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Minimum wage for foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong increased

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MANILA, Philippines—Good news for domestic helpers planning to work in Hong Kong, and those who are already working there.

Acting Labor Secretary Danilo Cruz announced on Wednesday, that the minimum allowable wage (MAW) for foreign household service workers in Hong Kong has been increased by HK$90 (about P504), from $3,290 (about P18,430) to $4,010 (about P20,460) per month, or 2.3 percent.

Citing a report from Labor Attaché to Hong Kong Manuel Roldan, Cruz said that the Hong Kong government also increased by HK$45 the food allowance to $920, or by 5.1 percent, from the previous $875.

The MAW and the food allowance are minimum standards set by the government of Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, to protect foreign domestic helpers from exploitation.

Under the standard employment contract for hiring domestic helpers, Hong Kong employers are required to provide them with food free of charge. At present, the vast majority of employers in the territory provide free food to their domestics. Employers, however, may choose to give food allowances.

Roldan, in his report, said the Hong Kong government decided to increase the MAW after reviewing economic conditions in the territory.

“After careful consideration of the general economic and employment situation in Hong Kong, as reflected through a basket of economic indicators, including relevant economic movement; price change; and labor market situation, as well as the affordability of employers, the Hong Kong government saw there was a need to strike a balance between affordability of employers and the livelihoods of foreign domestic helpers, and decided to increase the MAW, Roldan said.

According to the labor attache, the Hong Kong government also reviewed the food allowance in lieu of free food, and decided to make an increase, taking into account the movement of the relevant consumer price index.

The increase in the MAW and food allowance will apply to contracts signed effective last October 1 and thereafter.

However, new contracts signed by employers and foreign domestic helpers until last Sept. 30 bearing the previous MAWs of $3,920 per month, and food allowance of $875 may still be accepted and processed by the immigration department of Hong Kong, provided that the application will be submitted to the said office by Oct. 28.

The arrangement would give employers sufficient time to send the signed contracts to the immigration department for completion of the necessary application procedures, Roldan said.

He added that new MAW would not affect the previous contracts of employment of household service workers already employed in Hong Kong, and that employment contracts of HSW under the previous MAW would continue to prevail.

The labor attache also said that the MAW and the food allowance were not meant to prevent employers in Hong Kong from providing HSW much better terms and condition of work.

As of September last year, there were more than 150,000 Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong, accounting about 49 percent of the foreign domestic helper population in territory.


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  • Fulpol

    Good news for domestic helpers planning to work in Hong Kong, and those who are already working there.

    ———————-

    there is nothing good news about being a domestic helper.. darn idiot…

    • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

      true. we used to export skilled, highly skilled workers, professionals and experts. for the past 2 decades, its mostly DH and flesh.

    • marienkind

      Tell that to somebody who has a family to feed. 20k a month is still 4x higher than what they can get serving a family of the same size here.

  • UrHONOR

    MAGANDANG PAMASKNG BALITA ito sa mga kabayan na mabibiyayaan.

  • RJ

    I completely respect every OFW irregardless whether they are working as household help or not. However, I hope that time would come that every Filipino would not have to leave the country and instead work closer with their families. I hope it would be real soon.

  • jjammess

    Thats what you get when u raise minimum wage here in the philippines. Everybody get to work abroad for minmun wage or lesser coz theres no jobs at home.

  • Noypi11

    Kung walang mga magnanakaw na mga senador,( tulad nina Enrile, Junggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla, GMA )at mga tonggressmen, lahat ay may mga trabaho sa pinas at di na kailangang mag-abroad pa. Ikulong ang mga PDAF at Malampayang magnanakaw.

  • anu12345

    “from $3,290 (about P18,430) to $4,010 (about P20,460) per month”

    Making quick calculation, IF they work 40 hours per week, that would be $23 per hour. No wonder why many foreigners work as DH. I’m interested.

    • Mux

      DHs work about 80 hours a week or even more.



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