How Domestic Helpers Can Claim Unpaid Wages at HK Labour Department
Foreign domestic helpers have the right to claim their wages in a timely manner as mandated by Hong Kong Employment Ordinance chapter 57. It states that wages must be paid within 7 days after a monthly cut off date based on signed employment contract.
If a domestic helper’s employment has been terminated and he or she has not yet received payment at the end of the 7-day period, a claim can be filed with the Labour Relations Division of the Labour Department nearest the employment address.
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Office hours: Monday to Friday
(9:00am – 1:00pm & 2:00pm – 6:15pm)
1. What to bring:
To provide sufficient identity and build a case, please bring the following:
Hong Kong ID card
Termination letter if you were given one
Wage records and any other documents relevant to your claims
2. Fill in a claim form describing the details of your claim.
Domestic helper will be given an appointment for a conciliation meeting with the employer at a later date. He or she will also receive a letter addressed to the Immigration Department to help with your extension of stay. He or she needs to present this letter to the Immigration Department should the scheduled conciliation meeting fall on a date later than the expiry of your visa.
Note that the expiration of the domestic helper’s visa will come earlier than the date stamped in your passport if your employment contract was prematurely terminated. The domestic helper’s permission to stay in Hong Kong will expire 14 days after the effective date of termination.
3. At the scheduled conciliation meeting between a domestic helper and employer held at a Labour Relations Division will be mediated a labor officer.
During the meeting, domestic helper and employer will be given the opportunity to discuss outstanding issues and negotiate a settlement. Preparation is important before the conciliation meeting as helper needs to be aware of his or her rights in terms of entitlements. Organizations like HELP for Domestic Workers can help domestic helpers prepare for such meetings.
4. Domestic helper should negotiate calmly but with confidence and not be intimidated by employer, especially when employer makes false claims and allegations.
Domestic worker should calmly and firmly deny such false or inaccurate allegations and state a case to defend claim.
5. Should the matter fail to get settled during the conciliation meeting, domestic workers may pursue a claim in the Minor Claims Adjudication Board for claims less than HK$8,000 or the Labor Tribunal for claims of HK$8,000 or above.