Legal Stuff 相關法例

Most of the information in this section is taken off the Hong Kong Labor Department website. For more information, follow the links provided.

+ Statutory Holidays 勞工假期

The 12 statutory holidays for 2018 are:

  • The first day of January (1 January)
  • Lunar New Year’s Day (16 February)
  • The second day of Lunar New Year (17 February)
  • The fourth day of Lunar New Year (19 February)
  • Ching Ming Festival (5 April)
  • Labour Day (1 May)
  • Tuen Ng Festival (18 June)
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (1 July)
  • The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (25 September)
  • National Day (1 October)
  • Chung Yeung Festival (17 October)
  • Chinese Winter Solstice Festival (22 December) or Christmas Day (25 December) (at the option of the employer)

All employees are entitled to the above statutory holidays. If the statutory holiday falls on a rest day, a holiday should be granted on the day following the rest day which is not a statutory holiday or an alternative holiday or a substituted holiday or a rest day. An employee having been employed under a continuous contract for not less than 3 months is entitled to the holiday pay which is equivalent to the daily average wages earned by the employee in the 12-month period preceding the holiday.

The above taken from the HK labor department website:

+ Weekly Day-Off 每星期一日例假

How should I appoint rest day to my helper?

You should provide your helper at least one rest day in every period of seven days. A rest day is a continuous period of not less than 24 hours. Rest days shall be appointed by you and may be granted on a regular or an irregular basis. Unless the rest days are on a regular basis, you should notify the helper his/her rest days before the beginning of each month.

Can I require my helper to work on his/her rest day?

No. Except in unforeseen emergency, you shall not require your helper to work on his/her rest day. An employer who compels the helper to work on a rest day is in breach of the Employment Ordinance.

You may however, with the consent of your helper, substitute some other day for the appointed rest day. The substituted rest day must be granted within the same month and before the original rest day or within 30 days after it.

Can I ask my helper to perform duties after he/she returns home on his/ her rest day?

You should not compel your helper to perform duties on his/her rest days. However, he/she may work voluntarily on his/her rest day.

The following Q&A were taken from the _

+ Illness & Sick Leave 病假

The following is from the Practical Guide for Employers of Foreign Domestic Helpers.

Should I pay for the medical expenses incurred by my helper when he/she is ill or injured?

  • Yes. When your helper is ill or injured, you shall provide free medical treatment to him/her whether or not it is attributable to his/her employment. Free medical treatment includes medical consultation, maintenance in hospital and emergency dental treatment. In this connection, you are strongly advised to take out an insurance policy with full medical and hospitalization coverage for the helper. You may also consider taking out a comprehensive insurance policy which provides medical and hospitalization coverage and satisfies the requirement under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance at the same time.

  • For the avoidance of doubt, the revised standard employment contract introduced on 1 April 2003 makes it clear that, under the new contract, employers are not responsible for providing free medical treatment during the period when the helper leaves Hong Kong of his/her own volition and for his/her personal purposes e.g. on home leave.

Can I appoint a medical practitioner for my helper in times of illness or injury?

Under the employment contract, a helper shall accept medical treatment by any registered medical practitioner as provided by the employer. It is advisable to reach prior agreement with your helper as to which medical practitioner should be consulted in times of illness or injury. (For both employer and helper)

Under what circumstances is a helper entitled to sickness allowance?

An employer should pay the helper sickness allowance if :

  • he/she has accumulated sufficient number of paid sickness days;
  • the sick leave taken is not less than four consecutive days; and
  • the sick leave is supported by an appropriate medical certificate.
  • Paid sickness days are accumulated at the rate of two paid sickness days for each completed month of service during the first 12 months of employment; and four paid sickness days for each completed month of service thereafter. Paid sickness days can be accumulated throughout the whole employment period, but shall not exceed 120 days at any one time.

What is the rate of sickness allowance? When should it be paid?

The daily rate of sickness allowance is equal to four-fifths of the average daily wages* of the helper. It should be paid not later than the normal pay day.

Can an employer dismiss the helper who is on paid sick leave?

No, except in cases of summary dismissal due to the helper’s serious misconduct. Otherwise, it is an offence under which the employer is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of HK$100,000. The employer is also required to pay the helper:

  • wages in lieu of notice;
  • a further sum equivalent to seven days’ wages as compensation*; and
  • his/her entitled sickness allowance.
  • The helper may also claim remedies for unreasonable and unlawful dismissal under the part of Employment Protection of the Employment Ordinance

The following Q&A were taken from the _