Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong will receive a minimum allowable wage of HK$4,410 (approximately P28,725 under prevailing currency exchange rates), according to a statement published at the government website.
The wage hike is equivalent to 2.3% or roughly the same as the city’s inflation rate in 2016.
The food allowance for domestic workers will be increased by HK$16 (or 1.5%) from not less than HK$1,037 to not less than HK$1,053 per month. At present, the vast majority of employers provide free food to domestic workers, instead of paying a food allowance.
The new minimum wage and food allowance rates will apply to all foreign domestic workers whose contracts are signed effective October 1.
The government said it reviews the minimum wage for foreign domestic workers regularly. It added that it has taken into account Hong Kong’s near-term economic outlook, as well as affordability for employers on the one hand and the livelihood of foreign domestic workers on the other, in reaching the decision on the above-mentioned adjustment.
“We have carefully considered Hong Kong’s general economic and labour market conditions over the past year, as reflected through a basket of economic indicators, including the relevant income movement and price change in this year’s review,” a government spokesperson said.
The wage hike was less than the desired pay of HK$5,500 proposed by the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body earlier this month. It also proposed a raise from HK$1,037 to HK$2,500.
Compared to other domestic workers across the region, maids in Hong Kong (US$564.6) are paid slightly higher than those in Taiwan (US$559) and in Singapore (US$420).