POSTED BY hongkongdebbie (9 yrs ago)
This is our first domestic helper who is getting ready to take annual leave and I was wondering if someone could tell me is there a difference between annual leave and vacation leave? I thought I read somewhere (but cannot find it now) that they get paid annual leave plus about 2 weeks paid vacation. I have gone to the immigration website but do not see anything. Thanks for any help.


neenib (9 yrs ago)
Annual leave and vacation leave are one and the same.

Susie1 (9 yrs ago)
Domestic helpers are entitled to one weeks paid holiday at the end of the first year of service, and all the normal hong kong public holidays off and paid, unless by mutual consent of the employer/employee they take time off in leiu, or save public hols to be added to the one week off, the employer does not have to pay for them to go back to their home country except at the end of the contract, but may choose to do so if they are happy with their work and can afford to do so.

beancurd (9 yrs ago)
Two years domestic helper contract, the helper is entitled for 2 weeks annual leave or vacation leave. 7 days per annum

hongkongdebbie (9 yrs ago)
Thank you very much.

notaclue (9 yrs ago)
I was "reminded" by Immigration that there is a 7 days "home leave" or whatever wording is used in the standard DH contract (the green one) PLUS the 14 days as required by labour law. The Immigration Officer told me that most people don't realize that the 7 days stated in the contract is on top of the 14 days end of contract leave.

miao miao (9 yrs ago)
notaclue was right. the FDH guide from the labor department clearly says that a 7-day vacation leave at the end of each contract should be granted IN ADDITION TO annual leaves. i also called the depts recently to clarify this question. so basically for the first contract the helper has a total of 14 days of annual leave (7 days for each year), which is paid but she can stay in HK as long as she's not working, PLUS 7 days of vacation leave, which can be paid or unpaid but has to be spent out of HK. so it's a total of 21 days.

for the 14 days of annual leave, the helper is entitled to take 7 days after the first year and another 7 days after the second year. the 7 days of vacation leave is to be taken at the end of the two-year contract.

my helper just finishes her first year and is planning to take 7 days off soon and will take 14 days off after the second year (if we renew the contract).

notaclue (9 yrs ago)
Just to also add that the longer your DH works for you, the more annual vacation days she/he is entitled to. Check the list on the Labour Department website.

preciosa magat (7 yrs ago)
ive been working since 2006 i arrived on the 16th of setember and im still working in this family my visa end next september how many annual leave can i get?

rollercoaster (7 yrs ago)
Hello all, i really needed some advice and expertise on my following situation.

I have a helper whom has worked with us for the last 6months and we have pre-agreed to let her go home in December for a week this coming Christmas even though she has not completed her 1 year of contract with us (aka annual leave right?)

And recently she mentioned that she has relatives visiting Hong kong and she would like to take unpaid leave of 6 days to accompany them and to stay out with them.

I'm caught in between trying to be an understanding employer and keeping to rules.

When we employed her, apparently she hasn't been back home for the last 2 years thus we granted her the early annual leave to help with her home sickness.

But for this unpaid leave and staying out, it is really additional bonus and perks which i know i need not give her but i felt that she has been working hard for it and she has been of good help so far.

So what's holding me back is that 1) i'm not so sure if it is legal for helper to stay out on her leave period. 2) would i be held responsible if she has any accidents, or etc during this period of leave? 3) any other better advise or words of precautions on what could i do?

Thanks in advance.

WWcC (4 yrs ago)
I notice your helper has been with you 6 months only and you have pre-agreed a Dec holiday, and she has mentioned unpaid leave of 6 days and to stay out. I can almost guarantee you that this is the beginning of the requests. I too had a helper who started like this and whilst trying to be accommodating I agreed to the time off, then the stay out nights etc until eventually it came more frequently, until it was a case of just not coming back when agreed.

Personally if you dont want this to escalate you need to show now who is the employer. Its hard at times to refuse requests but from my experience when one request is granted, another follows and it turns into how far the FDH can push and how much more 'favours' they can get out of you.

After my experience, I decided with a new helper to make it clear there would be no stay out nights and no favours of any sort. I found this work really well, we had a good understanding and then after approx 1yr once I got to know my helper's way of thinking, I occasionally agreed to her going for dinner on Saturday evening with friends if we were not home for dinner and she appreciated it and was always back even if she was off on Sunday morning.

I feel the best thing I did was stated the postion from Day 1 and showed her that we had an agreement so there were no problems later.

Otherwise, it is not legal for her to stay out any night whilst she is contracted by you. You are fully responsible for her throughout the period of her contract and yes of course if anything happened to her or she was involved in, you would be responsbile.

Sapphire (4 yrs ago)
WWcC - just pointing out that the post to which you have responded (posted by rollercoaster) is 810 days old - I think they've probably sorted out the issue by now.

Just to clarify, you said, "it is not legal for her to stay out any night whilst she is contracted by you." Although, in this case the helper was requesting 6 days 'unpaid leave' ... if the helper is taking 'leave' (paid or unpaid), then surely she would be quite within her rights to 'stay out at night' ... if she's taking 'leave' she doesn't even have to stay in HK, let alone in her employer's home ...

Garfieldlovers (23 mths ago)
Hi, I am going to take my annual leave this Feb and I am going home for 7 days, my employer said should she pay my ticket? Because she said only one way in contract that employer must pay.. Thanks!

Sapphire (23 mths ago)
Your employer is correct. Under the standard terms of DH contracts, she is only obligated to pay for your flight at the end of each 2 year contract. If you choose take 7 days leave after 1 year of employment, then the cost of flight is your own responsibility. For this reason, most helpers prefer to save up all of their leave entitlement until the end of their 2 year contract. However, some employers will offer to pay for this as an extra bonus for helpers who work well, although they are not required to do so.

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