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FAQ > Employer Obligation > F08

Q: Are meal break of employees counted as hours worked for computing minimum wage? View : 59
A:

When an employee during his meal break also falls under the circumstances of hours worked as specified in the Minimum Wage Ordinance, such meal break is hours worked for computing minimum wage. Hence, if an employee is, during his meal break, in accordance with the employment contract or with the agreement or at the direction of the employer, in attendance at a place of employment, irrespective of whether he is provided with work or not, such time should be included in the hours worked for computing minimum wage. On the contrary, meal break falling outside the provisions on hours worked in the Minimum Wage Ordinance is not included in the hours worked for computing minimum wage.

Besides, if meal break is regarded as hours worked by the employee according to his employment contract or agreement with the employer, such time must also be taken into account in computing minimum wage. Although the Employment Ordinance does not provide specific regulation for meal break, after an employer and his employee have included meal break as hours worked by the employee in accordance with their employment contract or agreement, the employer shall not unilaterally vary or remove such contractual terms or agreement concerning hours worked. The Employment Ordinance already accords protection to employees in this respect.

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