Date Posted: 17/04/2020
In this current situation of COVID-19, a lot of FDHs are left wondering about the security of their jobs. This can be for a number of different reasons, such as employers moving countries or personal issues back home. Understandably this can leave FDHs feeling very worried or stressed. We hope that we can debunk some of your questions or worries.
1. My employer won’t provide me with a location to undergo my 2-week quarantine?
FDHs are expected to stay at their employers’ residence, however, if your employer wishes to find a suitable alternative they are required to make a prior suitable arrangement. If an employer is unable to provide this, then the application for the FDH may be refused.
2. I am in my 2-week quarantine, and my employer has told me that I will not be paid during this time.
During compulsory home quarantine, the employer should comply with the requirements
of the SEC. This includes accommodation costs and food allowance. If an FDH stays in their employer's residence and continues to perform their duties then the employer is required to pay the wages earned by the FDH.
If an employer wants to give an FDH a no-pay leave, then this should be arranged prior with a mutual agreement.
3. What happens if I catch COVID - 19?
If FDHs contract COVID-19, an employer should grant sick leave in accordance with the rules. Under EO, the employee is entitled to a sickness allowance of four-fifths of their average daily wage. The sickness must be supported by a medical certificate, the sick leave must be no less than four days.
If the FDH has not accumulated sufficient sickness days, then they must appeal directly to the employer. The government appealed that the employer is compassionate when considering granting this.
If an FDH falls ill or is injured during the period of employment, then the employer must bear all medical costs.
4. Can my employer prevent me from going out on my rest day?
The government has appealed for the general public to avoid social activities and gatherings, maintaining appropriate social distance with others and to maintain good personal hygiene. The government appealed to FDH to stay in on their rest day, if possible. If not then you are required to wear a mask and not gather in crowded places.
Employers may not compel FDH to work on a rest day, and if they are to do this they must give the FDH a substitute rest day within 30 days - with 48 hours notice. If employers force an FDH to work on a rest day without warning, employers are liable to prosecution and could face up to an HK$50,000 fine.