NOTE:    The Chinese and Portuguese versions of the text of this law are legally binding.

This English version is for reference only.


Law no. 4/98/M, July 27
Framework Law on Employment Policy and Workers’ Rights

Article 1


This law defines the framework of employment policy and workers’ rights.

Article 2

(Grounds and limits)

1. The employment policy is based on the maintenance of the economic structure, the regular functioning of the market, the respect of workers’ rights, and the recognition of the social value of work.

2. The employment policy includes the joint participation of social partners, which shall be institutionally organized, and presupposes the respect of their collective autonomy.

3. In pursuing the objectives stated in this law, the employment policy shall be coordinated with other social and economic policies.

Article 3

(Social coordination)

1. The Administration recognizes the function of social partners as co-responsible for the execution of the employment policy, and guarantees the necessary conditions for their freedom, independence, and representativeness.

2. The Administration guarantees the functioning of an autonomous structure of tripartite social coordination, which is made of representatives of employers, employees, and the Governor.

Article 4

(Choice of profession and access to employment)

1. Except where legal restrictions apply, Macau residents enjoy the freedom to choose a profession or a type of work.

2. Any discriminatory limitation which affects the equality of access to employment is prohibited.

3. The requirement of specific academic or professional qualifications shall not be considered as a discriminatory limitation for the purpose of the previous paragraph.

4. Equality of opportunities of promotion to a higher appropriate position is ensured, without taking into account any issue other than seniority and individual aptitude.

Article 5

(Workers’ rights)

1. All workers, regardless of age, sex, race, nationality, or territory of origin, shall have the right to:

a) the remuneration of work, in accordance with its quantity, nature and quality;

b) equality of salary for equal work or work of equal value;

c) work in conditions of hygiene and safety;

d) medical assistance;

e) a maximum limit of daily working time, to a weekly rest, and to periodic paid holidays, as well as to receive remuneration on public holidays;

f) become a member in associations representing their interests.

2. Special protection shall be guaranteed to working women, namely during pregnancy and the postnatal period, to minors and to handicapped people in work.

Article 6


Objectives of employment policy are the following:

a) To promote the sustained development of the economy and social justice;

b) To achieve and maintain a situation of full employment;

c) To improve the employment structure;

d) To improve the workers’ living conditions and to protect the workers’ rights;

e) To promote the technical abilities of workers and to stimulate their training;

f) To eliminate the causes of unemployment in advance;

g) To assist workers in a situation of unemployment;

h) To reinforce the participation of social partners in the implementation of employment policy;

i) To promote participated solutions for socio-labour conflicts.

Article 7


The achievement of the objectives mentioned in the previous article requires the adoption of measures aiming namely at:

a) The improvement of legislation on working relations, and the amendment of its system of penalties;

b) The strengthening of training and professional guidance;

c) The establishment of a minimum salary and its regular update;

d) The operation of a free public service of job placement, and the supervision of private job placement activities;

e) The promotion of professional mobility, for the necessary of achieving a balance between job supply and demand;

f) The protection of the workers’ health, the prevention of occupational injuries and diseases, and the compensation of damage arising from them;

g) The granting of priority to resident workers in access to employment in public works and in rendering public services;

h) The elimination of child labour;

i) The recruitment of handicapped persons to render work suitable for their condition;

j) The improvement of the social security system.

Article 8

(Vocational training and guidance)

1. The reinforcement of vocational training requires the adoption of measures namely to:

a) Stimulate the coordination of vocational training;

b) Create training programmes with curricula corresponding with the real needs of the economy;

c) Stimulate the training of workers provided by employers;

d) Support the entry in the labour market of students who have completed vocational training courses;

e) Prevent the reappearance of technologic unemployment.

2. Professional guidance, which shall be conducted in cooperation with the structures of the education system, shall include information on the contents, expectations, possibilities of promotion, and working conditions of the different professions, as well as on the choice of a profession and the respective vocational training.

Article 9

(Supplement of local human resources)

1. The hiring of non-resident workers shall only be permitted if it is intended to overcome the lack or insufficiency of resident workers who are capable of rendering service of similar cost and efficiency, and it shall have a time limit.

2. Despite the occurrence of the requirements mentioned in the previous paragraph, the hiring of non-resident workers is not permitted if it contributes significantly for the reduction of workers’ rights, or directly or indirectly causes the termination of employment contracts without just cause.

3. The hiring of non-resident workers depends upon an administration permission, which shall be granted individually to each productive unit.

4. The hiring of non-resident workers may be defined by sectors of economic activity, depending on market needs, the economic cycle, and the growth trends of each sector.

Article 10


The Governor shall adopt the measures necessary to the development, implementation, and execution of the framework mentioned in this law.

©2016 Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region - Labour Affairs Bureau
Address: Avenida do Dr. Francisco Vieira Machado 221-279, Edifício Advance Plaza, Macau
Telephone: (853) 2856 4109    Fax: (853) 2855 0477    E-mail:

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