Here's your guide to hiring a foreign domestic worker to help you in your home.
4 March 2014| Last updated on 16 August 2017
Hong Kong is one of those great places where the middle class can afford to hire a domestic helper to help them care for their home and their family. We take a look at what requirements a person must meet to hire a FDH (foreign domestic helper), where to find a domestic worker and the immigration procedures for foreign domestic workers.
Who can hire
Only those with a valid Hong Kong residence permit and a household income of no less than HK$15 000 can hire a FDH. If the income is less than the stated amount, the employer must have assets of comparable amount to support the expenses for the entire (i.e. two-year) contractual period.
Where to recruit a foreign domestic worker
There are many ways in which one can recruit a domestic worker. The easiest is to go directly through an agency; this is also the most costly way as agency fees can be expensive. One can also recruit directly via personal ads. Either way it is imperative that the employer enters into a standard employment contract (for a sample of said contract click here>>) as specified by the Director of Immigration and apply to the Immigration Department for an employment visa for the helper.
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How much will it cost?
You should pay a foreign domestic helper a salary that is no less than the Minimum Allowable Wage (MAW) announced by the Government and prevailing at the date of signing the employment contract for employing the foreign domestic helper. The MAW is currently set at HK$4,010 per month.
Under the Standard Employment Contract, you must provide the helper with suitable accommodation and with reasonable privacy, free food (or food allowance in lieu, which is HK$920 per month at present) and free passage from the helper’s home country to Hong Kong and return to the home country on termination or expiry of the contract. The above levels of the MAW and food allowance are applicable to all contracts signed on or after 1 October 2013.
As stipulated in the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (Cap. 282), an employer must take out insurance policy to cover his/her liability both under the Ordinance and at common law for injury at work in respect of an employee. In addition, you are required to provide the helper with free medical treatment under the Standard Employment Contract when he/she is ill or suffers personal injury during the period of employment. You are therefore strongly advised to take out an insurance policy with full medical and hospitalization coverage for the helper. You may also consider taking out a comprehensive insurance policy which provides medical and hospitalization coverage and satisfies the requirement under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance at the same time.
More details of the employment of foreign domestic helpers and the employment terms can be found in the Guidebook for the Employment of Domestic Helpers from Abroad and other documents.
Scope of duties
A FDH’s scope of duties include only duties to be carried out in the employer’s home. The employer should not allow the worker to do any duties outside the home for any other person or entity. Doing so will result in a criminal prosecution.
FDHs are not permitted to drive as part of their duties and should one require an FDH to take over some driving duties they would have to apply to the Immigration Department .
Terminating the contract
If you decide to terminate the employment contract of your foreign domestic helper, you should notify the Immigration Department in writing within seven days of the date of termination. You can now do it online