In Hong Kong, domestic helpers are entitled to only few public holidays, not just like any other employees. According to the Employment Ordinance, a helper can enjoy 12 days of statutory holidays, regardless of how long they have been employed. This article will show you the statutory holidays in 2021 and related issues towards them.
|1 January 2021||Friday||The first day of January|
|12 February 2021||Friday||Lunar New Year’s Day|
|13 February 2021||Saturday||The second day of Lunar New Year|
|15 February 2021||Monday||The fourth day of Lunar New Year|
|4 April 2021||Sunday||Ching Ming Festival|
|1 May 2021||Saturday||Labour Day|
|14 June 2021||Monday||Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day|
|1 July 2021||Thursday||National Day|
|22 September 2021||Wednesday||The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival|
|1 October 2021||Friday||National Day|
|14 October 2021||Thursday||Chung Yeung Festival|
21 December 2021 or*
25 December 2021
Chinese Winter Solstice Festival or
* according to the preferred option of the employer
The Employment Ordinance was gazetted on 16 July, 2021, where there will be 5 additional statutory holidays in the coming years and will be effective in the following order:
Employers must give the domestic helper a total of 12 statutory holidays in a year. If you are unable to let the helper take leave on a holiday, you should give prior notice of not less than 48 hours and an alternative holiday within 60 days. The alternative holiday can be either before or after the original holiday.
You should keep a clear record of alternative holidays taken by the helper to avoid any arguments and confusion
Foreign domestic helpers (FDH) in Hong Kong must be paid for their statutory holidays, after 3 months of employment, as stated in the law. The holiday pay should be paid to the helper no later than the next payday after that statutory holiday.
You should never make any payment to the domestic helper in lieu of the statutory holidays.
If the employers fail to grant statutory holidays or alternative holidays or failed to pay holiday pay to a foreign domestic helper may be liable to prosecution and a maximum fine of HK$50,000 upon conviction.
If the statutory holiday falls on a rest day, you should grant the domestic helper a holiday on the next day which is not a rest day, statutory holiday or alternative holiday.
Statutory holidays are an important time for domestic helpers to rest and have their own time. Remember to take the responsibility to grant the helpers public holidays in Hong Kong and respect their right to rest and have paid holidays.