Hong Kong to consider mainlanders to work as domestic helpers
Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong said in a Legislative Council meeting today that the government is looking into allowing mainlanders to work as domestic workers in Hong Kong.
Mr Law was responding to a question from legislative councillor, Paul Tse. Mr Tse pointed out that the COVID-19 epidemic has resulted in a drastic drop in the number of foreign domestic workers coming to Hong Kong from Southeast Asia. “Job-hopping” by helpers in the city also contributed to the shortage, Mr Tse said.
He also questioned whether the government will consider foreign domestic helpers to acquire permanent residency if they remain in Hong Kong for seven years.
But the government said it has no plan to make such changes.
The Hong Kong Employment Industry Association expressed reservations on allowing mainlanders to work as domestic helpers. The Association's chairwoman, Wendy Lau Lai-sze pointed out that it may be difficult to identify mainlanders who might be working in Hong Kong illegally.
She added that it is easy for mainlanders to take root in Hong Kong because they might have relatives here and end up staying here.
Teresa Liu Tsui-lan, managing director of Technic Employment Service Centre pointed out that salaries for workers from the mainland are generally higher than for most foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong.
“They charge between RMB5,000 and 6,000 for completing one task only,” she said, “Hong Kong cannot offer that much.”
According to the Labour Department, the minimum wage for foreign domestic workers is $4,630 per month.
Shadow Hui, a local resident, has been employing foreign domestic helpers for over 20 years.
“It is quite difficult to hire overseas helpers right now,” she said. “ So If she (mainland domestic workers) works well and makes me confident in her work, I don’t object to hiring domestic workers from the mainland.”
《The Young Reporter》
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