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FDHs told to get tested as required and stay at home ‘as far as possible’

07 January 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

The Labour advisory was issued after 4 Indonesian workers tested positive for Covid-19

The Labour Department has reminded foreign domestic helpers subject to compulsory testing to undergo testing as soon as possible and to stay at home on their rest days “as far as possible.”

The advisory was issued late on Friday, Dec 7, after health officials confirmed that a second Indonesian domestic helper linked to a dance cluster in Causeway Bay, tested positive for Covid-19.


Two more Indonesian helpers who attended church services at Bethel Fellowship Limited on Watson Road, North Point on Jan 2 along with the two infected women, tested preliminary positive.

A compulsory testing notice has been issued for all those who were at the church between 1pm and 10:30pm on Jan 2 to get tested by today, Jan 7, then Jan 8, 9, 12, 17 and 24.


A CTN was also issued for residents of Rialto Mansion at 183 King’s Road in North Point where the first infected helper had rested at a boarding house run by the church on Jan 4.

Those who were present at the building between 12 noon and 11pm on that day have been ordered to get tested by today, then Jan 8, 11, 16 and 23.

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In its advisory, Labour repeated a controversial appeal for FDWs to remain at their employers’ homes on their rest days.

"We remind FDHs to strictly observe the requirements and appeal to them to avoid gatherings (including in boarding facilities), food sharing and other social activities on their rest days and holidays and stay at home for rest as far as possible in order to safeguard their personal health and reduce the risk of infection,” said the advisory.

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At the same time, the Department said it was encouraging “employers and FDHs to discuss rest day arrangements, so as to minimise the health risk of participating in social activities."

In the past, workers groups had complained about employers taking this to mean that they could make their helpers stay at home on their rest days.


But Labour said in its advisory:  “Employers are reminded that they must not compel their FDHs to work on a rest day. An employer who compels his or her FDH to work on a rest day without the agreement of the FDH, or fails to grant rest days to the FDH, is in breach of the Employment Ordinance and is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $50,000.”

It added that in line with the standard employment contracts for FDHs, employers must provide their helpers with “free, suitable and furnished accommodation.


Failure to comply with this requirement, or of knowingly furnishing false information to immigration as regards this in the course of a visa application, may result in an employer being denied an application to employ an FDH, said the advisory.

Labour also reminded FDWs subject to CTNs that they are required to undergo the multiple tests on time as required, and for their employers to allow them to go out for the required tests.

The testing requirement covers even those who have been fully vaccinated.

Most of those covered by compulsory testing orders on a church and boarding house are FDWs

Labour said it has disseminated related information through various channels, including the consulates-general of countries that send FDWs to Hong Kong, employers groups and employment agency associations.

Those covered by CTNs can undergo the tests at community testing centres or mobile specimen collection stations. Details of the compulsory testing can be found in the Government’s announcements ("

The advisory said anyone who fails to comply with a CTN commits an offence and may be ordered to pay a fixed penalty of $5,000. 

A compulsory testing order will also be issued to the offender which should be complied with within the specified time. Failure to abide by the order would make the offender liable to a further fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for a maximum period of six months.

The fixed penalty of $5,000 may also be imposed on those who take part in public gatherings of more than four people, or fail to wear a mask in public places.

Labour said that every Sunday this month, a team from various government departments and the police will conduct mobile broadcasts at popular FDW gathering places such as Central, Tamar Park in Admiralty, Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and Lai Chi Kok Park to remind the workers to comply with regulations.

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