Other than their country’s embassies and non-government (labour) organizations offering help, foreign domestic helpers (FDH) had no specific department they can reach out to from the Hong Kong government when it comes to their issues with their employer/s or employment agency here in Hong Kong.
But that is now a thing of the past because with the entry of the New Year, FDHs can now address their employment concerns directly to the government through a specific helpline intended for this.
Domestic Helpers Can Now Access New Gov’t Helpline
Last December 19, the Labour Department of Hong Kong (LD) has set up a hotline to provide support services to Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDHs). They can now call 2157-9537 for their employer- or employment agency-related concerns, as shared in a report by the Sun HK.
Other than addressing their issues about their employers, FDHs can also gain information about employment matters in Hong Kong, as well as file complaints when employment rights are violated through a dedicated FDH e-mail account, as well as an online form available on the FDH portal by the LD.
Meanwhile, to report a crime or an emergency, as when one’s personal safety is at risk, the FDH (just like every HK resident) should immediately contact 999 and ask for help.
The FDH hotline offers one-stop support services to FDHs which include the following:
- Providing advice regarding employment rights and obligations under the Standard Employment Contract and other relevant labour policies in Hong Kong;
- Referring any inquiries, requests for services or assistance on complaints regarding relevant labour matters which include filing claims or complaints against employment agencies, to the department’s relevant divisions for follow-up and/or further investigation; and
- Educating FDHs regarding the appropriate law enforcement agencies to where they can address theirl labour-specific concerns or issues involving suspected cases of exploitation or [physical] abuse.
The hotline is manned by operators of the 1823 hotline service who offer round-the-clock support in various languages such as Cantonese, English and Putonghua, among others.
An interpretation service in seven languages such as Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Nepali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu, is available from Monday to Saturday, 8 am to 10 pm (except public holidays).