Indonesian helpers in Hong Kong can now renew contracts directly

From January 2017, Indonesian domestic helpers and their employers will no longer need to use an agency to renew their contracts in Hong Kong, according to the Indonesian Consulate General.

This applies to domestic workers who are finishing their two-year contracts and who will be renewing with the same employer. Both the helper and employer must agree to renew their contract without assistance from an agency.

If an agreement is reached, the employer will need to submit a letter…

New documentary investigates the illegal practices of helper agencies

A new documentary shows how foreign domestic workers from the Philippines are charged illegal fees by many employment agencies, and highlights that the government is not doing enough to protect the rights of these helpers.

The documentary, called ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’, investigates the unethical activities of many employment agencies in Hong Kong, and shows how helpers often have little choice but to take out loans to pay excessive fees.

This makes it difficult…

Breaking: Hong Kong Increases Minimum Wage for Domestic Workers

The Hong Kong government has increased the minimum wage for foreign domestic workers by $100. This lifts the minimum wage to $4,310, a 2.4% increase from the previous rate of HK$4,210.

Worker groups had been lobbying for a minimum wage of $5,000, while employer groups said big increases would make domestic work unaffordable. The government says it tries to strike a balance between the livelihoods of domestic workers on the one hand and affordability for employers on the other.…

What to do if your helper wants to go out at night

Your helper has asked if she can go out during the week with her friends. What should you do?

“My helper has started with us for a month, but now she is asking if she can go out during the week ‘after hours’. She said she used to do this with her old employer. I’m confused because I thought their days off are just Sundays. I don’t love this idea, but I understand she is entitled to spend her time ‘after hours’ as she pleases. Should we let the helper go out or not?”

This is a …

Should I give my helper a bonus or increase their wage?

Your helper has been with you for a while and you may wonder if you should increase her salary or give her a bonus. What do other employers do?

There is no golden rule or a standard practice when it comes to giving your helper a bonus or increasing her wage. But don’t pull your hair out yet, we went out and asked what others do.

When should I give my helper a bonus or salary increase?

There is absolutely no consensus on this, but many employers consider this question for the first time after…

Should you send your helper to a first aid course?

Having a medical emergency is a worry for everyone, especially when you have children or elderly parents. Especially if you are not at home and your helper takes care of them.

Accidents can happen everywhere and to anyone. No one likes them and everyone worries about them, especially when it comes to kids or bed-ridden parents. You may consider sending your helper to a helper first aid course, but they can be expensive and it may take you a while to find the right course. And then, …

Increase Minimum Wage Domestic Helper Hong Kong

Don’t get yourself in trouble. What does the salary increase for domestic helpers mean for you?

After months of lobbying, the government has decided to raise the minimum wage for foreign domestic helpers by HK$100. Regardless or whether or not you are happy with this, read further to find out what implications there are for you.

Helpers already hired

For employers who have signed contracts on or before the 30th of September 2015, nothing changes. You can follow the previous…

Do you pay when your helper works overnight?

There are no standard working hours for helpers – or anyone else – in Hong Kong, but that doesn’t always mean you should let your helper work overnight.  

 

Babies may cry during the night and after a week of little sleep, you may feel like you are going crazy. Your husband is of no help because he sleeps through it all or he has a job that requires him to be very alert. Luckily, in Hong Kong many families have domestic helpers who can assist in this case.

Having your helper…

Smartphones and Domestic Helpers

Do you allow your helper to use her smartphone during working hours? What if she is watching the children?

 

Smartphones and social media have made it much easier for all of us, including domestic helpers, to be connected, but some employers see this as a curse. Many employers I know find it challenging to lay down ground rules for mobile phone usage of their hired help.

A quick search on the internet indicates that many families are asking the same question. “Do you allow …