Foreign Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong are entitled to paid annual leave and home leave as stipulated by the Employment Ordinance. These leaves provide domestic workers with an opportunity to return to their home country, which is a well-deserved break for FDHs who provide invaluable services for their employers’ homes and families. When a domestic worker would like to return to their home country for vacation, there are some things about domestic helper leave entitlement in Hong Kong that employers should keep in mind. In this article, we will discuss the mandatory Home Leave (or Vacation Leave).
The Hong Kong Immigration Department requires domestic helpers to return to their home country for at least 7 days at the end of each two-year contract period (contract renewal or finished contract). This vacation leave is distinct from the annual leave entitlement. Whether this leave is paid or unpaid depends on the terms agreed upon in the standard employment contract. Moreover, keep in mind that the employer is responsible for the travel expenses for this home leave.
When traveling back to the Philippines, FDHs will need the following documents:
An Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is a document that allows FDHs to re-enter Hong Kong after their vacation. This document is issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Domestic helpers can apply for an OEC online, at the Philippine Consulate, or from the POEA office in the Philippines.
Employers are responsible for covering the cost of their Foreign Domestic Helper’s round-trip airfare back to the Philippines. Aside from these traveling costs, there are a few other budgeting and financial considerations that employers should keep in mind. Employers and FDHs should discuss a financial allowance that can cover additional expenses such as food and other transportation (bus, taxi...). By law, this allowance is fixed at HK$100 per day.
Employers should discuss the financial arrangements with their FDH well in advance of their vacation. This will help to ensure that the FDH has enough money to cover their expenses and that they can enjoy their vacation. You should also take a salary into consideration: will you be paying your domestic worker’s salary in full while they are on home leave (as stipulated in the employment contract)?
When your domestic helper is ready to return to Hong Kong, it is crucial to assist them in gathering the necessary legal and employment-related documents. Ensure that her employment contract is up-to-date and valid. Be ready to submit any required documents to the relevant authorities. By staying organized and informed, you can help your helper resume their duties smoothly and without unnecessary disruptions.
To make the transition easier, employers can also start preparing for their domestic helper’s return well in advance. This preparation may involve checking that the FDH’s visa is valid, booking a return flight, and arranging for transportation upon their return.
When returning to Hong Kong, the FDH must submit the following documents to Hong Kong’s Immigration:
When foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) in Hong Kong plan to return to the Philippines for vacation leave, employers should consider several important factors. FDHs are entitled to a paid vacation leave of a minimum of seven days.
Essential documents for holiday travel include a valid passport, Hong Kong Identity Card, employment contract and Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). Employers should budget for their FDH's round-trip airfare, and other related expenses.
Providing proactive support for your FDHs on vacation can foster a healthy, happy working environment for all parties involved. While domestic workers undoubtedly provide indispensable services, homesickness and burnout are both very real things that FDHs can experience. A few days of vacation leave a year can help your domestic worker’s mental health and boost their happiness.
When it comes to planning for your domestic helper’s leave, effective communication and advanced planning are key, ensuring a smooth experience for both employer and employee.
HelperPlace is a dedicated team of ethical professionals committed to improving the lives of foreign domestic workers. Our mission is to create a fair recruitment. Whether you need information about domestic helper leave entitlement in Hong Kong or need assistance in hiring a FDH, you can rely on our ethical services. We are dedicated to placing domestic workers in suitable households, ensuring a mutually beneficial long-term working relationship for maids and employers.
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