Accommodation: Do I have to provide a separate room for a domestic helper?

No, you do not need to provide a separate room for your domestic helper. However, Hong Kong law says that you must provide a domestic helper with ‘suitable accommodation’ within your home.

This means that the helper must live with you in your home, but it does not mean you need to provide a separate room. Apartments in Hong Kong tend to be small and giving a domestic helper a room to herself may not be feasible. 

What does ‘suitable accommodation’ mean?

Suitable accommodation means allowing a domestic helper reasonable privacy. Domestic helpers cannot share a room with a teenager or an adult of the opposite sex. This allows for solutions such as partitioning off a section of living space or having a domestic helper share a bedroom with a child.

Suitable accommodation must also include the following: a bed, pillows, blankets/quilt, wardrobe, a light, access to water, and access to a toilet and bathing facilities (this doesn’t mean you need to provide a separate bathroom, but they do need to have free access to one).

How does accommodation affect the hiring process?

More experienced domestic helpers generally view their accommodation as part of their compensation. This means that if you can provide a domestic worker with better accommodation, you are more likely to attract a more experienced worker.

Take note that in addition with the proper living conditions, employers are also required to provide domestic helpers with food allowances (or free food) and free passage from the helper’s home country to Hong Kong and return to the home country on termination or expiry of the contract.

Last updated on July 6th, 2023

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