Monday, January 14, 2019

8 Things You Need to Know to Be a Domestic Helper in Hong Kong

Wazzup Pilipinas!

More than 160,000 Filipino citizen are currently working in Hong Kong as Foreign Domestic Helpers. The main objective for them is to support the financial needs of their family. In this amazing city, a lot of job opportunities are open. Caregivers, nannies, housekeepers or drivers are always available for qualified candidates. Any interest to work in Hong Kong? We tell you more about the process and the different benefits.

Where to find work?

As a helper looking for a job in Hong Kong you can contact legitimate agencies that act as a mediator between your probable employer and you. Your agency will support you, they will be on your behalf enter into a Standard Employment Contract under the supervision of the Director of Immigration. The agency or your employer will apply to the Immigration Department for an employment visa for you.

How much will you make?

Any foreign domestic helper has to be paid a Minimum Allowable Wage (MAW) as standardized by the government and on the force from the date of your signing the contract as a domestic helper. The current MAW prevailing is set at HK$4,520 per month (equivalent to 31,000 pesos).

Additionally, other than the MAW, as a helper you are entitled to a suitable accommodation in the premises with understandable privacy, food allowances that are HK$1,075 (equivalent to 7,250 pesos), and free travel from the Philippines to Hong Kong and return tickets to the Philippines on expiry of the contract. The above MAWs and contract terms are applicable for any contracts 29 September 2018.

As mentioned under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (Cap.282), your employer should have an insurance policy that covers their liability for the ordinance and the common law for any mishap or injury that happens to you while working. Moreover, you are entitled to free medical treatment through the Standard Employee Contract when you are not well or catch a disease under the period of employment. A comprehensive insurance policy can be provided to you that covers all your medical and hospital requirements and bills according to the Compensation Ordinance. An online guide is present to help foreign domestic helpers and more information can be sought from that regarding your employment. Besides the helper job and domestic duties mentioned in the contract that you have been employed for, employers are not allowed to make you work for anyone else. In these cases, the helper and the aider will be tried for forgery and can be tried for criminal prosecution.

Statutory Obligations of your employer

Since you as a foreign domestic helper provide services for employer’s household. There are chances of you having an intimate relationship with the employer and their family members. This makes it absolutely necessary for the employer and you to have mutual respect and understanding. There should be efforts from both sides to maintain an amicable relationship. As an employee, you should make sure that your employer observes these obligations under the Hong Kong laws.

Labour Legislation

In Hong Kong, as foreign helpers, you have the same rights, benefits, and protection mentioned under the labor rules and laws as your local counterparts (Racial Discrimination Ordinance).

As a foreign helper, you are entitled to equal opportunity and no racial discrimination under the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Terminating of the Contract

If you are not happy in your position and If you want to terminate your employment contract, you can ask your employer to contact the Immigration Department by notifying them in writing within seven days of the date of the termination. On your side, you will have to respect a notice period of one month before to go back in Philippines.

Working hours

Hong Kong does not enforce any legal working hour and domestic helpers work on an average of up to 10 hours. This depends on the nature of the job as taking care of children is a full-time job. Also since you would be living with your employers, you are always going to be on-call and will not have a specified working schedule. However, you can negotiate with your employer early on for a stipulated timeframe for working. Considering your sleep and good health is very important before working for more than 12 hours a day.

Rest Days

As a domestic helper, you are entitled to one weekly rest day of at least 24 hours continuously under the immigration employment contract. Some employers might want you to perform basic tasks even on rest days. Imposing any curfews on you from the employer is very wrong and you should talk about not having such obligations placed in the first place.

Employers are not allowed to pay you extra money to work on your day offs, even if you agree to work on these days. If your employer makes you work on a day, they need to compensate the day off within the next 30 days.

Working abroad is a challenge, you will be fare from your family and living in a country with a different country. Talk to your friends and your family to get feedback about their experiences. Do not only consider the financial part, take time to weight the pros and cons before starting to search for an employer.

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