HelperChoice Survey Results – Domestic workers are suffering from long working days: 58% of domestic helpers work more than 14 hours a day
Giving enough rest to domestic workers is essential so that they can stay healthy and work efficiently during their working hours. Nevertheless, it appears that 41% of the domestic workers interviewed are working between 14 and 16 hours per day and 17% are working more than 16 hours a day. In Hong Kong and Singapore, domestic workers are required to live in with their employer which makes it more difficult for them to have fixed and reasonable working hours.
The survey revealed that almost a quarter of the domestic workers has already had to do night shifts. Abolishing the live-in rule could reduce the abuses, help regulate working hours and eliminate “on-call” situations that lots of helpers experience when taking care of babies.
Even more worrying is the number of domestic helpers reporting that they have no holidays apart from public holidays while they worked minimum one year as a helper: if 13% of the interviewed helpers got no holidays, 1 out of 5 got less than 7 days. In Hong Kong, for the first two years, the minimum number of holidays given by the employer should be 7 (after 2 years. one more day is added every year).
But it is important not to see the glass as half-empty: a third of the domestic workers got more than two weeks holidays last year, most of them benefit from their annual leave to go back home.
As an employer, you may also wonder what your domestic worker does during his/her day off. Given the results of our survey, an important majority of them go to the church or the mosque and a quarter discuss with friends or relatives in the streets or in a park.
Some of the domestic workers we interviewed also shared that they like playing music, go hiking or work for an association. Actually, even if this rest day is an important moment for the majority of them to socialize, a few domestic workers may be so tired of their week that they just rest watching TV or taking a nap which could also bring about processes of desocialisation.
As an employer, you legally need to make sure that your helper gets a day off for a continuous period of at least 24 hours. You can find more information on rest days in Hong Kong and Singapore on our website.
About HelperChoice: HelperChoice is an ethical online platform established in 2012 in Hong Kong connecting thousands of employers and domestic helpers directly. Our solution offers an easy alternative to traditional agencies giving employers the opportunity to find the domestic worker who best matches their needs.
Our platform decreases the hiring costs for the employer while its use is free for domestic workers. In addition to its numerous features, our platform is also a go-to resource for anything related to how to hire and manage domestic workers.