Helpers urged to stay home

March 27, 2020

The Labour Department today again appealed to foreign domestic helpers to refrain from gathering and crowding in public places and stay at home on their rest days to safeguard their personal health and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the community.


In view of the recent changes in the epidemic's circumstances in Hong Kong, the Government announced on March 23 further enhancements to its anti-epidemic measures.


The Government notes that the consulates-general of foreign helpers' home countries have similarly appealed to their nationals to stay at home whenever possible, avoid crowded places and practice social distancing.


Foreign helpers are advised to consider discussing rest day arrangements with their employers, including substituting another rest day.


Under the Employment Ordinance, if an employer requests a foreign helper to work on a rest day, the employer must substitute another rest day for the foreign helper within 30 days after the original rest day. The employer must also notify the foreign helper of the arrangement within 48 hours after work.


The department urged employers to explain the special circumstances when discussing rest day arrangements with their foreign helpers.


It also reminded employers not to compel foreign helpers to work on their rest day, or they will be in breach of the Employment Ordinance and liable to a maximum fine of $50,000.


Click here for health advice on preventing pneumonia and respiratory tract infection. Information in Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Hindi, Sinhala, Bengali, Nepali and Urdu is also available online.


For enquiries on employment matters, foreign helpers and their employers can email or fill in the online form on the dedicated portal.

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