Who is responsible for wear and tear inside my employer's home?

By Aileen_PYP on 19th Oct 2020


The old air conditioner in my bedroom suddenly started dripping water and now my employer is asking me to pay $2000 to have it serviced. Are they allowed to ask me to pay for this, even though it seems to be just normal wear and tear? - Brooke, New Territories


Hello Brooke!


No. They cannot ask you to pay for a household item that was not damaged by you directly. To quote the Hong Kong Labour Department website: “An employer can make deductions for damage to or loss of the employer’s goods, equipment or property by the helper’s neglect or default. In any one case, the sum to be deducted shall be equivalent to the value of the damage or loss but not exceeding HK$300.”


For future reference, any accidental damage to their belongings, clothes, etc. that you are responsible for, employers cannot deduct more than $300 from your salary.


Your employer may also make deductions from your wages under the following circumstances: 

·      deductions for absence from work.

·      deductions for the recovery of any advanced or over-paid wages made by the employer to the helper.

·      deductions, with the helper’s written consent, for the recovery of any loan made by the employer to the helper


You can check out the complete guidebook here: