Welcome to the Pangyao Frequently Asked Questions section! In this section we aim to address key questions you might have about living and working in Hong Kong.

A lot of the information in this section is sourced and referenced from Hong Kong Labour Department, who also publish guidelines for domestic workers in multiple languages, which can be found HERE.

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Salary and Benefits

What is the Minimum Allowable Wage for Domestic Workers?

$4630 per month


The current Minimum Allowable Wage (MAW) is HKD 4,630 per month. It is illegal for domestic workers to be paid less than the MAW. The MAW is normally reviewed in September each year.

By what means should a domestic worker's salary be paid?

Cash, cheque or bank transfer


Domestic workers can be paid by cash, cheque or bank transfer. Bank transfer is the recommended means of transfer as it provides an audit trail for both parties.

Check this guide from Enrich Hong Kong for information and requirements opening a bank account in Hong Kong as a domestic worker.

What is the food allowance for domestic workers?

HKD 1,173 per month


Domestic workers must either be provided with free food by their employer, or be provided with a monthly food allowance of a minimum of HKD 1,173 per month (since 30th September 2021).

Rest and Leave

What rest period are domestic workers entitled to?

24 hours


Domestic workers must be given at least 24 hours continuous rest period every 7 days.

What day of the week should I be given a rest day?

While Sundays are most common, rest days can be given on any day of the week, provided they meet the minimum 24-hour entitlement. The rest day should be agreed between the employer and the domestic worker.

Should my rest day be on the same day every week?

Rest days may be given on irregular dates; however, the employer should notify the domestic worker of the dates prior to the start of each new month.

Can rest days be substituted for another date?



Rest days may be substituted, provided it is agreed by both employer and domestic worker.

What is my annual leave entitlement?

Annual leave entitlement is dependent on length of service with the same employer, as follows:

1 year: 7 days

2 years: 7 days

3 years: 8 days

4 years: 9 days

5 years: 10 days

6 years: 11 days

7 years: 12 days

8 years: 13 days

9 years: 14 days

Am I entitled to leave on statutory holidays?



Domestic workers are entitled to leave on statutory holidays, regardless of length of service.

Am I entitled to holiday pay on statutory holidays?



Provided a domestic worker has been employed with the same employer for at least 3 months prior to the holiday, they are entitled to holiday pay on statutory holidays.

Which public holidays are considered statutory holidays?

The first day of January

Lunar New Year’s Day

The second day of Lunar New Year

The third day of Lunar New Year

Ching Ming Festival

Labour Day

Tuen Ng Festival

HKSAR Establishment Day

The day following Chinese Mid Autumn Festival

Chung Yeung Festival

National Day

Chinese Winter Solstice Festival or Christmas Day (at option of employer)



Which dates are statutory holidays in 2022 and 2023?


12th Sep

1st Oct

4th Oct

22nd or 25th Dec (at option of employer)



1st Jan

23rd Jan

24th Jan

25th Jan

5th Apr

1st May

26th May

22nd Jun

1st Jul

30th Sep

1st Oct

23rd Oct

22nd or 25th Dec (at option of employer)



My employer has asked me to work on a statutory holiday; is this allowed?



An employer must give at least 48 hours’ notice and must grant the domestic worker an alternative holiday within 60 days, before or after the holiday.

Are statutory holidays or rest days falling within my annual leave period deducted from my annual leave allowance?



Statutory holidays and rest days are not deducted from your annual leave allowance.

Work and Living

Can my employer ask me to work for another person or take up non-domestic duties?



It is an offence under the Immigration Ordinance to ask a domestic worker to work for another person other than the employer named on her/his visa, or to ask her/him to perform non-domestic duties.

Can I take up part-time employment with my employer’s consent?



You will be liable to prosecution and removal for breaching the conditions of stay.

Can I live away from my employer’s home?



It is a requirement of your employment contract that you work at and reside in your employer’s residence.

What kind of accommodation should my employer provide?

A domestic worker is entitled to reasonable privacy of their own. A domestic worker may share a room with children; however, they cannot stay in or share a room with teenagers or adults of the opposite gender.

The living space of a room can be partitioned in order to provide a better living space.

What should I do if my employer deploys me to work for another person or take up non-domestic duties?

You should report the matter to the Investigation Division of the Immigration Department.

If my employer or another person asks for my passport and Hong Kong ID for safekeeping, is this allowed?



Always keep your passport and Hong Kong Identity Card yourself. No other person, including your employer or staff of the employment agency, should keep these documents for you without your consent.

Medical and Sickness

Does my employer have to pay the medical expenses incurred when I am ill or injured?



When you are ill or injured, your employer must provide free medical treatment, whether or not it happened during your duty hours, as long as you are under the employment contract.

Employers are not required to cover medical expenses during periods that you are out of Hong Kong for personal purposes e.g. on home leave.

