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Domestic Helpers Shortage during the pandemic.

Liberta made this Freedom of Information request to Labour Department

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Dear Labour Department,

First, please provide any statistics you hold on the number of people working as domestic helpers during pandemic and where they come from. Is there any increase or decrease in numbers?
Second, how about the agent that overcharging helpers for the agent fees, and not complying with the code of practice?
Third, is there any new policy or arrangements to import domestic helpers from Mainland or other countries?

Yours faithfully,


Labour Department

1 Attachment

Dear Liberta,

This department has received your request for information on 26 January
2022.  Your request is now under processing.  We will provide you with a
reply in due course.
Yours sincerely,
(Ms Agnes LAM)
for Commissioner for Labour

Labour Department

1 Attachment

Dear Liberta,

Thank you for your email on 26 January 2022 making an application for
information on employment of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) in Hong Kong.
 Further to our acknowledgement reply on 31 January 2022 and having
consulted with the Immigration Department (ImmD), this department provides
you with a consolidated reply as follow.

FDH population in Hong Kong

(1)        The numbers of FDHs working in Hong Kong in the past three
years are provided below.

As at end of Philippines Indonesia India Thailand Sri Lanka Others Total
2019 219 073 170 828 4 771 2 218 1 277 1 153 399 320
2020 207 402 157 802 4 406 2 024 1 177 1 073 373 884
2021 191 783 140 057 3 836 1 775 1 019 981 339 451

Regulation of employment agencies (EAs)
(2)        During the period of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the
Labour Department (LD) respectively received 290 and 396 complaints
against EAs providing placement service for FDHs (FDH EAs), among which 53
and 31 involved overcharging of commission from FDHs and 134 and 122
involved non-compliance with the Code of Practice for EAs (CoP).  For the
rest of the complaints received, they involved unlicensed operation and
service quality of EAs.

LD has instigated investigation into each complaint received. If there is
sufficient evidence, prosecution will be instituted accordingly.  In
addition, if the EAs are found to have failed to comply with CoP, LD may
revoke or refuse to issue or renew an EA’s licence, or issue warning to
the EA for rectification.
In 2020 and 2021, LD successfully prosecuted 10 and four FDH EAs
respectively, of which three and one EAs were convicted of overcharging of
commission.  During the same period, LD had respectively issued 60 and 63
written warnings to FDH EAs for breach of the CoP.  Also, LD revoked or
refused to issue/renew the licences of seven FDH EAs in each year, of
which two and four cases involved non-compliance with CoP.

Importation of domestic helpers
(3)        The Government has all along strived to maintain Hong Kong as
an attractive work place for FDHs and actively explores new source
countries of FDHs.  The current entry arrangement for admission of
domestic helpers does not apply to Chinese residents of the Mainland, the
Macao Special Administrative Region and Taiwan, as well as nationals of
Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Nepal
and Vietnam.  This is mainly because of immigration control and security
considerations.  The Government has no plan to make changes to this.  Save
from the above, the Government has not imposed any restrictions on, nor
does it promote the employment of FDHs of, any particular nationalities.
 Employers may, having regard to individual needs, decide to hire FDHs
from any countries and regions other than those specified above.

Thank you again for your email.

Yours sincerely,
(Ms Agnes LAM)
for Commissioner for Labour

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