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Helpers' rights protected: labour chief

February 11, 2015

Secretary for Labour & Welfare Matthew Cheung says foreign domestic helpers' personal safety is protected by law and they should contact the Police if their employers abuse or assault them.


In a written reply to lawmakers today, Mr Cheung noted that from 2012 to 2014, the Police received an average of 40 reports a year of employers assaulting their foreign domestic helpers.


He added that if a helper has been criminally intimidated, abused or involved in a labour dispute and is required to stay in Hong Kong to assist with an investigation or attend hearings, the Immigration Department may exercise its discretion to allow an extended stay as a visitor.


The department may also exercise its discretion to allow abused helpers to change their employer.


Mr Cheung said the Labour Department has stepped up publicity and educational efforts to raise foreign domestic helpers' and employers' awareness of their respective rights and obligations, and will collaborate with Consulate-Generals to provide briefings to new arrivals.


The department has also boosted employment agency inspections and is preparing a Code of Practice for the industry to strengthen regulation. The Government aims to finish drafting the industry's licensing mechanism within this year for consultation.

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