The Secretary of Labor and Welfare, Dr. Law Chi-kwong, on Thursday, through the media asked the Hong Kong Migrant Domestic Workers and their employers to understand each other and make holiday arrangements. Migrant domestic workers are also advised to maintain social distance (social distancing), Friday (3l4l2020).
Quoted from the Labor Department’s official website (www.labour.gov.hk) Dr. Law expressed his gratitude to Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong for their contribution to the Hong Kong community and appealed for “social distancing“ in the ﬁght against COVID-19.
“The government has banned group meetings with more than four people in public places. Violators are responsible for prosecution. We fully understand that most migrant domestic workers want to meet their friends during their days off. However, we are now at a critical point in the struggle against COVID-19, and it is very important that we all practice keeping a social distance to prevent the spread of disease, “said Dr Law in a video uploaded on Thursday (2»‘4).
Valid from 20 March to 11 April, group meetings of more than four people in public places are prohibited and anyone who violates may be subject to a ﬁne of HK $ 2,000 or if charged in court, a maximum fine of HK $ 25,000 and imprisonment for six months.
Dr Law also urges employers to understand the current special circumstances and discuss arrangements for rest days with migrant domestic workers by encouraging them to stay at home during breaks, or take their rest days on weekdays, if not closed on weekends.
“Employers are also reminded that it is against the law to refuse giving day off or force your migrant domestic worker to work on rest days without consent,” said Dr Law.
According to Law various publicity efforts have been made, including joint efforts with the consulate general to convey messages to their citizens through websites and social media platforms; posters and distribute posters and leaﬂets (available in various languages, including Tagalog, Indonesian and Thai) throughout the region and through electronic media; and broadcast appeals on radio programs targeting migrant workers.
In addition, several frequently asked questions and answers about rest day arrangements and relevant employment issues are available at the special portal (www.fdh.labour.gov.hk) of the Labor Department for employer reference.
Regardless of social distance measures; the Government has implemented an initiative to assist employers and the Migrant PRT in dealing with the special situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
All migrant domestic work contracts that end on or before June 30 can be extended to July 31 based on mutual agreement between the employer and migrant domestic workers
Migrant domestic workers whose contracts will expire or end on or before July 31 can apply to the Immigration Department (lmmD) for an extension of the stay in Hong Kong (fora maximum period of one month) as visitors to facilitate them to ﬁnd new employers in Hong Kong
Meanwhile for new contracts between migrant domestic workers and the same employer after completing the current contract; or those who will start a new contract with a new employer can submit an application to the Immigration Department (lmmD) to postpone returning home leave in a sadal country for no more than 18 months.