Frequently Asked Questions

General

What do I get from hiring foreign domestic workers (FDWs) through FEA?

We're devoted to fair and ethical business operations, without compromising our high quality standards. By providing you with capable, well-suited workers that have been sourced responsibly, FEA wishes to increase the quality of service employers receive without increasing financial burdens upon foreign domestic workers.

Where can I find more information about the rules and regulations set out by the Hong Kong Government for employing a Foreign Domestic Worker?

You can find out more in our FAQs or go to the GovHK web page on Hiring Foreign Domestic Helpers or to the Labour Department guide for more detailed information.

Salary & Incentives

How much should I pay my domestic worker?

The Hong Kong Government determines the minimum allowable wage for a Foreign Domestic Worker and a salary of at least that amount must be agreed upon in the contract. However, as feeling appreciated in a work environment is conducive to higher productivity, many employers choose to raise the monthly wage in accordance to the quality of service provided. It is common that wages begin at the minimum required amount for the first few months and give the worker small raises or bonuses to show appreciation for quality work.

When should I pay my domestic worker’s wages?

The wage should be paid once every month, not later than 7 days after the end of the wage period. For instance, if your FDW started working on the 1st of September, the date of first payment should not be later than the 8th of October. If you wish to change the wage payment date, you should give adequate notice to your FDW.

How should I pay my FDW’s wage? Do I have to provide any specific documents?

Paying wages to your FDWs account via cheque or auto payment (direct debit/standing order) is recommended, however, cash is often the easiest; ask your FDW for their preference. The Hong Kong Government requires the employer to keep track of wage payments as well as provide receipts for these payments, which should be signed as acknowledgement by your FDW.

I am required to provide living accommodation for my FDW. Are there guidelines or requirements that I should follow?

Living accommodations for domestic workers vary greatly in Hong Kong. The legal requirement for living quarters is that the worker is provided with “suitable accommodation and with reasonable privacy”. Some households are able to provide a private room, however, many are not. The housing agreement, as long as it complies with the legal requirements, should be agreed upon by the employer and worker based on the needs of both parties. It is advisable to talk about the living arrangement during interviews so both sides understand the situation up front.

Is it better to provide my household’s domestic worker with a food allowance or to provide them with meals from the household’s weekly food store?

The decision to either provide a food allowance in addition to the monthly wage for a worker or provide food for them from the household lies between the employer and worker. Currently, the legal minimum food allowance per month is HK$964. For some employers it is easier to provide meals from the home because the worker is living in the home, and for some employers the monthly food allowance is a more dependable solution because it allows the worker to choose their own foods.

Days off & Vacations

How many days off should I give to my domestic worker per week? Do I have to give Sunday as the day off?

It is required to provide each worker at least one day off every week. The day-off is defined as a continuous period of 24 hours. You should not compel your helper to perform duties on his/her rest days, however, he/she may work voluntarily on his/her rest days. Rest days may be granted on a regular or an irregular basis, however, if the rest day is on an irregular basis, you should notify the worker of his/her rest days before the beginning of each month. While many employers so give Sunday as a rest day, it is not mandatory.

What holidays do I need to provide my domestic worker?

All foreign domestic workers are entitled to the following statutory holidays:

  • 1st of January
  • Lunar New Year’s day, second day and the third day of Lunar New Year
  • Ching Ming Festival (April 4th or 5th depending on the year)
  • 1st of May
  • Tuen Ng Festival, also known as the dragon boat festival
  • 1st of July
  • The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
  • 1st of October
  • Chung Yeung Festival
  • Chinese Winter Solstice Festival or Christmas Day (the employer can choose either)

For the exact dates of statutory holidays each year, consult the GovHK website.

If the helper has been employed continuously by the employer for three months preceding any of these holidays, he/she is entitled to the holiday pay. If you require your helper to work on a national holiday, it is required to give her no less than 48 hours prior notice and an alternative holiday 60 days before or after the actual holiday.

How many days of paid annual leave should I give to my domestic worker?

For the first 2 years of employment, a domestic worker is entitled to 7 days of paid annual leave each year, much like in any other employment contract. For every year of service thereafter, one additional day of annual leave is granted to a maximum of 14 days. See the table below for reference.

Years of Service Number of Days of Paid Annual Leave
1-2 7
3 8
4 9
5 10
6 11
7 12
8 13
9 or above 14

How is the timing of paid annual leave determined?

Paid annual leave should be determined by mutual consent of the employer and the worker and confirmed with a written notice to the worker at least 14 days in advance.

What am I required to pay during the paid annual leave period?

During the paid annual leave, employers are obligated to pay the worker the same amount they would during a normal working week. Flights to the worker’s home are not required as part of annual leave, however, many workers take their annual leave when they renew their contract with you and they are eligible for a flight home as specified in the standard employment contract.

If my domestic worker has to go back to the Philippines for an emergency, do I have to pay for the flight tickets?

No, the employer is not obligated to pay for any other flight tickets other than the air ticket specified in the standard employment contract. However it is the employer’s choice whether they choose to cover these costs or not.

Health & Healthcare

Should I cover my FDW’s medical expenses?

Yes. It is stipulated in the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance that employers provide free medical treatment, whether or not the injury/illness is related to the employment. This treatment includes emergency treatment, medical consultation and maintenance.

Is it necessary to provide health insurance for my domestic worker?

It is stipulated in the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance that the employer must have an insurance policy to cover his/her liability in the case of an injury or illness, in which case free medical treatment must be provided. Therefore it is recommended that the health insurance policy have full coverage for the worker, as any injuries or illnesses acquired during employment are legally viewed as the employer's responsibility.

General

Does FEA provide employment services for men?

FEA will always accept applications from both men and women. The likelihood of finding placement for any candidate is based on the demand from employers. As an employment service it is our duty to attempt to match the best candidates to their most suitable employers.

Does FEA accept applicants with prior broken or terminated contracts?

Fair Employment Agency welcomes all applications from domestic workers. The selection process that is used rates each candidate based on their compatibility to a specific employer’s job description and requirements. While some employers will request that their worker have no record of a broken contract, others may not list this as a priority. We strive to provide the best match for both employer and candidate.

Does FEA provide employment services to domestic workers from nations other than the Philippines?

In the future FEA aims to be able to accommodate domestic workers from all over Asia. However currently we have accreditation only from the consulate of the Philippines to process visas as an agency and are therefore focusing on Filipino clients.

When using fair employment agency, there are no placement fees for the workers. What parts of the process are the workers responsible for paying for?

Applicants are responsible for all expenses relating to their own travel documents, Phil Health, Pag Ibag and, if required, for their own training and TESDA exam fees. Under certain circumstances, applicants may also be required to pay for a fit to work medical examination.