Are You a Helper?

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via Amnesty International

Share a story

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.

Get help

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…

Contacts and helplines

Your consulate in Hong Kong

For assistance, it is better to call than email…

  • Philippines consulate: 2823-8501 or email 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
  • Nepal consulate: 2369-7813 or email
  • Myanmar consulate: 2845-0810 or 2845-0811 or email
  • Bangladesh consulate: 2827-4278 or 2827-4279 or email
  • Thailand consulate: 2521-6481 or email
  • Sri Lanka consulate: 2876-0828 or email

Your rights as a domestic helper

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

Guides from the Hong Kong Labour Department: