Tips for new employers to hire helpers

What are the rights and responsibilities regarding my employment as a helper OR as an employer of a foreign domestic helper?

  • The basic rights and responsibilities regarding the employment of foreign domestic helpers are specified in the standard employment contract (ID 407) (Appendix I). In addition, the Employment Ordinance is also applicable to employers and helpers alike.

Will there be any sanctions imposed on those helpers and employers for breaching the terms and conditions specified in the standard employment contract?

  • Both the helper and employer are required to undertake to the Government of the HKSAR at Part 6 of the “Visa/Extension of Stay Application Form for Domestic Helper from Abroad” (ID 988A) and “Application for Employment of Domestic Helper from Abroad” (ID 988B) that they will strictly observe, among other things, the helper’s conditions of stay as well as the wage level, live-in and accommodation requirements.

  • If a helper breaches the undertaking, he/she may not be allowed to work in Hong Kong again. If an employer breaches the undertaking, his/her future application to employ foreign domestic helpers may also be refused.

  • Employers should not be easily persuaded to provide false information in the application and the standard employment contract pertaining to the employment of foreign domestic helpers, or to collude with others in deception with the intent to employ foreign domestic helpers by paying wages less than that stipulated in the standard employment contract. In a case, an employer who furnished false information to the Immigration Department about the wages of his/her foreign domestic helper was sentenced to 4 months' imprisonment and ordered to pay the wages in arrears to the helper. Employers are advised to abide by the law and pay the full amount of wages stated in the standard employment contract to their foreign domestic helpers. Otherwise, it is an offence and the employer is liable to prosecution.

  • Moreover, if an employer or a helper commits offences under the Employment Ordinance or the Immigration Ordinance, they are also subject to prosecution.

What should I do upon my helper’s arrival to commence work?

  • You should pay your helper the daily food and travelling allowance of HK$100 per day, as specified in the employment contract, for his/her journey to Hong Kong. 

  • You should also reimburse him/her the cost of preparing all necessary documents.

  • You are advised to explain to your helper the duties you expect him/her to perform. Such duties must be domestic duties as specified in the “Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties”* of the employment contract.

  • You should fix a date on which you will pay wages to your helper. 

  • You should appoint rest days for your helper. 

  • You should agree with your helper whether food will be provided during employment. If it is provided, it must be free of charge. If no food is provided, a food allowance of the amount specified in the employment contract should be given to the helper each month.

  • You should take out employees’ compensation insurance against your liabilities for your helper’s injuries at work. This is a requirement under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance. Failure to do so is an offence in law, punishable by a maximum fine of HK$100,000 and imprisonment for 2 years. Besides, you are required to provide free medical treatment to the helper according to the standard employment contract. You are therefore advised to take out a comprehensive insurance policy with both medical insurance and employees' compensation insurance to manage the related expenses when they arise. 

Can I concurrently enter into another employment contract with my helper?

  • 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.

Can I ask my helper to work for another person or take up non-domestic duties?

  • No. It is an offence under the Immigration Ordinance to ask your helper to work for another person other than the employer named on his/her visa or to ask him/ her to perform non-domestic duties. Employers found to have breached the Immigration Ordinance may face prosecution.

The information provided on this website is for reference only. No express or implied warranty is given by the Sunlight Employment agency as to the accuracy of the information and will NOT be liable for any errors in, omissions from, or misstatements or misrepresentations (whether express or implied) concerning any such information.