Foreign Domestic Helper Corner Foreign Domestic Helper Corner

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This portal provides information relating to employment of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) in Hong Kong, including the policy on importation of FDHs, as well as the publication and publicity materials on the rights and obligations of FDHs and their employers under the labour laws and the Standard Employment Contract for hiring FDHs. Both FDHs and their employers are encouraged to read the information in this website as well as the relevant materials before entering into a contract, or during the course of employment.

While it is not a requirement by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government that employers must recruit FDHs through, or FDHs to obtain employment from, employment agencies (EAs), it is a very common channel through which Hong Kong people employ FDHs. Respective home countries of FDHs may also have such requirement and they vary across countries. FDHs and employers are also encouraged to read the "Engaging an employment agency" section for the points to note when using the service of EAs. They may also use the search engine in the page for identifying EA(s) with valid licence in Hong Kong.

For matters relating to the eligibility criteria and procedures for applying for employment of FDHs, please visit the website of the Immigration Department.

WHAT'S NEW
    


IMPORTANT MESSAGES RELATED to COVID-19


Quarantine Arrangements for Foreign Domestic Helpers

Please click here for more details of the latest quarantine arrangements for foreign domestic helpers.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 - Frequently Asked Questions relating to Foreign Domestic Helpers

Please click here to know more about the obligations and rights of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) and employers under the Employment Ordinance and Standard Employment Contract, and the relevant information, in relation to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

FDHs and employers may browse the "COVID-19 Thematic Website" (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/) for health advice on prevention of pneumonia and respiratory infection and details of various anti-epidemic measures. The website contains information in Chinese, English, Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Hindi, Sinhala, Bengali, Nepali and Urdu.

Last update on 12 August 2022

Other Related Information

Sickness Allowance and Employment Protection under Anti-Epidemic Measures

The Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 comes into operation on 17 June 2022. The Amendment Ordinance aims at strengthening the protection of the employment rights and benefits of employees when they are absent from work due to their compliance with specific anti-epidemic requirements and encouraging employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. For details, please visit: https://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/news/EAO2022.htm

Increase of Statutory Holidays

Starting from 2022, the Birthday of the Buddha will be a newly added statutory holiday under the Employment Ordinance. For details, please visit: https://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/news/EAO2021.htm


2022.08.10 

Latest quarantine arrangements for foreign domestic helpers

The Labour Department (LD) today (August 10) reminded foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) and employers that the Government will adjust the boarding, quarantine and testing arrangements for overseas inbound persons with effect from August 12 (Friday).

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The Labour Department (LD) today (August 10) reminded foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) and employers that the Government will adjust the boarding, quarantine and testing arrangements for overseas inbound persons with effect from August 12 (Friday).

An LD spokesman said, "FDHs who are coming to work in Hong Kong from August 12 onwards will be subject to quarantine under the '3+4' model, i.e. they will be subject to compulsory quarantine in designated quarantine hotels (DQHs) for three days, followed by medical surveillance at home for four days. They are required to take multiple tests during the medical surveillance period and the subsequent three-day monitoring period. FDHs will be subject to Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass during the medical surveillance period, and are not allowed to enter high-risk premises involving mask-off or group activities, as well as other premises requiring key protection (Note)."

The details of the quarantine and testing arrangements under the "3+4" model are as follows:

  • Three days of compulsory quarantine: The day of arrival at Hong Kong with the first nucleic acid test conducted is considered as Day 0. FDHs are required to undergo compulsory quarantine for three nights in DQHs. They are subject to daily rapid antigen tests (RATs) and are required to undergo a nucleic acid test on Day 2. Those who test negative consecutively will have completed the compulsory quarantine in the morning of Day 3.

