Hong KongTyphoon Mangkhut

Domestic workers’ rights in Hong Kong during a typhoon

Guidelines for domestic workers and employers have been issued to avoid any disputes when typhoon warnings have been issued for Hong Kong

September 14, 2018 12:31 PM (UTC+8)
Tseung Kwan O in the New Territories where residents are braced for bad weather. Photo: Istock

With super typhoon Mangkhut set to hit Hong Kong on Sunday, employers and their domestic workers have been urged to abide by the laws and regulations to avoid unnecessary disputes.

Domestic workers may still go out on their day off when a typhoon signal No. 8 has been raised, but if they choose to stay home, employers should not compel them to work, news website topick.hket.com reported, citing the Employment Ordinance and the Practical Guide For Employment Of Foreign Domestic Helpers.

As it is not a statutory holiday, domestic workers who choose to stay home on their rest day during a typhoon will not get a separate rest day or extra wages.

But if they agree to cancel their holiday and volunteer to work on their rest day, employers should pay them or give them a separate holiday.

Employers should also provide their domestic workers with adequate facilities and equipment such as safety helmets and raincoats to ensure their safety at work.

If domestic workers get injured when they go out on their holiday, employers still need to provide free medical treatment, including medical consultation, maintenance in hospital and emergency dental treatment whether or not it is attributable to their employment.

According to employment agency Arrow Employment Services, during a typhoon, employers should advise their domestic worker not to go out for safety reasons and should provide food and drinks at home for them.

Employers and domestic workers should try to communicate with each other to prevent confusion or arguments and maintain a good relationship, according to agencies.

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