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The attractiveness of Macau as an economy integrated into the second system of the People’s Republic of China and in the Belt and Road Initiative drives many international companies to set up their businesses and invest in this special region.

July 25,2019

by: Maria João Marques

One of the many challenges faced when setting up a company in Macau is its human resources and workforce. Macau has very strict Labor and Immigration laws and regulations that have to be complied with, to avoid future problems that may put the development of the Company and its investment at stake.

Most of the Companies, due to their specific scope of work, have to recruit nonresident workers since Macau, given its small dimension, does not have enough manpower available. And this itself proves to be quite challenging.

Macau’s Law 21/2009 and Law 7/2008 determine the rights and obligations of nonresident workers and the duties and obligations of their employers.

One of the most important obligations to the Companies that intend to hire nonresident workers is to get a work permit from the Macau Government. To get this permit, the fulfillment of legal and administrative requisites is required. Such provisions include an application to the government requesting a number of quotas, which have to be equal to the number of workers needed, and providing specific information related to the required manpower (i.e. if they are skilled or non-skilled workers) and the specific post that is going to be fulfilled.

A written fixed-term contract between the company and the nonresident worker is necessary and it must determine the majority of the rights and duties that the worker is entitled to. The term of the contract has to be specified, as well as mentioning that the date to start work depends on the Government’s authorization.

The job description, working hours, place of work, and salary (which has to be paid by bank transfer) are also mandatory items that have to be mentioned in the contract. The weekly day off and mandatory holidays can also be contemplated in the work contract, as well as the causes of dismissal, compensations and eventual clauses of confidentiality, depending on the scope of the job to be performed.

It is also highly advisable to have labor insurance in order to cover all work accidents or health issues related to the job that the workers may suffer, all in accordance with what is stipulated in the Decree-Law 40/95/M of August 14.

One of the most important points to bear in mind is that once the nonresident worker is authorized to start working in a specific position, they cannot perform any other different task, under penalty of the Company being subject to a contravention legal proceeding with serious sanctions. As for the hiring of resident workers, the proceedings are much simpler.

This challenging theme is to be continued in the next newsletter.

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