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FAQs on home leave

What is home leave?

Domestic helpers must return to their home country for at least 7 days for every employment contract – this is called home leave. Home leave applies to all contracts – both domestic helpers processing new contracts, and those renewing contracts with the same employer.

Is home leave separate to annual leave?

Yes, home leave is a separate benefit to annual leave. In addition to the home leave requirement, domestic helpers are also entitled to annual leave.

Do I have to pay my domestic worker when they are on home leave?

Home leave can be paid or unpaid. This should be decided at the time of signing the contract.

Can a domestic worker defer home leave?

If the domestic worker CANNOT process locally in Hong Kong…

…they must return home before starting a new employment contract. This typically applies to first-time workers, or those leaving broken or terminated contracts. Be wary of any employment agencies offering a ‘return to Macau’ option, this is illegal and can leave both you and the domestic worker at risk.

If the domestic worker CAN process locally in Hong Kong…

…they can defer home leave and instead go back within one year of the contract commencement date (refer to the visa for this date). For example, if a domestic helper’s official contract commencement date is 1 November 2017, this means that the domestic helper needs to go back to their home country for at least 7 days and re-enter Hong Kong on or before 1 November 2018.

Do I have to pay for the flights for home leave?

With every employment contract, you are responsible to pay for tickets from the home country to Hong Kong, and from Hong Kong to the home country. Note that by ‘home country’, this actually means the helper’s place of origin. This means that you are responsible for paying for all travel costs to get the domestic helper back to their home town or village.

For domestic helpers who are taking their leave before contract commencement…

This is means you are responsible for a one-way ticket from the home country to Hong Kong (upon contract commencement) and a one-way ticket from Hong Kong to the home country (upon contract termination or expiry).

For domestic helpers who are deferring leave…

In this case, when the domestic worker takes home leave, the employer is only responsible to cover a one-way trip from the home country to Hong Kong. The employer is also responsible for a one-way ticket from Hong Kong to the home country (upon contract termination or expiry).

When considering flights, these links may be useful:

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Last updated on August 7th, 2019
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