Hong Kong is a vibrant economy where almost all available and eligible persons are in the work force. This means that many families will have to delegate their household chores to domestic helpers. The most common form of obtaining the service of a domestic helper is either through engaging a part-time local worker or a full-time foreign domestic helper. The latter is probably the predominant practice adopted by most households in Hong Kong.
Despite the large number of domestic helpers in Hong Kong, in particular foreign domestic helpers earning their living here, there is no statutory law exclusively governing matters related to their employment. The Employment Ordinance ( Chapter 57 of the Laws of Hong Kong) remains the major statue governing all matters in relation to employment. In essence, the Employment Ordinance covers all employees, whether temporary, part-time or full-time. It also covers all foreign domestic helpers working in Hong Kong. Put it simply, all domestic helpers, as with all employees, are entitled to the basic employment rights, for example, statutory holidays, wage protection, protection against anti-union discrimination, etc.
For general employment matters, readers may refer to the topic of “ Employment Disputes ” under the CLIC website. Here we shall focus only on issues specifically applicable to the employment of domestic helpers.