IMPORTATION OF LABOUR

Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDHs)

General Policy
The Government has permitted foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) to work in Hong Kong since the 1970's to meet the shortage of local full-time live-in domestic helpers. The arrangement is in line with the fundamental principle of the Government's labour policy that local workers enjoy priority in employment. Employers can only import workers if they cannot recruit suitable local workers in Hong Kong.

The conditions of employment and stay in Hong Kong applicable to FDHs are clearly specified in the standard employment contract to protect the interests of FDHs and their employers. The standard employment contract for FDHs is available for collection in the Information and Liaison Section of the Immigration Department on 2nd Floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

To provide a quick reference on the rights and obligations of employers and FDHs, the Labour Department has issued a "Practical Guide for Employment of Foreign Domestic Helpers - What foreign domestic helpers and their employers should know" (PDF), covering answers to some of the common questions raised by the FDHs and their employers.

In addition to protection offered by labour legislations, FDHs enjoy additional protection, such as free medical care by employers, as set out in the standard employment contract. There are well-published and long-established channels to settle disputes between FDHs and their employers. These include the Labour Department, the Labour Tribunal and the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board. To protect employers as well as the job opportunities of local workers, FDHs are not allowed to take up any other employment including part-time work.

For FAQs on contractual and statutory entitlements of FDHs, please click here.

Minimum Allowable Wage (MAW)
The Administration regularly reviews the MAW for FDHs. Employers must pay FDHs a salary that is not less than the prevailing MAW at the time of signing the contract. This safeguards FDHs against exploitation on the one hand, and protects local workers from cheap overseas competition on the other. In the light of the general economic and employment situation in Hong Kong, the Administration has decided that, with effect from 1 October 2014, the MAW for FDHs should be increased by $100 from $4,010 to $4,110 per month. The new MAW applies to employment contracts signed on or after 1 October 2014.

Employment of FDHs
The Immigration Department has issued a "Guidebook for Employment of Domestic Helpers from Abroad", covering the eligibility criteria, application procedures and points to note for persons who wish to employ FDHs. For frequently asked questions about the application procedures, please visit the website of the Immigration Department.

Further related information are provided here.