It’s not easy to work overseas that’s why Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDHs) must know their rights for their safety and protection.
In Hong Kong, for example, they provide a Practical Guide For Employment Of Foreign Domestic Helpers. Included in this guide are the things that foreign domestic helpers and their employers should know about their rights, responsibilities, and obligations.
In this article, we’ll share with you some of the things that domestic workers should know about their salary and/or benefits.
When am I supposed to receive my monthly salary?
Upon your arrival to your employer’s place to commence work, your employer must explain your duties and responsibilities as a Domestic Worker and he/she should also fix a date for the payment of your wages or salary.
- Your employer should pay your salary not less than once every month.
- It must be given to you not later than 7 days after the end of the wage period.
- Your wage shall be due on the expiry of the last day of the wage period.
If your employer wishes to change the salary period and salary payment date, he/she should give prior notice to you and make sure all the outstanding wages are paid.
For example, if you commenced employment on the 1st of October and your employer intends to change the wage period as starting from the 16th of each month, he/she should clear the balance of the 15 days’ wages (i.e. from October 1-15) within seven days after the 15th of October he/she pay you on the new payment date in November.
What are the consequences if my employer fails to pay my salary on time?
If your employer fails to pay your wages within seven days from the due date of payment, he/she is required to pay interest on the outstanding amount of wages to the helper. Your employer is also liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of HK$350,000 and to imprisonment for three years.
If your wages are not paid within one month from the due date of payment, you may deem that you have been dismissed by your employer without notice. Under such circumstances, your employer is required to pay payment in lieu of notice in addition to other statutory and contractual termination payment to the helper.
How should my employer pay my wages?
Employers are advised to pay wages by cheque or by autopayment into their helper’s bank account. Your employer will ask your consent beforehand if you’re okay with any of these payment methods. If you do not prefer any of those methods, your employer will pay you in legal tender.
Your employer is required to keep records of your wage payments, (e.g. relevant bank statements.) He/she should also provide you a receipt for payment of your wages and food allowance and ask you to acknowledge receipt of the amount.
What should I do when my employer pays me my salary?
The first thing you should do is to check the amount paid to you. If everything is correct, you should acknowledge receipt of the amount on the receipt prepared by your employer.
What should I do if my employer underpays me?
If the amount is less than the salary stated in your employment contract, you should check with your employer to see if there is any mistake in calculation or computation. Don’t acknowledge or sign the receipt of salary that you were not paid.
If your employer doesn’t explain to you why you were underpaid, you should report the case to the appropriate branch office of the Labour Relations Division of the Labour Department immediately.
What should I do if my employer deploys me to work for another person or take up non-domestic duties?
It should be in your contract that you will only be deployed for your employer and you’re not supposed to work for another person. You’re also not supposed to take up non-domestic duties.
If your employer does any of these, you should report him/her to the Investigation Division of the Immigration Department.
Who should I contact if my personal safety and rights are at risk while I work in Hong Kong?
The main purpose of this guide to make you aware of your rights and to protect you from any harm.
- If you are being physically abused or your personal safety is at risk, call the police emergency hotline “999” immediately for assistance.
- If you are not paid your wages or any of your employment right is infringed, call the Labour Department 24-hour enquiry hotline “2-71-71-771” or approach the appropriate branch office of the Labour Relations Division of the Labour Department for enquiry and assistance.
Also, make sure that you always keep your passport and Hong Kong Identity Card in a safe place. No other person should keep your passport for you. Be responsible for keeping your important documents and make sure not to sign any documents if you do not understand or agree with it.
Source: Click here for complete and detailed information about Foreign Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong Guide.
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