This page is available in many languages – please distribute….
- Apakah anda seorang tenaga kerja Indonesia? Click for Indonesian.
- Ikaw Ba Ay Isang Kasambahay? Mga Payo Para Sa Mga Kababayan Nating Domestic Worker (Kasambahay) sa Hong Kong. Click for Tagalog.
- আপনি কি গৃহকর্মী / গৃহসহায়ক/সহায়িকা? হংকং এ কর্মরত/রতা বাংলাদেশী গৃহকর্মী / গৃহসহায়ক/সহায়িকাদের জন্য বাংলায় পরামর্শ/নির্দেশ। Click for Bengali.
- သင္ဟာ အိမ္အကူ တစ္ဦးပါလား။ ေဟာင္ေကာင္ အိမ္အကူမ်ားအတြက္ ျမန္မာဘာသာျဖင့္ အၾကံျပဳခ်က္။ Click for Burmese.
- คุณเป็นลูกจ้างใช่หรือไม่ ข่าวสารในไทยสำหรับแรงงานในฮ่องกง Click for Thai.
- Sinhala – coming soon.
If you are a foreign domestic worker in Hong Kong, we would like to help tell your story. Perhaps you know of a happy or positive story from Hong Kong’s helper community that you would like to share? Or maybe a more difficult issue which you think may be interesting to the media? Contact us here and take a look at our partner, Stories Beyond Borders, who also cover HK helper issues. (You can remain anonymous – we will protect your identity if you are worried about your job/employer). Click here for other ways to support us.
The HK Helpers Campaign cannot help workers in trouble, but if you, or a helper you know, is having problems, you can take a look at the useful information below…
- Hong Kong Police: Dial 999 in an emergency or if you are injured. Click here to find the number of your local police station.
- For free legal advice, counselling and support for helpers in distress, contact Helpers for Domestic Helpers: 2523-4020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org OR the Christian Action Ethnic Minorities & Domestic Worker Programme: 2739-6193 or email email@example.com OR Jabez Counselling: Ms. Clara Ho at 9830 8324 or email firstname.lastname@example.org OR if you feel you may self-harm, The Samaritans 24-hour crisis and multi-lingual suicide prevention hotline: 2896-0000 or email email@example.com
- For guidance if you are abused or trafficked, contact Liberty Asia‘s multi-lingual Victim Crisis Centre Emergency Hotline for abused/trafficked victims: 2100 3300.
- If you require safe, emergency accommodation, speak to Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge: 2721-3119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- For advice and support regarding sexual violence, contact Rainlily/ACSVAW: 2392-2569 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org OR contact the Anti-480 Anti Sexual Violence Resource Centre on 2625-4016 or email@example.com
- For advice and support regarding finances, contact Enrich: 5648-0990, email firstname.lastname@example.org or attend one of their financial planning workshops.
- For advice and support if you are concerned about becoming pregnant, are pregnant or if you have given birth to a child in Hong Kong and are worried about your visa/employment, or have overstayed due to pregnancy, contact Pathfinders: 5190-4886 or email email@example.com
- For issues with your contract, contact the Hong Kong Labour Department: 2717-1771.
- For immigration issues, contact the Hong Kong Immigration Department: 2824-6111.
- For other assistance relating to Hong Kong government services, call the Government Residents Hotline: 1868.
- See this list of other Hong Kong foreign domestic helper NGOs, charities and support groups.
- Keep up with events and follow the Facebook pages for Helpers for Domestic Helpers, Bethune House, ACSVAW, HK Women’s Workers Association, Mission for Migrant Workers, FADWU, Open Door, Christian Action, Pathfinders and HK Helpers Campaign.
For assistance, it is better to call than email…
- Philippines consulate: 2823-8501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Emergency numbers (holiday & after 6pm): 9155-4023 (consulate) or 6080-8323 (Labour) or 6345-9324 (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration).
- Indonesia consulate: 2890-4421 or email email@example.com
- Nepal consulate: 2369-7813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Myanmar consulate: 2845-0810 or 2845-0811 or email email@example.com
- Bangladesh consulate: 2827-4278 or 2827-4279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thailand consulate: 2521-6481 or email email@example.com
- Sri Lanka consulate: 2876-0828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information from Helpers for Domestic Helpers…
- Understand: Download a manual from Helpers for Domestic Helpers (English, PDF) to help understand your rights as a domestic worker. Know your rights as a regular resident in Hong Kong with this guide from the Civil Liberties Union. Learn about financial planning and entrepreneurship by attending an Enrich workshop.
- Abuse: Most employers are fair but some can cheat, abuse or take advantage of their helpers. Learn about your rights and do not let yourself be mistreated or exploited. Keep a record of any problems with times, places and dates – you will need to provide proof of mistreatment. Take photos, seek medical treatment and keep copies of all medical records and receipts.
- Police: Call the police if you are threatened or physically/sexually harmed. Ask the police for a reference number and read police statements carefully before signing them. Ask the police for help and documents in your language. Do not make up details (like times, dates) if you cannot remember them. Do not admit to doing anything you did not do. Get copies of anything you sign – it is your right. Seek help and complain should the police not act appropriately or take you seriously.
- Payment: Every foreign domestic worker in Hong Kong should be paid at least HK$4,010 per month (if contract is signed after October 2013).
- ATM cards: If an employer keeps your ATM card, contact your bank to cancel it and get a new one. Read more here.
- Underpayment: Never sign a receipt that does not accurately show the amount paid to you. Never sign a blank receipt. Always keep a record of wages, even if you do not have receipts. Read more here.
- Days off: You should have one, full 24-hour day off every 7 days. You should have 12 days off every year on Hong Kong statutory holidays (click here to see 2014 dates). You should not feel forced to work on a day-off, though you can volunteer to do so, if you wish.
- Holidays: You should get 7 days paid annual leave for your 1st and 2nd year in Hong Kong, progressively increasing by one day each year of service up to a maximum of 14 days per year.
- Accommodation & food: You should have suitable furnished accommodation and free food or a food allowance of HK$920 (for contracts signed after October 2013. This is in addition to your salary).
- Medical care: You should have free medical treatment.
- Air ticket: You should be given a free air ticket to your home country (or cash to buy a ticket) at the end of any contract.
- Pregnancy: If you become pregnant, it is illegal for your employer to fire you. In most cases, you are entitled to 10 weeks of paid maternity leave. Contact Pathfinders for more information.
- Hong Kong agencies: If a Hong Kong employment agency charges you more than HK$401 to find a new employer, they are breaking the law (if your contract was signed after October 2013). Read more here.
- Indonesian agencies: If you are Indonesian and your agency charged you more than Rp.15,550,000 (or HK$15,550) for training, they are breaking Indonesian law. Read more here.
- Philippine agencies: If you are Filipino and your agency charged a placement fee commission, they are breaking Philippine law. They may, however, charge for training, medical examination, photo, video and other necessary miscellaneous expenses. Read more here.
- Your possessions & passport: Your employer cannot take or keep your possessions, especially your phone, passport, contract or documents. Keep copies of all important papers. Read more here. Read more here.
- Work outside of the home: It is against immigration law to work anywhere other than the address on your contract. You cannot work for another employer or business or do non-domestic duties. Doing so will risk prison sentence or deportation, so tell the Immigration Department as quickly as possible (contact details above). Read more here.
Guides from the Hong Kong Labour Department:
- Practical guide for employers and foreign domestic helpers…
- Foreign domestic helpers rights and protection under the Employment Ordinance…
- Important notes for foreign domestic helpers using employment agencies…