Employers lack understanding of the protection of Filipino maids and Indonesian maids under the Labour and Sex Discrimination Ordinance, according to the CSC and Community Survey in Hong Kong.
Only half of the employers surveyed knew that maternity leave was available for Filipino and Indian maids.
81% of employers surveyed did not know that Filipino maids and Indian maids have the right to take legal action if they do not allow maternity leave.
84% of employers surveyed said they could fire their Filipino maid if they were unable to work due to pregnancy.
A female helper is eligible for a continuous period of 14 weeks’ paid maternity leave^ if she :
Has been employed for not less than 40 weeks immediately before thecommencement of scheduled maternity leave;
Has given notice of pregnancy and her intention to take maternity leave toher employer after the pregnancy has been confirmed. For example, thepresentation of a medical certificate confirming her pregnancy to the employer;and
Has produced a medical certificate specifying the expected date of confinement if so required by the employer.
The daily rate of maternity leave pay is a sum equivalent to four-fifths of the average daily wages* of the helper. It should be paid on the normal pay day of the helper.
An employer, after payment of all maternity leave pay on the normal pay day, may apply to the Government for reimbursement# of the 11th to 14th weeks’ maternity leave pay payable and paid under the Employment Ordinance. For details, please refer to the relevant information on the Reimbursement of Maternity Leave Pay Scheme published by the Labour Department.
No. Except in cases of summary dismissal due to the helper’s serious misconduct, an employer is prohibited from dismissing a pregnant 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 upon the expiry of her maternity leave.
An employer who contravenes the provision is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of HK$100,000. He/she is also required to pay the helper :
Payment in lieu of notice;
A further sum equivalent to 1 month’s wages as compensation*; and
Maternity leave pay if, but for the dismissal, she would have been entitled to
The helper may also claim remedies for unreasonable and unlawful dismissal
under the part of Employment Protection of the Employment Ordinance. See
^Female helpers whose confinement occurs before 11 December 2020 are entitled to 10 weeks’paid maternity leave.
#The Reimbursement of Maternity Leave Pay Scheme is an administrative scheme of the Government.
* For details of the calculation of maternity leave pay and compensation, please refer to “A Concise Guide to the Employment Ordinance”. Copies of the Guide can be obtained at the branch offices of the Labour Relations Division or downloaded from the homepage of the Labour Department.