  • Four days of medical surveillance: FDHs are then subject to medical surveillance at their employers' residence for four nights. They are subject to daily RATs. After obtaining negative results of RATs on Day 4 and Day 6 upon arrival at Hong Kong, they are required to undergo nucleic acid tests on the same days at a community testing centre, a mobile specimen collection station, or arrange a self-paid test at a local medical institution recognised by the Government. During the medical surveillance period, FDHs can work at their employers' residence and can go out after obtaining a negative result of an RAT on that day, but they will be subject to Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass and cannot enter high-risk premises involving mask-off or group activities, as well as other premises requiring key protection. FDHs can conduct daily essential activities of lower risk, e.g. taking transport, entering supermarkets and markets, etc. Those who test negative consecutively will have completed the medical surveillance in the morning of Day 7 upon arrival at Hong Kong.

  • Continuous monitoring and testing: Upon completion of the medical surveillance, FDHs are subject to self-monitoring during the subsequent three days and undergo daily RATs until Day 10. They are also required to take the last nucleic acid test on Day 9.

In view of the conditions of individual families, the Commissioner for Labour has given in-principle approval for employers to arrange FDHs to stay at licensed hotels or guesthouses that are not DQHs to complete the four-day medical surveillance and subsequent three-day self-monitoring. It is not necessary to make an application to the LD.

As for FDHs who have completed at least three nights of quarantine in DQHs before August 12 (i.e. those who arrived at Hong Kong between August 3 and 8), the Government has arranged for them to leave the hotels in an orderly manner starting from August 9 to 12 after confirming their negative nucleic acid test results. After leaving DQHs, FDHs are subject to medical surveillance at home, Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass, as well as compliance with the above requirements on the conduct of daily RATs and nucleic acid tests.

Streamlining procedures of boarding for Hong Kong and arrival quarantine and testing

Starting 0.00am on August 12 (Hong Kong time), all FDHs boarding flights to Hong Kong are required to meet the boarding requirements by completing the online Health & Quarantine Information Declaration of the Department of Health (www.chp.gov.hk/hdf/) in advance, declare a record of completion of vaccination and provide information on booking at DQHs. Upon successful confirmation of the DQH booking information by the system, FDHs will receive a green health declaration QR code. Persons holding a green health declaration QR code will not be required to further verify vaccination records and confirmation of DQH booking during check-in for their flights. Upon arrival at Hong Kong, they can also use the "express channels" with the green health declaration QR code and board the point-to-point transportation to DQHs.

As for inbound persons whose vaccination declaration meets the boarding requirements, but the system is unable to confirm their DQH booking information, they will be issued a pink health declaration QR code. They will be required to present DQH booking documentation during check-in for their flights.

Persons boarding flights must present the health declaration QR code (which can be a downloadable version of the QR code, a screen shot or a printout) for verification by airlines before being allowed to board the flight.

In addition to the above requirements, inbound persons will continue to be required to provide proof of pre-departure tests (only applicable to inbound persons aged 3 or above), i.e. (i) negative result proof of a PCR-based nucleic acid test within 48 hours of the scheduled time of departure; or (ii) documentary proof to show that they were infected with the virus 14 to 90 days prior to boarding for Hong Kong, together with a negative result proof of an RAT conducted within 24 hours of the scheduled time of departure.

For details, please refer to the press release issued by the Government on August 8 (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202208/08/P2022080800803.htm).

Employers or employment agencies (EAs) may visit the link below (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/designated-hotel.html) for details of DQHs. If employers or EAs wish to arrange FDHs to undergo medical surveillance and self-monitoring in licensed hotels or guesthouses, please press here for the list of licensed hotels and guesthouses. The dedicated FDH portal (www.fdh.labour.gov.hk) of the LD also provides information and useful links relating to quarantine arrangements for FDHs.

Should there be enquiries on the quarantine arrangements for FDHs, please contact the LD through its 24-hour hotline at 2717 1771 (manned by 1823), by email to fdh-enquiry@labour.gov.hk or through the online form on the dedicated portal (www.fdh.labour.gov.hk).

