More than 100 foreign domestic helpers staged a rally yesterday demanding the government abolish a levy they say leaves them open to being unfairly sacked. The protest organiser, Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, criticised the administration for introducing policies that created confusion and led to unfair termination of workers' contracts. The protesters first gathered outside the Legislative Council Building and then marched to the Central Government Offices where they submitted a letter to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. 'In 2003, many domestic workers were fired after the government [imposed the levy and] lowered the minimum wage level for maids,' the group's director, Law Yuk-kai, said. 'Now the levy suspension policy has also created confusion and many workers have been sacked just because their employers want to save money. 'We are worried that massive layoffs of migrant workers will happen again near the end of the two-year suspension, as employers want to take full advantage of the levy suspension policy and make sure they can enjoy up to four years of levy suspension.' The group has also organised an online petition to gain public support for its campaign. The HK$400-a-month levy on employers of some 250,000 foreign domestic helpers - most of them from the Philippines and Indonesia - has been waived for visas issued from August 1 this year to July 31, 2010, as part of the chief executive's inflation relief measures. But confusion over the implementation of the relief measure led to the sacking of many domestic helpers, as the levy suspension only applies to contracts signed on or after August 1. Some employers who signed contracts with their maid earlier than that date sacked their maids and hired new ones in order to receive the benefits of the waived levy. Those who have already paid the levy will not be given a refund. The Mission for Migrant Workers Society, which also joined the demonstration, said its shelters for foreign domestic helpers have been inundated with now-unemployed maids. Some boarding homes that cater for a maximum of 30 people are now crammed with more than 50 seeking refuge. 'Not only do they have to sleep on the floor, some workers even have to sleep on dining tables at night,' Mission for Migrant Workers Society director Cynthia Ca Abdon-Tellez said. She said that many who have been unable to find work return home within two weeks. Though employers are required to sign an undertaking to ensure that the length of service of the helpers will not be affected, the measure does not seem to offer enough protection for some domestic workers. The migrant workers' group accused the government of being unfair to foreign domestic workers, as the levy only applies to them. 'There are so many foreign workers in Hong Kong and expatriates are also foreign workers. Why is the levy only introduced for domestic helpers?' Ms Ca Abdon-Tellez said.