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Employers warned they could be fined $100k if they terminate FDHs with Covid-19

24 February 2022

.By The SUN

If you test positive for Covid-29 and are terminated by your employer because of this, they are violating Hong Kong law.

You may approach the Labour Department for assistance, and your employer might end up paying a fine of up to $100,000.

This can be gleaned from a reminder issued by the Labour Department today to employers.


Labour said employers “should not dismiss foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) who have contracted COVID-19 and should continue to observe the requirements under the Employment Ordinance (EO) and the Standard Employment Contract (SEC) amidst the pandemic.”

The employers may also be charged for possible violation of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO), Labour added.

“Under the EO, an employer is prohibited from terminating the contract of employment of an employee on his/her paid sickness day, except in cases of summary dismissal due to the latter's serious misconduct,” it said. “An employer who contravenes relevant provisions of the EO commits an offence and is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $100,000.”


In addition, if these employers are convicted, they would no longer be able to hire FDHs.  “If an employer has breached the EO, he/she will not be considered eligible to employ an FDH for a period of time and his/her visa applications for FDHs will be refused.”

Labour said the proper way for an employer to treat FDHs who get infected with Covid-19 is to grant sick leave and sickness allowance to the FDH.

“Where a sick FDH has not accumulated sufficient paid sickness days to cover the period of his/her sick leave, the Government appeals to the employer to be compassionate and consider granting the FDH paid sick leave,” Labour said. “In addition, according to the requirements in the SEC, employers should provide to their FDHs free and suitable accommodation as well as free medical treatment.”

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It reminded employers that "FDHs assist families of Hong Kong to do household chores and look after the elderly and children. Their contribution to Hong Kong is significant.”

But the pandemic had reduced the number of FDHs to about 340,000 in January 2020 from the peak of about 400,000.

“Mutual support and understanding are all the more necessary in face of the pandemic. To meet the needs of local families, we must strengthen support and protection for FDHs in order to maintain Hong Kong as an attractive place for FDHs to work,” Labour said.


FDHs and employers may:

For information relating to COVID-19 and the DDO, employers may visit the Equal Opportunities Commission's website (


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