Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong

Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong

Foreign domestic workers make up around 3 per cent of the Hong Kong population. In 2013, there were some 320,000 foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong, of which 50 per cent were from the Philippines, 47 per cent from Indonesia, and the rest from Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Hong Kong law states that such workers must reside with their employers. Their wages are subject to a statutory minimum of HK$4,010 per month from September 30 last year. There have been several high-profile court cases in which domestic workers have alleged torture and abuse at the hands of their employers. According to a 2013 report by Amnesty International, Indonesian migrant domestic workers are at risk of serious human and labour rights violations in Hong Kong.

It is employers of domestic helpers who need protection

Maybe Jane Ma has not tried to employ a Filipino domestic helper recently ('Rosy picture of helpers' lives is far removed from reality', May 19).

Saturday, 23 May, 2009, 12:00am

Rosy picture of helpers' lives is far removed from reality

Helen Seeh states that, given the legal protection in place for foreign domestic workers, she cannot see how employers can take advantage of helpers ('Foreign domestic helpers have very good deal in Hong Kong', May 9).

19 May 2009 - 12:00am

Many employers in HK still take advantage of domestic helpers

I feel compelled to respond to the letter by Cynthia Sze ('Helper's treated well by most employers', April 18).

2 May 2009 - 12:00am

Plight of many foreign domestic helpers goes largely unnoticed

It is clear from Cynthia Sze's letter ('Helpers treated well by most employers', April 18) that Elsie Tu ('Domestic helper policies are institutionalised discrimination', April 13) raises sensitive issues.

25 Apr 2009 - 12:00am

Words of warning: mind your language

If there is ever a lesson to be learned from the war of words, created by HK Magazine columnist Chip Tsao, it is: never underestimate the power of words. In his intended satirical portrayal of the arrogant attitude of employers of foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong, Tsao hit a raw nerve with the Filipino community here and abroad with his reckless usage of language.

4 Apr 2009 - 12:00am

What you need to know

Can an employer who hires a foreign domestic helper this month enjoy levy suspension?

Yes. The relief measure granting a two-year levy suspension became effective in August this year. The latest proposal has no effect on the measure.

Can employers get money back under the proposed five-year levy suspension if they have already paid the levy?

12 Nov 2008 - 12:00am

Homes with foreign help could get 7 levy-free years

Employers of foreign domestic helpers may have a seven-year levy holiday now that the government has proposed extending the two-year levy suspension to cover contracts signed in 2013, in recognition of the challenges posed by the economic downturn.

12 Nov 2008 - 12:00am

Maid levy opponents warn off minister

Leave Basic Law out of debate: Regina Ip

The labour chief was warned yesterday not to 'drop constitutional bombs' over the maid levy just so the government could have its way.

7 Nov 2008 - 12:00am

Regina Ip gets legal backing in her bid to scrap the maid levy

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee has won legal backing in her attempt to scrap the controversial levy on employers of foreign domestic helpers.

The Legislative Council subcommittee discussing a government amendment to suspend the HK$400-a-month levy for two years will hold final discussions tomorrow, and Mrs Ip has to submit her proposed amendment by November 17.

5 Nov 2008 - 12:00am

Mixed views on levy

Seven associations yesterday urged the government to scrap the HK$400 a month levy on employers of foreign domestic helpers, calling it unfair.

But five other associations said the government should consider the interests of the workforce before giving in to demands to abolish the levy.

2 Nov 2008 - 12:00am

Means test makes long-term sense, argues welfare boss

The proposal to introduce a means test for old age allowance applicants was a responsible one despite being unpopular, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said yesterday.

18 Oct 2008 - 12:00am

Wheelchair staff plan protest over pay row

More than 100 local aviation workers have vowed to stage a protest at Hong Kong International Airport over a wage cut which has coincided with the Paralympic Games.

Staff at Worldwide Flight Services, a concierge service provider at Chek Lap Kok airport, said their employer has cut their piece-rate wages and violated the Employment Ordinance.

3 Sep 2008 - 12:00am

Many maids abuse privileges they enjoy in Hong Kong

I refer to Elsie Tu's letter ('Some foreign domestic helpers in HK are treated like slaves', August 28).

3 Sep 2008 - 12:00am

Freeze of maid levy spells profits for illegal queue touts

The government's suspension of the levy on foreign domestic helpers is providing lucrative business to a 'queuing syndicate' that charges up to HK$120 for applicants rushing to apply for permits or travel documents outside the Immigration Department's Yau Ma Tei branch.

30 Aug 2008 - 12:00am

Talkback

What do you think of the maid levy suspension?

The suspension of the levy appeared at first to be a good idea for those employers who would benefit from it. However, the planning process was inadequate.

A lot of maids suffered as a result and their contracts were terminated prematurely.

29 Aug 2008 - 12:00am