Note:

Persons under the category of Amber Code cannot enter the following premises subject to "active checking" of the Vaccine Pass and other premises in the capacity of a customer or visitor:

Premises regulated under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) which are subject to "active checking" of the Vaccine Pass:

  • Premises required to use the QR Code Verification Scanner and is regulated under Cap. 599F, i.e. catering business premises (including bars or pubs), amusement game centres, bathhouses, fitness centres, places of amusement, indoor places of public entertainment, party rooms, beauty parlours and massage establishments, club houses, clubs or nightclubs, karaoke establishments, mahjong-tin kau premises, indoor sports premises, swimming pools, cruise ships, indoor event premises, barber shops or hair salons and religious premises.

  • Premises required to inspect the Vaccine Pass visually as far as feasible, i.e. outdoor places of public entertainment, outdoor sports premises and outdoor event premises.

Other premises: residential care homes for the elderly, residential care homes for persons with disabilities, schools and designated healthcare premises.

Ends/Wednesday, August 10, 2022


2022.06.27

Measures to assist foreign domestic helpers and employers cope with COVID-19 pandemic extended

The Government today (June 27) announced that the measures to assist foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) and their employers to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended.

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The Government today (June 27) announced that the measures to assist foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) and their employers to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended.

Extension of validity period of existing contracts

The Government will continue to implement the previous measure to enable employers to extend the validity period of the existing contracts with their outgoing FDHs. For all FDH contracts that will expire on or before September 30, 2022, the Commissioner for Labour has given in-principle consent for extending the employment period stated in Clause 2 of the Standard Employment Contract for a maximum period of six months, on the basis that such variation is mutually agreed upon by both the employer and the FDH concerned. However, applications for further extension of contracts which have already been extended under the previously announced flexibility arrangements will not be considered.

If arrangements cannot be made for a newly hired FDH to come to Hong Kong within the above-mentioned six-month extended period, and the employer needs to continue to employ his/her FDH beyond the six-month extended period, the employer should consider applying for a contract renewal with the existing FDH.

Deferral of return to the place of origin

Under normal circumstances, an FDH on a renewed contract with the same employer, or due to start a new contract with a new employer upon the expiry of an existing contract, may apply to the Immigration Department (ImmD) for deferring his/her return to the place of origin for not more than one year after the existing contract ends, subject to the agreement of his/her current employer or new employer.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government will further extend the current flexibility arrangement. If an FDH is unable to return to his/her place of origin within the aforementioned one-year period, he/she may, upon agreement with the employer, apply to the ImmD for a further extension of the limit of stay until the end of his/her contract such that he/she may return to the place of origin within that period. Such applications are acceptable within eight weeks prior to the expiry of the existing limit of stay of the FDHs (i.e. same as those for contract renewal).

The Government reminds employers and FDHs that the above flexibility arrangement must be mutually agreed between the employer and the FDH, and that the requirement of FDHs returning to their place of origin continues to be in place. Employers should arrange for their FDHs to return to their place of origin within the extended limit of stay.

The Government will continue to closely monitor the situation and review the above measures and flexibility arrangements as and when necessary.

To tie in with the disease prevention measures and reduce the flow of people, the Government appeals to members of the public to submit visa applications for FDHs and further employment of FDHs through online means, including through the ImmD mobile application. Apart from setting up a dedicated "Online Services for Foreign Domestic Helpers" webpage at www.immd.gov.hk/fdh, the ImmD further enhanced the visa application service through better use of digital technology and launched electronic services for visa application and an "e-Visa" arrangement on December 28, 2021. Upon approval of their applications, the applicants may pay the visa fee through various means and download the "e-Visa" on their personal mobile devices or print the "e-Visa". Please refer to the relevant press release for details (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202112/22/P2021122200489.htm). Members of the public may also enquire about the application status and submit supplementary documents and notification of premature termination of an employment contract via the above dedicated webpage. The process does not require them to visit an office of the ImmD in person to go through the formalities, which is both convenient and time-saving, while reducing the need to travel and contributing to the efforts to fight the virus together.

