Editorial:Raising minimum wage level

【明報專訊】Employees and employers have failed to reach a consensus on the statutory minimum wage level for next year. Whether the wage level should be revised upwards or frozen is now the government's decision to make. Under the regulations, the minimum wage level should be reviewed biyearly. In the past, it was usually adjusted to correspond with inflation over the previous two years and other factors. Thus, employees have reason to demand retroactive adjustments to safeguard the rights of grassroots wage earners. However, employers and some academics are worried about the continued economic downturn amid the pandemic and whether an upward revision of the wage level will add to the burden of employers. If employers have to lay off staff to control costs, the problem of unemployment will be exacerbated instead.