HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Labor and Welfare Bureau and the consulates of labor-sending countries such as the Philippines finally agreed to amend the Standard Employment Contract (SEC) for foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) following a month-long consultation since last year.

The HK government agreed to add in the SEC a provision on the cleaning of windows. Both parties believed safety in the workplace must be ensured, and every life, protected.

The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong SAR spearheaded the effort.

To fast-track the negotiations on the proposed additional safety provision, the Philippine Consul General and the Commissioner for Labor, worked vigorously on a series of consultations that resulted in the incorporation of an additional safety clause in the new SEC which the Hong Kong Immigration Department has started to issue on January 01 this year.

The new SEC includes a safety clause on cleaning outward-facing windows. The additional provision sets the following conditions:

the window being cleaned is fitted with a grille which is locked or secured in a manner that prevents the grille from being opened; and

no part of the helper's body extends beyond the window ledge except the arms.

By 2018, or after a year of implementation, the new safety measure is expected to eventually protect some 330,000 FDHs in Hong Kong, including 188, 000 Filipinos. END

Source: Republic of Philippines Department Of Foreign Affairs