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.
The two-year suspension of the levy on foreign maids will start next month, a month earlier than planned, after the government heeded calls from employers' and workers' groups who said an earlier date was necessary to avoid confusion.Tuesday, 22 July, 2008, 12:00am
Employers wait for freezing of payment
At least seven foreign domestic helpers have been sacked since the government decided last week to suspend the maids' levy from September, a migrant workers' centre said.
Sari Canete, a project organiser at the Asian Migrant Worker Centre, said those workers had been fired as a result of the levy suspension.21 Jul 2008 - 12:00am
No fee collected by the government is popular. But few have been as controversial as the HK$400-a-month levy imposed nearly five years ago on employers of foreign domestic helpers, which came along with an equivalent cut in maids' minimum pay.19 Jul 2008 - 12:00am
Dismissing helpers too costly, says official
The Immigration Department yesterday dismissed fears that the timing of a two-year suspension of the levy on foreign maids could lead to widespread sacking of helpers.18 Jul 2008 - 12:00am
Maids know their duties and pay before they come to HK
I refer to the letter from Jemma Watkins ('Domestic helpers raise our standard of living', June 8).15 Jun 2008 - 12:00am
With inflation at 5.4 per cent, the highest level in a decade, workers naturally expect their pay to also rise to cover increasing costs. The economy is faring well and companies are generally profiting, so employees feel entitled to a slice of the good times. Civil servants have just been given increases and so, too, should other wage-earners.4 Jun 2008 - 12:00am
Will the authorities ban Mia Farrow?
Let us tell you about Yusuf Islam. Before he became a Muslim he was known as Cat Stevens, the British pop star. His Muslim name got him in trouble in September 2004 when he was denied entry to the US on national security grounds. American officials made it clear they had no obligation to detail their reasons for banning him.30 Apr 2008 - 12:00am
More than half of Hongkongers want the government to scrap the levy on employers of foreign domestic helpers, a survey has found.
Since October 2003, bosses have had to pay a monthly HK$400 levy, the aim being to fund vocational training and retraining for local workers. The initiative has raised HK$4.19 billion so far.25 Apr 2008 - 12:00am
Anyone who enjoys a good glass of wine - and I include myself in that number - could be accused of bias in favour of a financial secretary who abolishes duty on alcohol sales. Critics might even say we are looking at John Tsang Chun-wah's maiden budget through rose-tinted spectacles.15 Mar 2008 - 12:00am
Nothing wrong with little delay in elections
We have been promised a fully elected chief executive in 2017, and an elected legislature in 2020.
It was to be expected that the generation of those who suddenly claimed to be democrats when they learned that Hong Kong was to be handed back to China in 1997, would be negative about all proposals coming from Beijing.14 Jan 2008 - 12:00am
The chief executive yesterday pledged to return unused taxes to the public under a new budgetary principle during his current term.
But Donald Tsang Yam-kuen rejected calls to abolish the levy on the recruitment of foreign domestic helpers, saying the money would be needed to improve retraining for the general workforce.18 Oct 2007 - 12:00am
Should domestic helpers be given more protection?
Like Megaen Kelly (Talkback, September 29) I have also experienced a deteriorating quality of helpers despite paying them above the regulated rate over the past decade.
The decline may be related to a change in attitude.2 Oct 2007 - 12:00am
Philippine consulate acts to protect helpers
Days after revealing that Canto-pop singer Jacky Cheung Hok-yau and his wife had been banned from hiring more Filipino domestic helpers, the Philippine consulate said it had placed a number of individuals and recruitment agencies on a watch list.29 Sep 2007 - 12:00am
Employers' group to ask for end to fee
The government is being urged to scrap a HK$400-a-month levy on employers of foreign domestic helpers, amid an ongoing review of how it will spend the HK$3.26 billion that has accumulated in the fund.23 Aug 2007 - 12:00am
I refer to Frank Ching's article ('Stop penalising employers of foreign maids', July 24).
Ching's comments on the minimum allowable wage for foreign domestic helpers and the employees retraining levy imposed on employers of foreign helpers, need to be put in perspective.2 Aug 2007 - 12:00am