The Hong Kong government has increased the minimum wage for foreign domestic workers by $100. This lifts the minimum wage to $4,310, a 2.4% increase from the previous rate of HK$4,210.
Worker groups had been lobbying for a minimum wage of $5,000, while employer groups said big increases would make domestic work unaffordable. The government says it tries to strike a balance between the livelihoods of domestic workers on the one hand and affordability for employers on the other.
What does the salary increase mean for employers and domestic workers?
If you signed your contract on or before the 30th of September 2016, nothing changes. The contract you have in place remains valid and the previous minimum wage of $4,210 still applies, along with the food allowance of $995 (for domestic workers who are not provided with free food).
While not a requirement in this situation, domestic helpers do appreciate their wages being increased to at least the new minimum wage.
If you sign your contract after the 30th of September 2016, your contract must comply with the new minimum wage of $4,310. For helpers who are not provided with free meals, the food allowance has been raised by $42 to $1,037.
How much do employers usually pay domestic helpers in Hong Kong?
A recent study by HelperChoice found that the average salary offered to helpers was $4,397, or $187 more than the minimum wage at the time of $4,210. This means employers across Hong Kong tend to offer 4.4% more than the minimum required rate on average.
The study was based on 2,000 recent job ads posted by employers on the HelperChoice website, which is free for domestic workers.