Hong Kong needs more foreign domestic workers, including from Indonesia

Hong Kong needs more foreign domestic workers, including from Indonesia

Documentation of Indonesian female workers in selection programme di Ambon, Molluca Province. If they passed this, they would post in several countries, such as Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, dan Uni Arab Emirate. (ANTARA FOTO/Embong Salampessy)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Hong Kong will need more foreign domestic workers, including from Indonesia, to take care of a rapidly ageing population. Based on the government's projections, the number of Hong Kong residents aged 65 or older is expected to climb from 1.16 million in 2016 to more than 2.37 million by 2036, comprising 31 percent of the population in that year.

"With the aging population, we have projected increasing number of domestic workers to 600 thousand in the next 30 years," Hong Kong`s Secretary for Labor and Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said during a press conference in Jakarta on Monday.

At present, there are 380 thousand migrants working as domestic workers and caregivers in Hong Kong. Among them, 165 thousand workers, or around 43 percent, are from Indonesia. Therefore, it is important for the Hong Kong government to discuss and strengthen cooperation with the Indonesian government to improve the welfare and protection of migrant workers.

The Hong Kong government has raised the minimum wage of Indonesian migrant workers from 4,410 Hong Kong dollars to 4,520 Hong Kong dollars since September 2018.

Although the government sets minimum wages, sometimes foreign domestic workers receive 30-50 percent more from their employers. Migrant workers in Hong Kong are also not required to pay income tax. In addition, according to Law, migrant workers in Hong Kong receive the same legal protection as Hong Kong residents.

"But as migrant workers who leave the country without the support of family or friends in their home countries, they need extra protection. Therefore, the management of sending Indonesian workers to Hong Kong needs to be improved," he noted.
Welfare and protection are important aspects to attract more migrant workers to go to Hong Kong.

Therefore, during his visit to Indonesia on Jan 20 and 22, 2018,a Law was scheduled to meet with the Indonesian Minister of Manpower Hanif Dhakiri, representative of the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI), agent associations, as well as labor training centers to exchange views and strengthen cooperation in the protection of Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong.

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