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Chapter 1: On First Employment

For both employer and helper

 ANS. The basic rights and responsibilities regarding the employment of foreign domestic helper are specified in the standard employment contract (ID 407). In addition, the Employment Ordinance is also applicable to employers and helpers alike. 


(please read in conjunction with Qs & As 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 1.8 & 1.9 of the guide) 
  • For applications relating to the employment of foreign domestic helpers received by the Immigration Department on or after 1 April 2003, both the helper and employer are required to sign an undertaking to the Government. The undertaking stipulates that they will strictly observe the condition of stay as well as the wage level, live-in and accommodation requirements.
  • If a helper breaches the undertaking, he/she may not be allowed to work in Hong Kong again. If an employer breaches the undertaking, his/her future application to employ foreign domestic helpers may also be refused.
  • Moreover, if an employer or a helper commits offences under the Employment Ordinance or the Immigration Ordinance, they are also subject to criminal prosecution.
For employer
  • You should pay your helper the daily food and travelling allowance, of the amount specified in the employment contract, for his/her journey to Hong Kong. You should also reimburse him/her the cost of preparing all necessary documents. See Chapter 2.
  • You are advised to explain to your helper the duties you expect him/her to perform. Such duties must be domestic duties as specified in the "Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties"* of the employment contract.
  • You should fix a date on which you will pay wages to your helper. See Chapter 3.
  • You should appoint rest days for your helper. See Chapter 4.
  • You should agree with your helper whether food will be provided during employment. If it is provided, it must be free of charge. If no food is provided, a food allowance of the amount specified in the employment contract should be given to the helper each month.
  • You should take out employees' compensation insurance against your liabilities for your helper's injuries at work. This is a requirement under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance. Failure to do so is an offence in law, punishable by a fine and imprisonment.
  • No.  The standard employment contract (ID 407) is the only official employment contract for all foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong. Any other employment contract entered between the employer and the helper is not enforceable in Hong Kong.
  • No. It is an offence under the Immigration Ordinance to ask your helper to work for another person other than the employer named in his/her visa or to ask him/her to perform non-domestic duties. Employers found to have breached the Immigration Ordinance may face prosecution. 
For helper
  • To facilitate reimbursement of costs of documentation by your employer, you should produce receipts for all relevant expenses incurred in preparing the documents.
  • You are advised to ask your employer to explain your duties and get a clear idea of what your employer expects of you. You shall perform domestic duties as specified in the "Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties"* of your employment contract.
  • No. You should work and reside in your employer's residence in accordance with Clause 3 of the standard employment contract. Your employer is required to provide you with free accommodation as per the standard specified in the "Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties" of the employment contract.

(For those live-out arrangements which have been approved by the Director of Immigration before 1 April 2003, the helper is allowed to reside in places other than the employer's residence provided that the employer continues to employ foreign domestic helper without a break of more than 6 months.)
  • No. It is an offence under the Immigration Ordinance for you to take up any employment with any person other than your employer named in your visa. You will be liable to prosecution and removal for breaching the conditions of stay. If you are so removed, you will not normally be allowed to come to Hong Kong again to work as a helper. 
  • You should report the matter to the Investigation Division of the Immigration Department.
* The standard employment contract was revised to include a "Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties" which specifies the standard of accommodation and details of domestic duties performed by the helper.