Indonesian domestic workers in Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Times
Indonesian domestic workers in Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Times

Domestic workers in Hong Kong could start planning for a long weekend next year, with at least four public holidays falling on a Friday or Monday that could give extra rest time if the regular day off is on the weekend.

There will be 12 statutory holidays for domestic workers in Hong Kong next year, according to the Labour Department.

The long weekends include the Ching Ming Festival on April 5 (a Friday), Tuen Ng Festival on June 7 (a Friday), HKSAR Establishment Day on July 1 (a Monday) and Chung Yeung Festival on October 7 (a Monday).

Domestic workers could enjoy two consecutive days off if their regular day-off is either on a Saturday or a Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Labour Department reminded all employers if they want their domestic worker to work on a statutory holiday, they should inform them 48 hours before the holiday.

Under a mutual agreement, the domestic worker should be given an alternative holiday within 60 days.

The employer could be liable to prosecution and a fine of HK$50,000 (US$6,376) if they offer to pay the domestic worker additional wages in lieu of the statutory holiday.

The department also reminded domestic workers that if the statutory holiday falls on a rest day, a holiday should be granted on the day after the rest day, which is not a statutory holiday, or an alternative holiday or a substituted holiday or rest day.

According to the Labour Department, the 12 statutory holidays for 2019 are:

  1. The first day of January (January 1 – a Tuesday)
  2. Lunar New Year’s Day (February 5 – a Tuesday)
  3. The second day of Lunar New Year (February 6 – a Wednesday)
  4. The third day of Lunar New Year (February 7 – a Thursday)
  5. Ching Ming Festival (April 5 – a Friday)
  6. Labour Day (May 1 – a Wednesday)
  7. Tuen Ng Festival (June 7 – a Friday)
  8. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (July 1 – a Monday)
  9. The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (September 14 – a Saturday)
  10. National Day (October 1 – a Tuesday)
  11. Chung Yeung Festival (October 7 – a Monday)
  12. Chinese Winter Solstice Festival (December 22 – a Sunday) or Christmas Day (December 25 – a Wednesday); these are at the option of the employer.

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