Helper contract measures extended

December 28, 2021

The Government today announced that the measures to assist foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) and their employers to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended with immediate effect.


For all FDH contracts expiring on or before March 31, 2022, the Commissioner for Labour has given in-principle consent for extending the employment period for a maximum of six months. If arrangements cannot be made for a newly hired helper to come to Hong Kong within the six-month extended period and the employer needs to continue to employ an FDH beyond that period, the employer should consider applying for contract renewal with the existing FDH.


Applications for further prolonging contracts which have already been extended under the previous flexibility arrangement, including that announced on September 28, will not be considered, the Government noted.


Meanwhile, the measure for deferring a helper's return to the place of origin will also be extended.


Under the prevailing mechanism, a helper on a renewed contract with the same employer, or due to start a new contract with a new employer upon the expiry of an existing contract, may apply for deferring return to the place of origin for not more than one year after the existing contract ends.


In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, if helpers are unable to return to the place of origin within the aforementioned one-year period, they may apply to the Immigration Department (ImmD) for a further extension of their limit of stay until the end of the contract. Such applications are acceptable within eight weeks prior to the expiry of the existing contract.


The above flexibility arrangements must be mutually agreed between the employer and the helper, and employers should still arrange for their helpers to return to the place of origin within the extended limit of stay.


Applications can be submitted through the ImmD’s webpage or mobile application.


For enquiries on employment rights and benefits, contact the Labour Department at 2157 9537 or by email.


For enquiries on foreign domestic helper visa applications, contact the ImmD at 2824 6111 or by email.

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