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Things to Note Before Employing

Things to Note Before Employing

Things to Note Before Employing

1.What are the rights and responsibilities of foreign domestic helpers and their employers?

The basic rights and responsibilities of foreign domestic helpers and their employers are stated in the Standard Employment Contract (ID 407) for employing foreign domestic helpers. In addition, all provisions of the Employment Ordinance also apply to employers and helpers.

2.Will there be penalties for violating the terms and conditions in the Standard Employment Contract?

a. Helpers who violate the undertakings may be refused entry for future employment in Hong Kong. Employers violating the undertakings may be refused for future helper employment applications.

b. Do not falsify information or conspire to hire helpers below the wage levels in the contract. Some employers have been jailed 4 months and ordered to pay owed wages for under-reporting wages to Immigration. Follow the prescribed wages to avoid prosecution.

c. Violating the Employment Ordinance or Immigration Ordinance can also lead to prosecution.

3.What should I note when the helper arrives to start work?

a. Pay the helper HK$100 daily food and transport allowance for the journey as per the contract. Reimburse documentation expenses.

b. Explain the helper’s duties as stated in the Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties.

c. Set pay days.

d. Set rest days.

e. Agree if meals will be provided for free during employment. If not, pay the food allowance per the contract.

f. Purchase employees’ compensation insurance as required by law. Maximum penalty for failing to do so is a HK$100,000 fine and 2 years’ imprisonment. The contract also requires you to provide free medical treatment. Consider a domestic helper insurance policy.

4.Can I require the helper to sign another employment contract?

No. The Standard Employment Contract (ID 407) is the only valid contract. Any other private contracts are unenforceable in Hong Kong.

5.Can I require the helper to work for others or perform non-domestic duties?

No. Requiring helpers to work for employers other than the one specified on the visa, or perform non-domestic duties, violates the Immigration Ordinance and can lead to prosecution.

6.What should I note when starting work for my employer?

a. Present receipts for documentation expenses to your employer for reimbursement.

b. Ask your employer to explain your duties and understand their requirements. You should perform the domestic duties stated in the Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties* in the contract.

c. Keep your personal identity documents (ID card, passport, etc) yourself. No one, including your employer or agency staff, should keep them without your permission.

7.Can I live outside my employer’s residence?

No. You must live and work at your employer’s residence as per Clause 3 of the Standard Employment Contract. Your employer must provide you free accommodation meeting the standards in the Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties*. (Exception: If an outside residence was approved by the Director of Immigration before 1 April 2003, the helper can continue living there as long as the same employer employs helpers continuously without a break exceeding 6 months.)

8.Can I take on part-time work with my employer’s consent?

No. It is illegal to work for any employer other than the one specified on your visa, under the Immigration Ordinance. You can be prosecuted for breach of condition of stay and repatriated. Repatriated helpers are usually barred from working in Hong Kong again.

9.What should I do if my employer requires me to work for others or perform non-domestic duties?

You should report to the Immigration Department Investigation Division.

10.What should I note regarding my personal safety and rights when working in Hong Kong?

a. Call 999 immediately if you suffer physical harm or threats to your safety.

b. Call the Labour Department’s 24-hour enquiry hotline 2157 9537, or visit their offices, if you do not receive wages or your employment rights are infringed.

c. Keep your passport and HKID card yourself. No one else should keep your passport.

d. Do not sign any documents you do not understand or agree to.

*The contract includes a Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties detailing the accommodation standards and domestic duties to be performed by the helper.