Under what circumstances am I entitled to sickness allowance?

Domestic workers are entitled to sickness allowance when sick leave taken is not less than 4 consecutive days and is supported by an appropriate medical certificate.


Paid sick days are accrued according to length of service; during the first 12 months of employment, at a rate of 2 days per month, and thereafter, at a rate of 4 days per month.


Paid sickness days can be accumulated throughout the whole employment period, but shall not exceed 120 days at any one time.

Can my employer terminate my contract if I get sick or injured?



It is unlawful for an employer to dismiss a domestic worker who is on paid sick leave, except in cases of summary dismissal due to the worker’s serious misconduct.

What is the rate of sickness allowance and when should it be paid?

The daily rate of sick leave allowance is a sum equivalent to four-fifths of the average daily wages.


Average daily wages are calculated using the following formula:


MAW (monthly allowable wages)/number working days in a month, excluding holidays, rest days and leave)


Example: $4630/25 days= $185.20. So the sick leave allowance would be calculated as (⅘)x$185.20= $148.16 per day. It should be paid no later than the normal pay day.

Am I entitled to free dental cover?

Emergency care only


Employers are required to cover a domestic worker's expenses for emergency dental care only. Optional dental care is not required to be covered by an employer.

Maternity and Paternity

Am I entitled to paid maternity leave?



Female domestic workers are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave if they:

  • have been employed for not less than 40 weeks immediately before the commencement of scheduled maternity leave
  • have given notice of pregnancy and their intention to take maternity leave to their employer after the pregnancy has been confirmed
  • have produced a medical certificate specifying their expected due date, if required by their employer

What is the rate of maternity leave pay and when should it be paid?

The daily rate of maternity leave pay is a sum equivalent to four-fifths of the average daily wages of the domestic worker. It should be paid on the normal pay day of the domestic worker.

Can an employer dismiss a pregnant domestic worker?



Except in cases of summary dismissal due to the worker’s serious misconduct.

Termination of Employment

Can I terminate my employment contract before it completes?



Either party may terminate the contract by giving 1 month’s notice in writing or 1 month’s wages in lieu of notice to the other party.

Can I terminate my contract without notice?

Only under certain circumstances:


  • You have reasonable fear of physical danger by violence or disease
  • You are subjected to ill-treatment by your employer
  • You have been employed for not less than 5 years and you are certified by a registered medical practitioner or a registered Chinese medicine practitioner as being permanently unfit for the present job

Can my employer terminate my contract without notice or payment in lieu of notice?

Only under special circumstances:


  • If you have wilfully disobeyed a lawful and reasonable order
  • Cases of misconduct
  • You are guilty of fraud or dishonesty
  • You have been habitually neglectful in your duties

Upon termination or completion of my contract, what items of payment should my employer give to me?

It depends on a number of factors, such as length of service and reason for termination of contract.


Termination payments would usually include:


  • Outstanding wages
  • Payment in lieu of notice (if any)
  • Payment in lieu of any untaken annual leave, and any pro rata annual leave pay for the current leave year
  • Long service payment or severance payment, as applicable
  • Any other sum due in respect of your employment contract, e.g. free return passage and food and travelling allowance

Severance and Long Service

Under what circumstances am I entitled to severance payment from my employer?

A domestic worker is entitled to severance payment from their employer if:


  • They are dismissed, or their contract is not being renewed by reason of redundancy; and
  • They have been employed for not less than 24 months with the same employer immediately prior to the termination

Under what circumstances should my employer pay me for long service?

A domestic worker is entitled to long service payment from their employer if they have worked continuously for the same employer for not less than 5 years, and they:


  • are dismissed or the contract is not renewed for any reason other than summary dismissal due to serious misconduct or redundancy
  • are certified as being permanently unfit for the present job and resign
  • are aged 65 or above and resign on grounds of old age
  • die in service

How are severance payment and long service payment calculated?

The following formula applies to the calculation of both severance payment and long service payment :

(Last month wages x 2/3) x reckonable years of service


$4,630 x ⅔ = $3,086.66

$3,086.66 x 5 years of service = $15,433.33

Enquiries and Complaints

Where can I seek further advice or assistance regarding the employment contract?

You can call the Labour Department's 24-hour Telephone Enquiry Service at 2717 1771 or 2157 9537, a dedicated hotline for domestic workers.

Immigration Department - 2824 6111

Are there government or non-government organisations that offer free advice regarding disputes with the employment contract for domestic workers?

The Consular Office or Embassy of the country of origin of the domestic worker normally provides free counselling and advice to their citizens (click the links to access their full profile pages and contact information on PANGYAO.HK):



A full list of governmental organisations on our website can be found HERE.


There are also several Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Non-profit organisations (NPOs) who can help with disputes regarding details of the contract:



A full list of NGOs on our website can be found HERE.