HK domestic worker population increases in September

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Domestic workers in Central. (FILE PHOTO)

The number of domestic workers in Hong Kong went slightly up in September, with 2,372 more Filipinos recorded by the Immigration Department.

From 204,023 Filipino domestic workers in the city in August, the population increased slightly to 206,395 in the previous month.

But an agency union head said the uptick does not represent better recruitment of workers in the Philippines.

Thomas Chan, the chairperson of the Hong Kong Union of Employment Agencies, told Hong Kong News that the major reason for the rise is the return of vacationing domestic workers to the city and employment agencies getting accustomed to testing requirements for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

He said the recruitment situation in the Philippines is still poor, and most employers would still choose to have domestic workers already in Hong Kong to work for them.

“Workers are still stranded in the province—they don’t have money to go to Manila for interview or to do medical [check-ups]…. also for agencies, they don’t have staff or they don’t have money also to go to the province for recruitment,” he said.

September’s figures recovered following a downtrend in the number of Filipino FDWs in Hong Kong since January, with August posting a 5,489 plunge. The figure coincided with countries’ introduction of stringent travel and lockdown measures in order to curb the global spread of COVID-19.

There were seven fewer domestic workers from India recorded in September. Indonesia had 536 more domestic workers added to their local population in Hong Kong, and three more domestic workers from other nationalities were recorded.

There were 372,869 domestic workers in Hong Kong as of September, according to the Immigration Department.