Foreign Domestic Helpers' Corner Foreign Domestic Helpers' Corner

WELCOME MESSAGE

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
    

GENERAL POLICY

The Government has permitted the importation of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) since the 1970's for meeting the shortage of local full-time live-in domestic helpers. The arrangement is in line with the fundamental principle of the Government's labour policy that local workers should enjoy priority in employment. Employers can only import workers if they have difficulty in recruiting suitable local workers in Hong Kong.

The Government has prescribed the Standard Employment Contract (SEC) (form ID 407) to protect the interests of FDHs and their employers. The SEC for application of visa for FDHs is available for collection in the Information and Liaison Section of the Immigration Department on 2nd Floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

In addition to protection offered by labour legislations, FDHs enjoy additional protection, such as free accommodation, free food and free medical care by employers, as set out in the SEC. FDHs and their employers also have access to the free consultation and conciliation service provided by the Labour Department (click here for the addresses and contact details of offices of the Labour Relations Division of the Labour Department) in case of disputes. If no settlement could be reached by conciliation, the cases would be referred to the Labour Tribunal or the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board for adjudication.

To protect employers as well as the job opportunities of local workers, FDHs are not allowed to take up any other employment including part-time work, or to work at any places other than their employers’ addresses as specified in the signed contracts.

To provide a quick reference on the rights and obligations of employers and FDHs, the Labour Department has issued the "Practical Guide for Employment of Foreign Domestic Helpers - What foreign domestic helpers and their employers should know", covering answers to some of the common questions raised by the FDHs and their employers. You may also visit the “Publicity Materials and related Publications” section for more materials relating to rights and obligations of FDHs and employers under the labour laws and SEC.

For FAQs on contractual and statutory entitlements of FDHs, please click here.

Related link: Hiring Foreign Domestic Helpers


MINIMUM ALLOWABLE WAGE (MAW)

The MAW is the wage protection offered to FDHs. Employers must pay FDHs a salary that is not less than the prevailing MAW at the time of signing the contract. This safeguards FDHs against exploitation on the one hand, and protects local workers from competition with cheap foreign labour. The MAW will be reviewed regularly by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, having regard to the general economic and employment situation in Hong Kong.

With effect from 30 September 2023, the MAW for FDHs is $4,870 per month, which is applicable to employment contracts signed on or after 30 September 2023. The previous MAW was $4,730, applicable to contracts signed between 1 October 2022 to 29 September 2023.


IMPORTANT MESSAGES

Labour Department to hold online briefing for employers of foreign domestic helpers

The Labour Department will hold an online briefing on employment rights and obligations of employers of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) at 7pm on 12 July 2024 (Friday). A representative from the Equal Opportunities Commission will also share the best practices for creating an inclusive workplace for FDHs. The briefing will be conducted in Cantonese and admission is free of charge. FDH employers, especially first-time employers, are welcome to attend. Please click here for details.

Employment Briefing for Foreign Domestic Helpers (Quota Full)

To enhance the awareness of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) on their employment rights and benefits, the Labour Department will conduct a briefing for FDHs on 23 June 2024 (Sunday). Related publications and souvenirs will also be distributed. For details, please click HERE.

Labour Department highly concerned about the safety of foreign domestic helpers when cleaning outward-facing windows 

The Labour Department (LD) is highly concerned about the fatal accident that happened earlier on when a foreign domestic helper (FDH) was cleaning an outward-facing window. LD reminds employers that the following two conditions must be complied with before requiring an FDH to clean the outside of any window which is not located on the ground level or adjacent to a balcony (on which it must be reasonably safe for the helper to work) or common corridor:

1. the window being cleaned is fitted with a grille which is locked or secured in a manner that prevents the grille from being opened; and

2. no part of the FDH’s body extends beyond the window ledge except the arms.

The above requirement is clearly stated in the Standard Employment Contract for FDHs which should be complied with by employers and FDHs. If an employer requests an FDH to clean outward-facing windows in breach of the contract, the FDH should refuse such request. FDHs can also seek assistance from LD through the dedicated FDH hotline at 2157 9537.

LD appeals to any member of the public who has witnessed an FDH performing duties in an unsafe situation (e.g. work or stand at height without safety support) or in face of immediate danger to report the matter to the Police immediately.

Increase of Statutory Holidays

Starting from 2024, the first weekday after Christmas Day will be a newly added statutory holiday under the Employment Ordinance. For details, please visit: https://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/news/EAO2021.htm