• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 8:35am
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong visa ban on foreign workers who switch bosses too often

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 4:46pm

The Immigration Department is refusing work visa applications from foreign workers deemed to have cut short their contracts too often or without legitimate reasons.

The department said this in a statement last night amid public concern that some foreign domestic helpers were switching jobs to earn severance pay by terminating their contracts before the two-year work period was up.

The department said it had refused 45 applicants who were suspected to be involved in such abuse in the past two months.

It also said employers who were found to have exploited their domestic workers would also be denied applications in the future to employ foreign domestic workers.

Joseph Law, chairman of the Hong Kong Employers of Domestic Helpers Association, said some domestic workers were known to have colluded with employment agencies to get greater benefits by prompting their employers to terminate their contracts soon after they arrive.

He said the department should spell out how many changes of employer by a worker would constitute an abuse of the system.

"Once any foreign domestic helper is found to have changed jobs without a legitimate reason, the Immigration Department should consider, say, stopping processing her employment visa applications for six months," Law said.



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This article is now closed to comments

Finally! This is good news for both HK employers and Filipino workers. Why?
The cost of hiring a helper has risen dramatically since the Philippine government decided not to allow agencies to collect placement fees from the helpers. The cost of hiring a helper is creeping up close to $10,000 when you add everything together. HK families are willing to pay that amount, but NOT every other month. Helpers can quit with just 30 days notice and without any legitimate reason. The contract is basically "no fault". You want to break the contract, you can break the contract without any penalty. That leaves HK families with no protection. They spend $10,000 to hire a helper and then she quits because she gets reprimanded and is angry. Then the employer has to spend another $10,000 for another helper, without any assurance that she will finish the contract.
Because there is no penalty for quitting, HK people are worried about spending so much money to hire someone who can quit because she is homesick or suffering culture shock. The financial risk of hiring a helper is just TOO HIGH. The action by the Immigration Department will lower the amount of ladies quitting for no good reason, and thus will lower the risk for HK employers. This should help stabilize the market.
there also should be a strict law for employment agency of which some are operating illegally and most of them cheat with employer and the helper by giving misleading information about employer and helper to both of them
Ofcourse DHs never quit cos they genuinely being treated like slaves by their employers. Time for HKers to grow up and do their oen freakin housework anyway. Other people manage in other countries. HKers are soft as s!#*.
Time for the HK families to take the finger out of their ***** and do their own house work again. Like everybody else does.
This is a welcomed change. Hong Kong must realise that it's considered by domestic helpers to be quite a desirable place to work compared to either their home country or other countries. Therefore, I see no reason why either the HK Government or employers need to bend over backwards to accommodate them. Many of the benefits they get are too generous as it is. Pop quiz: Which group of workers in HK don't need to go through a probationary period before being entitled to a full months' notice/compensation for dismissal from day one? Yep, you guessed it! At the end of the day, HK must ask itself this: Why do we allow the importation of helpers in the first place? Once we realise the answer to this question is to help local HK people, we should not offer them any more than we absolutely have to, and create a set of rules that favours employers. Unlike our new minimum wage to help our local working poor, domestic helpers are not HK residents and always have the choice of returning to their home country.


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