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Q: When should the employer start recruiting post-natal care helper after pregnancy?

A: Since the demand for post-natal care helpers is high, it is suggested that booking for post-natal care service be made at least half a year before the due date.

Q: Where should the employers interview the post-natal care helpers or infant and child care helpers?

A: It is suggested that the interview be conducted at the workplace (i.e. employer’s home), so that the helpers can understand the actual working environment. If the employers wish to conduct interviews outside their homes, “Smart Baby Care” can also provide interview venue free of charge.

Q: Any interview questions for employers’ reference?

A: Here are some examples of interview questions for employers’ reference:

  • Why do you choose to work as a post-natal care helper or infant and child care helper?
  • Can you introduce yourself briefly?
  • How long have you been working in this field?
  • Can you share your past experiences in baby care?
  • What are your strengths in baby/child care?
  • Where did you receive training as a post-natal care helper? What kinds of skills have you learnt?
  • Should there be needs, are you able to work overtime or on holidays?

Q: Can employers inspect the identity card of the post-natal care helper or infant and child care helper and collect a copy of the identity card for record?

A: The Code on the Identity Card Number and other Personal Identifiers (“the Code”) published by the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (“the Commissioner”) permits a data user to collect a copy of an identity card in order to provide proof of compliance with any statutory requirement. An example of such statutory requirement is given under that paragraph in section 17J of the Immigration Ordinance (Cap 115). Under that section, a person is required first to inspect the identity card by another person before entering into a contract of employment with such other person.

However, the Code makes it clear that the collection of a copy of the identity card is not permitted merely in anticipation of a prospective relationship. Hence, when employers have not finalized the employment decision, they should not collect the applicant’s identity card copy. In other words, employees are only required to provide their copy of identity card upon acceptance of the job offer.

The Code also requires employers to implement adequate security safeguards for copies of identity cards that they hold. For details, please visit the website of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong at www.pcpd.org.hk or contact them at 2827 2827.

Q: If a post-natal care helper or infant and child care helper is hired under a verbal contract, will the employer be bound by the verbal agreement?

A: A contract of employment is an agreement between the employer and the post-natal care helper or infant and child care 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 they do not violate any provisions of the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57).

Q: Are employers required to take out employees' compensation insurance policies for post-natal helpers or infant and child care helpers?

A: 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 for their employees (including post-natal care helpers and infant and child care helpers employed on whatever terms) to cover liabilities for any work-related injury or fatality sustained by the helpers that arise out of and in the course of employment.

Q: Are employers required to make arrangements for their post-natal helpers or infant and child care helpers to join the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Scheme?

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

Q: Can employers require the post-natal care helpers or infant and child care helpers to serve a probation period? Are employers required to pay wages to their helpers during probation?

A: Employers may require newly-recruited post-natal care helpers or infant and child care helpers to serve a probation period, provided that this has been clearly deliberated and the helpers' consent have 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 “Smart Baby Care”.

Q: What is the salary of recruiting post-natal care helpers or infant and child care helpers from “Smart Baby Care”?

A: “Smart Baby Care” can provide reference salary for employers, but will not set the minimum and maximum salary range for helpers. The salary shall be market-driven and is subject to mutual agreement between the employers and the helpers. In general, a higher salary may have to be offered to attract suitable helpers under the following circumstances:

  • Working hours exceeding eight hours a day
  • Complicated job nature requiring special skills
  • Remote working locations

Q: How should wages be paid to post-natal care helpers or infant and child care helpers?

A: Employers may condsider to pay a deposit to the post-natal care helpers or infant and child care helpers upon confirmation of employment arrangement. As the wages of helpers are usually calculated on monthly basis, the remaining balance can be paid to helpers monthly.

Q: Should employers give red pockets to post-natal care helpers?

A: Employers can give red pockets to post-natal care helpers according to their own will or traditions. Post-natal care helpers should not ask employers for red pockets or specify the amount.

Q: What employers should do if they suspect their post-natal care helpers or infant and child care helpers had broken or stolen their property?

A: Employers should discuss with their post-natal care helpers or infant and child care helpers to understand the actual circumstances. Employers may seek the assistance from “Smart Baby Care” for mediation of disputes if necessary. Depending on the circumstances, employers may contact the Labour Relations Division of the Labour Department for assistance. 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.

Q: Can employers install surveillance cameras at home to monitor a post-natal care helper or infant and child care helper?

A: According to the “Privacy Guidelines: Monitoring and Personal Data Privacy at Work: Points to Note for Employers of Domestic Helpers” published by the Commissioner, the indiscriminate use of video cameras at home to monitor a domestic helper’s activities is by its nature an intrusion upon privacy. Employers must seriously assess the need for the monitoring and whether alternative means are available. After considering all these factors, employers nevertheless resolved to undertake video monitoring at home, they should consider the “reasonableness” of the manner in which the monitoring is carried out, the “openness” by which the helpers are informed about it and the proper handling of the resultant video records. For details, please visit the website of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong at www.pcpd.org.hk or contact them at 2827 2827.

Q: Can employers install pinhole cameras at home?

A: Covert monitoring is not encouraged by the Commissioner especially when it is being used as preventive measure only. Unless justified by existence of relevant special circumstances, such as "a reasonable suspicion" of unlawful activity and there is no reasonable alternative, this should only be engaged in as a last resort. For details, please visit the website of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong at www.pcpd.org.hk or contact them at 2827 2827.