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Apply for a domestic helper will take around 2.5-3 months, therefore if employer has any concern about the application process, please give us a call anytime, and our agency will update and report every details regarding the application.
Q: What are the rights and responsibilities regarding employment?
A: The basic rights and responsibilities regarding the employment of foreign domestic helper are specified in the standard employment contract (ID 407). In addition, the Employment Ordinance is also applicable to employers and helpers alike.
Q: If the Domestic Helper often forgotten and make mistakes, what should the employer do?
A: Employer may provide detail explanation and demonstration to the domestic helper that would improve often forgotten and mistakes. Employer may also ask your domestic helper to make notes that can strengthen her memories and avoid the same mistakes again.
Q: Can I (Employer) concurrently enter into another employment contract with my helper?
A: No. The standard employment contract ( ID 407 ) is the only official employment contract for all foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong. Any other employment contract entered between the employer and the helper is not enforceable in Hong Kong.
Q: Can I (Employer) ask my domestic helper to work for another person or take up non-domestic duties?
A: No. It is an offence under the Immigration Ordinance to ask your helper to work for another person other than the employer named in her visa or to ask her to perform non-domestic duties. Employers found to have breached the Immigration Ordinance may face prosecution.
Q: Can I (Employer) take up part-time employment with my employers consent?
A: No. It is an offence under the Immigration Ordinance for you to take up any employment with any person other than your employer named in your visa. You will be liable to prosecution and removal for breaching the conditions of stay. If you are so removed you will not normally be allowed to come to Hong Kong again to work as a helper.
Q: Can I (Employer) ask my helper to work on his/her rest day?
A: No. Except in unforeseen emergency, you shall not require your domestic helper to work on his/her rest day. An employer who compels the helper to work on a rest day is in breach of the Employment Ordinance.
You may however, with the consent of your helper, substitute some other day for the appointed rest day. The substituted rest day must be granted within the same month and before the original rest day or within 30 days after it.
Q: Can I (Employer) ask my helper to perform duties after he/she returns home on his/her rest day?
A: You (Employer) should not compel your domestic helper to perform duties on his/her rest days. However, he/she may work voluntarily on his/her rest days.
Q: Can I (Employer) require my helper to work on statutory holidays?
A: Yes, but you have to give him/her, not less than 48 hours prior notice ; and an alternative holiday within 60 days before or after the statutory holidays.
Q: Can I (Employer) ask my helper to forfeit a statutory holiday in exchange for extra wages with his/her consent?
A: No. You must not make any form of payment to your helper in lieu of granting statutory holiday. An employer who contravenes this provision is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of HK$50,000.
Q: If a statutory holiday falls on my domestic helpers rest day, is it obligatory for me to grant him/her another holiday?
A: Yes. If statutory holiday falls on a rest day, a holiday should be granted on the day following the rest day which is not a statutory holiday.
Q: Who determines the timing of annual leave taken by a domestic helper?
A: A domestic helper shall take the paid annual leave to which he/she is entitled within the following 12 months at a time appointed by the employer after consultation with the domestic helper, confirmed by a written notice to the helper at least 14 days in advance.
Q: Should annual leave include rest days and statutory holidays?
A: No. Any rest day or statutory holiday falling within the period of annual leave will be counted as annual leave. Another rest day or holiday must be appointed.
Q: Should vacation leave be granted in addition to annual leave? Is it paid or unpaid?
A: Vacation leave of not less than seven days should be granted in addition to the domestic helpers entitled annual leave. However, whether this vacation leave shall be paid or unpaid would depend on the term agreed in Clause 13 of the standard employment contract.
Q: Can an employer compel his/her domestic helper to take no pay leave when the employer is going aboard?
A: The arrangement of taking no pay leave shall be of mutual consent to both parties. The employer shall not unilaterally impose such leave on his/her domestic helper.
Q: How should I (Employer) grant annual leave to my helper on completion or termination of employment contract?
A: When the employment contract is terminated, your domestic helper should be given payment in lieu of any annual leave not yet taken in respect of every 12 months completed service. For three but less than 12 months’ services in a leave year (i.e. a period of every 12 months after the commencement of employment), your domestics helper is entitled to pro-rata annual leave pay if the employment contract is terminated other than for the reason of summary dismissal due to his/her serious misconduct.
For Example, If your domestic helper resigned or was dismissed after serving 18 months of services and he/she had not yet taken any annual leave, he / she should be given payment in lieu of annual leave for the first 12 completed months of service (i.e. 7 days), plus the pro-rata sum in lieu of annual leave pay calculated to the days of employment ( i.e. 7 days + 3.5 days = 10.5 days ).
However, if your domestic helper is summarily dismissed due to his/her serious misconduct after serving 18 months, he/she would only be entitled to payment in lieu of annual leave for his/her first 12 months of service, i.e. 7 days.
Q: How should I (Employer) pay wages to my domestic helper?
A: You are advised to pay wages by cheque or by auto payment into your domestic helpers bank account. To do this, you have to obtain your domestic helper’s consent beforehand. If your domestic helper does not prefer such methods of payment, you should pay him/her wages in legal tender.
You are required to keep records of wage payments e.g. relevant bank statements. You should also provide a receipt for payment of wage and food allowance, and ask your helper to acknowledge receipt of the amount.
Q: When should I (Employer) pay wages to my domestic helper?
- You should pay wages to your domestic helper not less than once every month. Wages shall become due on the expiry of the last day of the wage period. You should pay wages to your helper as soon as practicable period. You should pay wages to your helper as soon as practicable but in any case not later than 7 days after the end of the wage period.
