Employers slam salary hike for maids

Saw the following article on the Hong Kong Standard website:

 

by Nectar Gan 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Employers of foreign domestic helpers will protest outside Tamar government headquarters on Sunday to urge the government not to increase the salaries of workers.

Several helpers' groups have called for a pay rise from the current HK$3,920 a month to between HK$4,200 and HK$4,500.

The Support Group for HK Employers with Foreign Domestic Helper, comprising about 8,000 members, said it strongly opposes the hike.

It accuses the Hong Kong Employers of Overseas Domestic Helpers Association and the Labour Department of ignoring less well-off households.

Joan Tsui Hiu-tung, convener of the support group, complained that when the department conducts evaluations regarding helpers' salaries, employers who are housewives and dual working parents are never consulted.

She said the majority of employers are under economic pressure and face high inflation costs.

As contract terminations become more common these days, employers have to pay extra agency fees in the rehiring process.

Taking airfares, board and lodging expenses, agency fees and salaries into account, employers need to spend more than HK$10,000 on a foreign domestic helper per month.

"Under no circumstances can it [the salary] be more than HK$4,000," Tsui said.

Employers' association chairman Joseph Law Kwan-din said members have always reflected the views of those hiring helpers when it comes to salary increases.

However Law said it is hard not to increase the salaries of foreign domestic helpers at all.

Pay rises normally follow the inflation rate and market trends.

Teresa Liu Tsui-lan, managing director of the Technic Employment Service Centre, said a salary increase to HK$4,200 a month for the helpers would be reasonable.