Date
20 October 2017
Domestic helpers gather in Central on their day off. They have given a wish list to the Hong Kong government that includes a 12 percent pay rise, increased food allowance and the option to live away from their employers. Photo: HKEJ
Domestic helpers gather in Central on their day off. They have given a wish list to the Hong Kong government that includes a 12 percent pay rise, increased food allowance and the option to live away from their employers. Photo: HKEJ

Foreign helpers want 12% pay rise

Foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong are demanding a 12 percent increase in their basic salary, saying they can’t keep up with the rising cost of living.

Also, they are asking for a 74 percent increase in food allowance and the option to live away from their employers, Apple Daily reported Friday.

The Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Union submitted a wish list to the Labour Department at the start of an annual salary review.

The helpers are asking for a minimum basic monthly salary of HK$4,500 (US$581) and a big boost to HK$1,600 in food allowance.

Indonesian maid Yima, a spokesperson for the federation, said the present rate of HK$4,010 is not enough to feed her famiy back home and the cost of living in Hong Kong has become too expensive.

Sheilla Estrada, a Filipino helper who has worked in Hong Kong for 27 years, said the monthly food allowance should be in line with the standard of Oxfam, the international anti-poverty advocacy group.

The government will announce the result of the discussion in the fourth quarter, TVB reported, citing Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung.

It last raised the monthly wage of domestic helpers in September 2013 by 2.3 percent, lower than the 4.3 percent inflation at the time.

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