FAQ

Medical Attention & Sickness Allowance

Please note that the information below is provided by the Hong Kong Labour Department.

As both Employer and Helper
1.  Under what circumstances is a helper entitled to sickness allowance?
2.  What is the rate of sickness allowance? When should it be paid?
3.  Can an employer dismiss the helper who is on paid sick leave?

As Employer
4.  Should I pay for the medical expenses incurred by my helper when he/she is ill or injured?
5.  Can I appoint a medical practitioner for my helper in times of illnessor injury?

1.What are the rights and responsibilities regarding employment?

An employer should pay the helper sickness allowance if:

  1. he/she has accumulated the number of paid sickness days;
  2. the sick leave taken is not less than four consecutive days;and
  3. the sick leave is supported by an appropriate medical certificate.

Paid sickness days are accumulated at the rate of two paid sickness days for each completed month of service during the first 12 months of employment; and four paid sickness days for each month of service thereafter subject to a maximum of 120 days.

2.What is the rate of sickness allowance? When should it be paid?

The rate of sickness allowance is equal to four-fifths of the normal wages. It should be paid not later than the normal pay day.

3.Can an employer dismiss the helper who is on paid sick leave?

  1. No, except in cases of summary dismissal due to the helpers serious misconduct. Otherwise, it is an offence under which the employer is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of HK$100,000.
  2. The employer is also required to pay the helper:
    – wages in lieu of notice;
    – a further sum equivalent to seven days wages; and
    – his/her entitled sickness allowance.
  3. The helper may also claim remedies for unreasonable and unlawful dismissal under the part of Employment Protection of the Employment Ordinance.

4.Should I pay for the medical expenses incurred by my helper when he/she is ill or injured?

Yes. When your helper is ill or injured, you shall provide free medical attention to him/her whether or not the illness or injury is arising out of and in the course of employment. Free medical attention includes maintenance in hospital and emergency dental treatment.

5.Can I appoint a medical practitioner for my helper in times of illnessor injury?

Under the employment contract, a helper shall accept medical treatment by any registered medical practitioner as provided by the employer. It is advisable to reach prior agreement with your helper as to which medical practitioner should be consulted in times of illness or injury

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