A new clause on window cleaning will be included in the Standard Employment Contract for foreign domestic helpers from January 2017, the Labour Department has announced.
The changes were originally proposed by the Philippine consulate in October, however plans were put on hold after Hong Kong officials said that the suggested clause was too broad and required more detailed consideration.
As a result of the review, the updated clause will stipulate that employees must only be requested to clean the outside of windows if they are fitted with a grille or if they are locked or secured, unless the windows are on the ground floor or are adjacent to a balcony or common corridor. The clause also states that no part of the employee’s body can extend beyond the window ledge except the arms.
The changes will apply to all contracts signed on or after January 1, 2017, however the Immigration Department will accept old versions of contracts signed on or before December 31, 2016, provided they are submitted on or before January 27, 2017.
Although the clause is only applicable to new contracts, the Labour Department has urged all employers to follow the new requirements, in order to safeguard their employees.