% annual salary increment while 13% expect a 15%+ annual salary increment.

Talent Sourcing Tips

English Proficiency: Moderate Proficiency

Number of LinkedIn Users (2021): 2,347,000

Top Local Job Portals: JobsDB, Indeed, Neuvoo

More information about job portals in Hong Kong can be found here.

Top Recruitment Agencies: Michael Page Hong Kong, Connected Group, Egon Zehnder


Employer Payroll Tax (Per Month)

Type of Tax Salary Range (HKD) Contribution (%)
Mandatory Provident Fund ≤ 30,000 5%
Mandatory Provident Fund > 30,000 $1,500

The mandatory provident fund can be found here.

Employee Payroll Tax (Per Month)

Type of Tax Salary Range (HKD) Contribution (%)
Mandatory Provident Fund < 7,100 0%
Mandatory Provident Fund ≤ 30,000 5%
Mandatory Provident Fund > 30,000 $1500

The general employee payroll tax can be found here.

Employee Monthly Income Tax

Income Group (HKD) Contribution (%)
1 – 4,166.67 2%
4,166.67 – 8,333.33 6%
8,333.33 – 12,500 10%
12,501 – 16,666.67 14%
> 16,666.67 17%

Hong Kong follows a progressive income tax model. The source for the employee income tax can be found here.

Minimum Wage & Payroll

Minimum Wage

The Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) is HK$37.50 per hour.

Payroll Cycle

Paid monthly. Salary due on the last day of wage period. Grace period of 7 days is given after which employer is subjected to pay interest on top of the wages.


13th Month Salary

Not mandatory.

Employee Stock Options

There is no statutory provision with regards to employers providing Employee Stock Options as a part of an employee’s compensation package. 

However, the general market trend in Hong Kong suggests that a company is usually willing to offer between 8% to 20% of its total share capital. This, again, will depend upon a number of factors such as the industry sector, size of the company, and the management culture. 

Working Hours & Statutory Leave

Maximum working hours

No statutory maximum working hours or standard working hours but those 18 years and below have regulated working hours.

Average working hours are 42 hours per week.

Public Holidays

The public holidays can be found here.


Annual Leave
Years of Employment Number of Annual Leave
1 7
2 7
3 8
4 9
5 10
6 11
7 12
8 13
≥ 9 14

Sick Leave
Category Description of Category Number of Days (Per Year)
1 Supported by medical certificate 36
2 When number of paid sick leave exceeds category 1, medical certificate attending the employee as an in-patient or out-patient should be produced 84

Employees must provide a medical certificate.

Parental Leave

Maternity Leave

Employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.

Paternity Leave

Usually 4-14 weeks from actual confinement date.

Offboarding & Termination

Termination Process

The termination process is simple.

Contract termination may take place with adequate notice from the party or through payment in lieu of notice. Notice period and pay in-lieu are dependent on whether the employee is on probation as well as contractual considerations.

Notice Period

Probation Probation Period Contractual Provision Notice Period
On Probation Within the first month of probation. There is contractual provision for notice period. As per contract (Minimum 7 days)
  Within the first month of probation No contractual provision for notice period Minimum 7 days
No/After Probation   There is contractual provision for notice period. As per contract (Minimum 7 days)
    No contractual provision for notice period. Minimum 1 month

Severance Pay

Salary Type Severance Pay Calculation
Paid monthly 2/3 of last month’s pay x reckonable years of service
Paid daily 18 days’ wage x reckonable years of service

Probation period

Usually lasts for 1-3 months.


Hong Kong has labor laws requiring employers to carry insurance to protect employees against workplace injuries. Employees Compensation Insurance (it is also referred to as EC Insurance) is mandatory under Hong Kong Employee's Compensation Ordinance enacted by the Labour Department. 

For a business with less than 200 employees, the minimum limit must be HK$100 million, and for a business that employees more than 200 employees a minimum limit of insurance of HK$ 200 million.

Further information on insurance compliance for employers in Hong Kong can be found here.


Currently, there is no VAT in Hong Kong.

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