The Society for Community Organization (Soco) on Sunday urged the government to raise the minimum wage, saying it has not taken into account the living standards of workers when setting the wage level.
Authorities have proposed raising the hourly rate to HK$40 from HK$37.5 starting May 1, and the public has until the end of Monday to give their views on the overall mechanism.
At a press conference, Soco said the new minimum wage will translate to a monthly salary of HK$8,320, which is not enough for the average worker to make ends meet.
Shing, a security guard earning minimum wage who spoke at the briefing said he hopes the government will consider further raising the wage level.
"I want to get married but I haven't saved up enough money. So I need to be frugal," he said.
Sze Lai-shan, Soco's deputy director, said the administration did not assess the impact of the minimum wage on reducing poverty, and a meagre wage floor could contribute to generational poverty.
She said the government should set the minimum wage at HK$53.4, after considering the median salary of Hong Kong people and the projected inflation level.
Sze also urged officials to review the minimum wage annually – instead of every two years.
Under Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Ho Kai-ming, said after meeting with Soco that it is natural that workers and employers have different views on wage hikes, and the government will leave it to the market to decide.
"What the government needs to do now is to expand the workforce, to ensure there is a sufficient workforce, and workers and employers can choose freely," he said.