The Government also urges employers and their FDHs to be mindful of the limit of stay and the passport validity of the FDHs and arrange for applications for visas and replacement of passports in advance.

For enquiries on employment rights and benefits of FDHs, please contact the Labour Department (LD) at the dedicated FDH hotline at 2157 9537 (manned by 1823) or by email to fdh-enquiry@labour.gov.hk. The dedicated FDH portal (www.fdh.labour.gov.hk) set up by the LD also provides information and useful links relating to the employment of FDHs. For enquiries on FDH visa applications, please contact the ImmD by calling the enquiry hotline at 2824 6111 or by sending email to enquiry@immd.gov.hk.


2022.02.24

Employers should not dismiss foreign domestic helpers who have contracted COVID-19

The Labour Department (LD) today (February 24) reminded employers that they should not dismiss foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) who have contracted COVID-19 and should continue to observe the requirements under the Employment Ordinance (EO) and the Standard Employment Contract (SEC) amidst the pandemic.

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The Labour Department (LD) today (February 24) reminded employers that they should not dismiss foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) who have contracted COVID-19 and should continue to observe the requirements under the Employment Ordinance (EO) and the Standard Employment Contract (SEC) amidst the pandemic.

An LD spokesman said, "Employers who employ FDHs should observe their obligations and requirements under the EO and the SEC. We would like to remind employers that they should not terminate an employment contract because the FDH has contracted COVID-19. Under the EO, an employer is prohibited from terminating the contract of employment of an employee on his/her paid sickness day, except in cases of summary dismissal due to the latter's serious misconduct. An employer who contravenes relevant provisions of the EO commits an offence and is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $100,000. Besides, if an employer has breached the EO, he/she will not be considered eligible to employ an FDH for a period of time and his/her visa applications for FDHs will be refused. Employers are also reminded of possible violation of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO) if they treat their FDHs less favourably (e.g. by dismissing them) because the FDHs have been infected with or recovered from COVID-19."

Where the EO is applicable, an employer should grant sick leave and sickness allowance to the eligible FDH in accordance with the EO if the FDH falls sick. Where a sick FDH has not accumulated sufficient paid sickness days to cover the period of his/her sick leave, the Government appeals to the employer to be compassionate and consider granting the FDH paid sick leave. In addition, according to the requirements in the SEC, employers should provide to their FDHs free and suitable accommodation as well as free medical treatment.

The spokesman continued, "FDHs assist families of Hong Kong to do household chores and look after the elderly and children. Their contribution to Hong Kong is significant. Currently, the number of FDHs has already decreased to about 340000 from the peak of about 400000 in January 2020 owing to the pandemic. Mutual support and understanding are all the more necessary in face of the pandemic. To meet the needs of local families, we must strengthen support and protection for FDHs in order to maintain Hong Kong as an attractive place for FDHs to work. The Government appeals to employers and FDHs to fight the virus together. Employers must not arbitrarily dismiss infected FDHs. Any FDH dismissed by the employer because of contracting COVID-19 may approach the LD for assistance."

FDHs and employers may call the FDH hotline at 21579537 (handled by 1823), send an email to fdh-enquiry@labour.gov.hk or contact the LD through the online form on the dedicated Portal (www.fdh.labour.gov.hk). For information relating to COVID-19 and the DDO, employers may visit the Equal Opportunities Commission's website
(www.eoc.org.hk/en/news-and-events/covid-19-and-discrimination).


COVID-19 Vaccination Programme 

For vaccination booking and other details, please visit the designated website of the Vaccination Programme (www.covidvaccine.gov.hk). The website contains information in Chinese, English, Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Hindi, Sinhala, Bengali, Nepali and Urdu.


Last update on 12 August 2022