How long does it take to process an application?

Due to the different processing procedures of different Consulates, generally, the time required from starting the application to the arrival of the Helpers is estimated as follows:

  • Filipino – two to two and a half months
  • Thai – two to two and a half months
  • Indonesian – three to three and a half months

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 in his/her visa or to ask him/her to perform non- domestic duties. Employers found to have breached the Immigration Ordinance may face prosecution.

Can I agree with my helper to pay lesser amount of wages than that stipulated in the employment contract?

No. All foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong, regardless of nationality, should receive at least the minimum allowable wages as stipulated in the employment contract. It is an offence if you pay your helper monthly wages below the minimum.

How long should a helper work before he/she can enjoy statutory holidays in a year?

If the Helper has worked continuously for the employer for 3 consecutive months preceding any of these holidays, he/she is entitled to enjoy statutory holidays.

How many days of annual leave shall be given to a helper in a year?

A Helper is entitled to paid annual leave after serving every period of 12 months with the same employer. The helper’s entitlement to paid annual leave will increase progressively from 7 days to a maximum of 14 days according to the length of service as follows:

Years of Service
No. of Days of Paid Annual Leave
9 and over

Can I appoint a medical practitioner for my helper in times of illness or injury?

Under the employment contract, a helper shall accept medical treatment by any registered medical practitioner as provided by the employer. It is advisable to reach prior agreement with your helper as to which medical practitioner should be consulted in times of illness or injury.

Can an employer or a helper terminate the employment contract before it expires?

Yes, either party may terminate the contract by giving not less than one month’s notice in writing or by paying one month’s wages to the other party.

How are severance payment and long service payment calculated?

The following formula applies to the calculation of both severance payment and long service payment:

(exclusive of the emigration fee from helper’s home country and the air ticket to Hong Kong)
[(last month’s wage x 2/3) x traceable years of service*]
*Service of incomplete year should be calculated on a pro rata basis.

Where can we seek further advice or assistance regarding the employment contract or the Employment Ordinance?

You can seek advice or assistance regarding the employment contract or the Employment Ordinance:

  • call the Labour Department 24-hour Telephone Enquiry Service at 2717 1771.
  • approach a branch office of the Labour Relations Division of the Labour Department nearest to the helpers workplace.
  • make reference to the booklet “A Concise Guide to the Employment Ordinance” which sets out briefly the main provisions of the Ordinance and is available at the branch offices of the Labour Relations Division of the Labour Department.

Under what circumstances does a dismissal contravene the law?

Dismissal in the following circumstances contravenes the law:

  • dismissal of a pregnant helper.
  • dismissal of a helper under paid sick leave.
  • dismissal by reason of a helper giving evidence or information in any proceedings or inquiry in connection with the enforcement of labour legislation, industrial accident, or breach of work safety regulations.
  • dismissal for trade union membership and activities or
  • dismissal of an injured helper before the parties concerned have entered into an agreement for employee’s compensation or before the issue of a certificate of assessment.

Can an employer deduct the helper's wages to compensate for damages to goods caused by him/her?

An employer can make deduction for damage or loss to the employer’s goods or property directly attributable to the 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.

Is the Helper required to apply for the new Smart I.D.?

Yes, you should arrange your Helper to change for the new Smart ID according to the announced schedule of the Hong Kong SAR Government.

Apply for a Domestic Helper