- If you wish to change the wage period and wage payment date, you should give prior notice to your domestic helper and clear the outstanding wages.
For example, your domestic helper commenced employment on 5th of January. If you intend to change the payment date to the 15th of each month, you should clear the balance of the 10 days wages (i.e. from 6th to 15th) within seven days after the 15th of January before you pay him/her on the new payment date in February.
Q: Can Employer deduct the domestic helper’s wages to compensate for damages to goods caused by him/her? What other items may an employer deduct from the domestic helpers wages?
- An employer can make deduction for damage or loss to the employer’s goods or property directly attributable to the domestic helper’s negligence or default. In any one case, the sum to be deducted shall be the cost of the damaged item, subject to a limit of HK$300. The total of such deductions shall not exceed one quarter of the wages payable to the helper in that wage period.
- The employer may also make deductions from the domestic helper’s wages under the following circumstances:
**Except with the approval in writing of the Commissioner for Labour, the total of all deductions, excluding those for absence from work, made in any one wage period must not exceed one half of the wages payable for that period.
- deductions for absence from work not exceeding a sum proportionate to the period of absence;
- deductions for recovery of any advance or over-payment of wages made by the employer to the helper. The total sum to be deducted shall not exceed one quarter of the wages payable to the employee in that wage period;
- deductions, at the helpers written request, for recovery of any loan made to the helper; and
- deductions which are required or authorized under any enactment to be made from the wages of the helper.
Q: What are the consequences if an employer fails to pay wages to the helper on time?
A: If an employer fails to pay wages to the helper within seven days from the due date of payment, he/she is required to pay interest on the outstanding amount of wages to the helper; and liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of HK$350,000 and to imprisonment for three years.
If wages are not paid within one month from the due date of payment, the helper may deem he/she has been dismissed by his/her employer without notice. Under such circumstances, the employer is required to pay wages in lieu of notice in addition to other statutory and contractual termination payment to the domestic helper.
Q: Should I pay for the medical expenses incurred by my helper when he/she is ill or injured?
A: Yes. When your domestic helper is ill or injured, you shall provide free medical treatment to him/her whether or not it is attributable to his/her employment. Free medical treatment includes medical consultation, maintenance in hospital and emergency dental treatment.
Q: Can I appoint a medical practitioner for my domestic helper in times of illness or injury?
A: Under the employment contract, a domestic helper shall accept medical treatment by any registered medical practitioner as provided by the employer. It is advisable to reach prior agreement with your domestic helper as to which medical practitioner should be consulted in times of illness or injury.
Q: Under what circumstances is a helper entitled to sickness allowance?
A: An employer should pay the domestic helper sickness allowance if:
Paid sickness days are accumulated at the rate of two paid sickness days for each completed month of service during the first 12 months of employment; and four paid sickness days for each month of service thereafter subject to a maximum of 120 days.
- he/she has accumulated the number of paid sickness days;
- the sick leave taken is not less than four consecutive days; and
- the sick leave is supported by an appropriate medical certificate.
Q: What is the rate of sickness allowance? When should it be paid?
A: The daily rate of sickness allowance is equal to four-fifths of the average daily wages of the domestic helper. It should be paid not later than the normal pay day.
Q: Can an employer dismiss the domestic helper who is on paid sick leave?
A: No, except in cases of summary dismissal due to the domestic helper’s serious misconduct. Otherwise, it is an offence under which the employer is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of HK$100,000.
The employer is also required to pay the domestic helper:
The domestic helper may also claim remedies for unreasonable and unlawful dismissal under the part of Employment Protection of the Employment Ordinance.
- wages in lieu of notice;
- a further sum equivalent to seven days wages; and
- his/her entitled sickness allowance.
Q: Under what circumstances is a helper entitled to pay maternity leave?
A: A domestic helper is eligible for 10 weeks paid maternity leave if she has been employed for not less than 40 weeks immediately before the commencement of maternity leave; she has given notice of pregnancy confirmed by a medical certificate to her employer; and - she has produced a medical certificate specifying the expected date of confinement if so required by the employer.
Q: Can an employer dismiss a pregnant helper?
- No. Except in cases of summary dismissal due to the helpers serious misconduct, an employer is prohibited from dismissing a pregnant domestic helper from the date on which she is confirmed pregnant by a medical certificate to the date on which she is due to return to work on the expiry of her maternity leave.
- An employer who contravenes the provision is liable to prosecution and, on conviction, a fine of HK$100,000. He/She is also required to pay the helper:
- wages in lieu of notice;
- a further sum equivalent to one month wages as compensation; and
- 10 weeks maternity leave pay if, but for the dismissal, she would have been entitled to such payment.
Q: Can an employer or a domestic helper terminate the employment contract before it expires?
A: Yes, either party may terminate the contract by giving not less than one month notice in writing or by paying one month wages to the other party.
Q: What should employer and domestic helper do upon termination or expiry of the employment contract?
For Employer: - You should clear all outstanding wages and other sums due to your domestic helper, preferably by payment through the bank, and obtain a receipt for all payments. - You are required to notify the Foreign Domestic Helpers Section of the Immigration Department in writing of the termination within seven days of the date of termination. It is not necessary to inform the Labour Department.
For Domestic Helper: - You should settle all accounts with your employer and ensure that all sums are paid to you before you sign any receipt. - You are required to notify the Foreign Domestic Helpers Section of the Immigration Department in writing of the termination within seven days of the date of termination. It is not necessary to inform the Labour Department.