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.

Relief on maids levy must be fair to all

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.

Saturday, 19 July, 2008, 12:00am

Fears that maids will be sacked rejected

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

Maids should benefit from good times too

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

Public Eye

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 want end to levy on maids' bosses

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

Well-balanced budget, with a light finish

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

Tsang vows to return unused taxes to public

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

Recruiting agencies put on watch list

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

Call to scrap levy on foreign helpers

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

Retraining levy an essential part of a knowledge-based economy

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


Maid levy fund should help cover employers' litigation costs

Poon Tsz-hin is right that some of the HK$3.2 billion raised from employers of foreign domestic helpers should be used to alleviate difficulties in cases of convoluted employment situations involving injuries, litigation and contract terminations ('Use levy fund to retrain maids', July 23).

29 Jul 2007 - 12:00am


Setting record straight in maids debate

The large contingent of foreign domestic helpers here testifies to their reasonably good performance so that Hong Kong families are willing to employ them.

I am disappointed that those who concern themselves with helpers' welfare have repeatedly failed to come up with any convincing argument for their good cause.

16 Jul 2007 - 12:00am