Foreign Domestic Helper Corner Foreign Domestic Helper 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 (Available In Chinese/English only)
    


IMPORTANT MESSAGES RELATED to COVID-19


Quarantine Arrangements for Foreign Domestic Helpers

Latest quarantine arrangements for foreign domestic helpers with effect from 1 April. Please click here for more details.

Quarantine Arrangements for Foreign Domestic Helpers (Press Releases)

2022.03.26 

Government increases supply of designated quarantine hotels to meet demand of Hong Kong residents returning from overseas

The Government said today (March 26) that it strives to increase the supply of designated quarantine hotels (DQHs) so as to meet the demand of Hong Kong residents returning from overseas (including foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) who are Hong Kong residents or have been granted visa to come to Hong Kong).

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The Government said today (March 26) that it strives to increase the supply of designated quarantine hotels (DQHs) so as to meet the demand of Hong Kong residents returning from overseas (including foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) who are Hong Kong residents or have been granted visa to come to Hong Kong).

The Government has announced that, with effect from April 1, the place-specific flight suspension mechanism for nine places would be lifted and the quarantine arrangement for Hong Kong residents returning from overseas would be adjusted. In anticipation of the growing number of returning Hong Kong residents, the Government will increase the supply of DQHs in an orderly manner to meet the demand, while guarding against the importation of COVID-19 cases at the same time.

Specifically, after assessing the supply and demand as well as the usage of community isolation facilities (CIFs), the Government decided to convert 13 hotels (list at Annex 1), which have earlier been turned into CIFs, back to DQHs to supplement over 4 400 rooms on top of the current supply. These DQHs will commence service progressively from April 1 onwards and will start to accept room bookings for the relevant period gradually. The Government has also asked existing DQHs to release around 500 blocked-off rooms to meet the demand. To sum up, there will be 38 DQHs providing over 10 000 rooms in total for selection by Hong Kong residents returning from places other than the Mainland and Macao.

Separately, three hotels which are currently isolation facilities will be reserved for FDHs to undergo quarantine starting from April 1. Along with one existing designated quarantine facility for FDHs, the four hotels (list at Annex 2) will provide about 1 600 rooms. For details regarding the quarantine arrangements for FDHs, please refer to the Labour Department's FDH Portal www.fdh.labour.gov.hk.

The Government will update regularly the list of DQHs and their booking status on the thematic website www.designatedhotel.gov.hk.

The Government fully implemented the Designated Quarantine Hotel Scheme on December 22, 2020, requiring all arrivals from specified places to undergo compulsory quarantine at DQHs with a view to further preventing the importation of COVID-19 cases and reducing contact between arrivals and the local community. Under the Scheme, 44 DQHs were expected to provide service from March 1 to July 31 this year. Nevertheless, the Government converted some of them into CIFs to tackle the fifth wave of the epidemic.

Attachment:
Annex 1 Annex 2 


COVID-19 Vaccination Programme 

Vaccination priority groups have been expanded to cover foreign domestic helpers (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202103/15/P2021031500626.htm). For online 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.


Leaflet on COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
(Leaflet on "COVID-19 Vaccination Programme")
Foreign domestic helpers are prioritised to get vaccinated
(Leaflet on "Foreign domestic helpers are prioritised to get vaccinated")

Last update on 13 April 2021

Coronavirus Disease 2019 - Employment Obligations and Rights

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 14 March 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


2022.06.27 

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).


2020.07.21

Employers must sign undertaking when applying for visas for foreign domestic helpers

In view of the latest development and severity of the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong, the Government has gazetted specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H, Laws of Hong Kong) (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202007/18/P2020071800038.htm) to impose conditions based on public health grounds on travellers who have visited certain specified high risk places (i.e. Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa) within 14 days before arrival in Hong Kong, in order to further reduce the number of imported cases. The relevant specifications will come into effect at 0.00am on July 25, 2020, and will remain effective until further notice.

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In view of the latest development and severity of the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong, the Government has gazetted specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H, Laws of Hong Kong) (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202007/18/P2020071800038.htm) to impose conditions based on public health grounds on travellers who have visited certain specified high risk places (i.e. Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa) within 14 days before arrival in Hong Kong, in order to further reduce the number of imported cases. The relevant specifications will come into effect at 0.00am on July 25, 2020, and will remain effective until further notice.

On July 18, 2020, the Labour Department (LD) reminded foreign domestic helpers (FDHs), employers and employment agencies to take note of the aforementioned specifications through a press release (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202007/18/P2020071800480.htm). For an FDH to whom the specifications apply, he/she must provide the following documents:

1. a letter or certificate in English or Chinese issued by a laboratory or healthcare institution bearing the name and identity card or passport number of the relevant FDH to show that:
(a) the relevant FDH underwent a nucleic acid test for COVID-19, the sample for which was taken from the relevant FDH within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure of the specified aircraft;
(b) the test conducted on the sample is a nucleic acid test for COVID-19; and
(c) the result of the test is that the relevant FDH had tested negative for COVID-19;
2. the original of the report for the test issued by the laboratory or healthcare institution bearing the name and identity card or passport number of the relevant FDH;
3. a letter in English or Chinese issued by the relevant authority of the government of the place in which the laboratory or healthcare institution is located certifying that the laboratory or healthcare institution is recognised or approved by the government; and
4. the relevant FDH has confirmation in English or Chinese of a room reservation in a hotel in Hong Kong for not less than 14 days starting on the day of the arrival of the relevant FDH in Hong Kong.

Employers shall bear the costs of the nucleic acid test and the accommodation expenses, as well as provide a food allowance to their FDHs during the compulsory quarantine.

To tie in with the above measures, the Immigration Department (ImmD) will implement a new arrangement on applications for FDH visas. With immediate effect, employers applying for a visa for their FDHs (including those applications having been submitted but pending approval or issuance of visas) will be required to sign an undertaking to indicate that they will arrange for the COVID-19 test and hotel quarantine for their FDHs, and be responsible for the relevant costs if their FDHs are arriving on or after July 25, 2020. If employers are found to have breached the undertaking, their FDHs may be denied entry into Hong Kong and future applications from those employers for employing an FDH may be refused.

The undertaking can be downloaded from the website of the ImmD at www.immd.gov.hk/eng/forms/hk-visas/foreign-domestic-helpers.html and obtained free of charge from the ImmD Headquarters and Immigration Branch Offices.

For enquiries on FDH visa applications, please contact the ImmD by calling the enquiry hotline at 2824 6111 or by email to enquiry@immd.gov.hk. For enquiries on employment rights and benefits, please contact the LD at the dedicated FDH hotline at 2157 9537 (manned by "1823") or by email to fdh-enquiry@labour.gov.hk.