How to Compute Long Service, Severance Pay for Hong Kong Domestic Helpers
As of October 1, 2017, newly hired foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong are entitled to a minimum allowable wage of HK$4,410 per month. But if working relationship between the helper and her employers deteriorates by virtue of incompetence, financial incapacity or other valid reasons, termination of employment contract is one route each party can initiate.
Termination of Employment Contract
Either party may terminate the employment contract by giving one month’s notice or one month’s payment in lieu of notice to the other party.
Termination payments may include:
- Unpaid salary
- Payment in lieu of notice, if any;
- Payment in lieu of any annual leave not availed;
- Long service payment/severance payment, where appropriate; and
- Any other sum under the employment contract, e.g. free return passage, food and traveling allowance, etc.
A foreign domestic helper is entitled to severance payment if he/she:
- has not less than 24 months of service with the same employer prior to the termination; and
- is dismissed or the contract is not being renewed by reason of redundancy.
Long Service Payment
A foreign domestic helper is entitled to long service payment if he/she has no less than 5 years of service with the same employer prior to the termination and:
- is dismissed or the contract is not being renewed by reason other than serious misconduct or redundancy;
- resigns on ground of ill health;
- resigns on ground of old age (i.e. aged 65 or above); or
- dies during tenure of service.
Amount of severance payment or long service payment
(Monthly wages) x 2/3 x (number of years of service)
For example, assuming the domestic helper has received HK$4,410 monthly salary across three employment contracts spanning six years:
Long service = HK$4,410 x (2/3) x 6 years
Long service = HK$17,640 – the amount employer should pay to helper.
Service of incomplete year should be calculated on a pro rata basis.
A foreign domestic helper is only entitled to either severance payment or long service payment.
Enquiry Hotline: 2-71-71-771(the hotline is handled by “1823”)
Homepage Address: http://www.labour.gov.hk