Payroll Calculation in Hong Kong

Payroll Calculation in Hong Kong

Navigating payroll for your Hong Kong-based company, whether established with employees or in its initial stages, may seem like a daunting task.

As you contemplate how to compensate your workforce and fulfil your responsibilities as an employer, rest assured that handling payroll in Hong Kong is a manageable endeavour. Beneath the surface complexity lies a straightforward process waiting to be unveiled. With the right guidance, you can confidently step into the realm of Hong Kong payroll and ensure smooth operations while prioritizing your employees' welfare.

What is included in the payroll calculation?

Let’s start with the basics. Payroll refers to the process of calculating and managing employees' compensation, including salaries, wages, bonuses, and deductions. It involves tracking working hours, calculating earnings, deducting taxes, and issuing pay checks. The key components of Payroll are:

  • Salary/Wages: The amount employees earn for their work, typically calculated based on an hourly rate, monthly salary, or commission.
  • Overtime: Additional payment for hours worked beyond regular working hours, usually calculated at a higher rate.
  • Bonuses: Extra compensation provided to employees for achieving certain targets or during festive seasons.
  • Deductions: Amounts subtracted from employees' earnings, such as taxes, social security contributions, and voluntary deductions like pension contributions. In Hong Kong, employers and employees need to make mandatory contributions to the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme to ensure retirement savings.

What is the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) in Hong Kong, and how does it affect payroll?

The Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) is a privately operated and organized savings program that mandates both employers and employees to make obligatory contributions to the employee's MPF account.

Employers and employees are each required to contribute 5% of the employee’s monthly cash income, up to HK$1,500 for salaries above HK$ 30,000, to a registered MPF scheme.

What is the process for calculating and processing salaries in Hong Kong

Now that we understand the components of payroll, let’s explore the critical steps for processing it:

  • Time and Attendance Tracking: Maintain accurate records of employees' attendance, working hours, and leave taken.
  • Salary Calculation: Calculate employees' salaries based on their work hours, contractual terms, and any additional compensation.
  • Deductions Calculation: Deduct MPF contributions and other authorized deductions from employees' salaries.
  • Net Pay Calculation: Calculate the final net amount employees will receive after deducting all applicable deductions.

Is there any penalty for not complying with the Payroll on time?

While payroll management may appear straightforward, accuracy is paramount. Ensuring employees are paid correctly and in compliance with legal requirements is essential. Errors in payroll processing can lead to financial penalties and damage employee morale.

In Hong Kong, failing to pay an employee's wages within 7 days after they become due can result in prosecution, a fine of HK$ 350,000, and imprisonment for three years. Additionally, employees are entitled to interest on outstanding wages, and if wages are not paid within one month from the due date, they may deem their employment contract terminated without notice.

Beyond this, the MPF Schemes Authority imposes a 5% contribution surcharge on outstanding MPF contributions, along with a financial penalty of HK$ 5,000 or 10% of contributions in arrears (whichever is greater) for missing contributions on time.


Mastering the basics of payroll is crucial for business owners and managers to ensure proper compensation and adherence to legal obligations. While this guide provides a foundation, payroll management complexity can increase as your business grows.

Contact us today and stay updated on tax laws and employment regulations.

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