FAQ for Employers

Home and Care Service


Healthcare Massage Service

Please Click here for the Healthcare Massage Service - Notes for Clients.


Selection and Interview

1. Where do employers conduct interviews with Smart Helpers normally?

Interviews can be conducted at the employers’ homes so as to give the helpers an idea of the actual working environment. If an employer wishes to conduct the interview elsewhere, the Smart Living - Regional Service Centre can provide a free interview venue.


2. Can you list some interview questions for employers' reference?

Here are some examples of interview questions:

  • Why do you choose to work as a Smart Helper?
  • Can you introduce yourself briefly?
  • What kind of work experience do you have?
  • Do you have any relevant work experience?
  • What household duties are you capable to do?
  • What is your expertise in household duties?
  • Where did you receive training as a Smart Helper? What kinds of skills have you learnt?
  • Should the need arise, are you able to work overtime or on holidays?

Before Employment

3. If a Smart Helper is hired under a verbal contract, is the employer bound by the verbal agreement?

A contract of employment is an agreement between the employer and the Smart Helper that sets out the terms and conditions of employment. The agreement can be made verbally or in writing. Both parties are bound by the terms of the agreement, provided that it does not violate any provisions of the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57).


4. Are employers required to take out employees' compensation insurance policies for Smart Helpers?

The Employees' Compensation Ordinance requires that all employers hold valid employees' compensation insurance policies. Hence, employers are required to take out employees’ compensation insurance policies to cover their liabilities for any work-related injury or fatality sustained by the Helpers that arise out of and in the course of employment.


5. Are employers required to make arrangements for their Smart Helpers to join the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Scheme?

According to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance, domestic helpers and their employers are exempted from joining the MPF Scheme.


6. Can employers require Smart Helpers to serve a probation period? Are employers required to pay wages to their Helpers during probation?

Employers may require newly-recruited Helpers to serve a probation period, provided that this has been clearly deliberated and the Helper’s consent has been obtained. Regardless of the duration of the probation period, employers are required to pay wages to their Helpers according to the actual number of hours worked, and take out short-term employees’ compensation insurance for their Helpers during the probation period. Short-term employees’ compensation insurance policies can be arranged through the Regional Service Centres.


Wages

7. What is the hourly wage of a Smart Helper?

Please Click here for the reference wages of Smart Helpers. The actual wage should be mutually agreed by the employer and the helper. Generally, higher pay may have to be paid to attract suitable helpers under the following circumstances:

  • Complicated job nature or jobs requiring special skills
  • Required to work after 6:00 pm and/or during holiday
  • Work in remote areas

8. How should wages be calculated and paid to Smart Helpers?

In general, wages are calculated on an hourly basis for part-time jobs and paid to the Helpers at the end of each working day. For full-time jobs, wages are calculated on a monthly basis and paid to the Helpers once a month.


In the Course of Employment

9. Should employers provide their Smart Helpers with cleaning kits and tools?

Generally, Smart Helpers provide services for their employers under the employment contracts. The wages payable to the Helpers do not include the provision of any job-related kits or tools, unless otherwise agreed in advance by the parties to the employment contracts.


10. Should employers let Smart Helpers work alone at home?

Employers should consider whether sufficient trust and mutual understanding have been built up with their Helpers, and ensure that their valuables are stored properly before leaving their Helpers alone in their homes. Otherwise, employers are advised to stay home while their Helpers are working in order to avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding or dispute arising from the work arrangements or the loss of any belongings.


11. What employers should do if they suspect their Smart Helpers had broken or stolen their property?

Employers should discuss with their Helpers to understand the actual circumstances. Employers may seek the assistance of the relevant Smart Living – Regional Service Centres for mediation of the disputes if necessary. Depending on the circumstances, employers may contact the Labour Relations Division of the Labour Department. Please refer to the website of the Labour Department for contact information of the branch office of the Labour Relations Division, or call Labour Department's 24-hour Hotline: 2717 1771 for enquiry. Should criminal offence(s) be involved, the employer should report to the police.


12. If the Smart Helper has damaged or lost the property of the employer, can the employer deduct the wages as compensation?

According to the Employment Ordinance, employers can deduct wages from employees for damage to or loss of the employers’ goods, equipment, or property due to the employees’ neglect or default. The sum to be deducted shall be equivalent to the value of the damage or loss but not exceeding $300. The total of such deductions shall not exceed one quarter of the wages payable to the employees in that wage period.