The Macau government is reviewing a law change aimed at stopping tourists from seeking work while travelling through the former Portuguese enclave.
The legislative amendment was submitted on Friday to the Standing Committee for the Coordination of Social Affairs for discussion.
Wong Chi Hong, director of the Labour Affairs Bureau, said visitors who intend to do domestic work in Macau or apply for non-specialized jobs must get a work permit before they arrive in Macau, Jornal Do Cidadao reported.
Employers have to apply for work permits from the government for the people they want to hire.
Wong said the proposed amendment could identify visitors entering Macau for travel purposes or coming to the city to find a job.
Currently, a tourist can visit Macau and become a non-local employee without leaving the territory.
Wong Sai Man, who is on the Macau Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, said he feared the amendment would affect non-resident workers in the city, as they would have to leave Macau for a certain time before getting a work permit for a new job or a new employer.
Wong said it was not easy for employers to supplement their workforce especially if they have a small company or if a family needs people to take care of young children and elderly citizens.
Choi Kam Fu, an employee representative of the committee, said the amendment could not stop visitors from hunting job in the city but it would add one step to employment procedures, and migrant workers could, in theory, leave Macau for Hong Kong and return on the same day if they could get a work permit.