The minimum monthly wage for foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) is rising by HK$140, the government announced on Friday.
Those signing contracts from Saturday must be paid at least HK$4,870 per month – an increase of almost three percent from the current HK$4,730.
Employers who give their helpers an allowance for groceries rather than providing meals will also have to shell out a minimum of HK$1,236 per month – which is an increase of HK$40.
A government spokesman said the changes come after it carefully considered Hong Kong's general economic and labour market conditions over the past year, the near-term economic outlook, as well as the affordability of employers and the livelihoods of helpers.
Earlier this month, groups representing migrant workers called for the monthly minimum wage to rise to over HK$6,000.
“[The increase] doesn’t meet our expectations,” Jec Sernande, secretary of the Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions, told RTHK on Friday.
Sring Atin, spokeswoman of the Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body, said the government should be more transparent about how it decides on the wage level.
“We don’t know how they make the calculation. Because when we asked, they only said they use the general indicators, but we don’t know what those general indicators are, and who decides the minimum wage for domestic workers… It’s not fair,” she said.
She also warned that more helpers could now opt to leave Hong Kong for better pay elsewhere.