Almost half the employers of foreign domestic helpers questioned for a survey said their maids ended contacts prematurely or were unco-operative to try to get themselves fired and obtain severance pay. The poll of 3,153 employers - conducted by phone between September 22 and October 2 - also found some 46 per cent of those surveyed did not know whether their maid came directly from their country of origin. Employers' associations accuse some foreign domestic helpers of exploiting "loopholes" in the Immigration Ordinance, which only requires the maids to leave Hong Kong within 14 days after their employment is terminated without specifying whether they are required to return to their home country. Employers are required to pay for the maids' flights back home in addition to giving them severance pay. Some helpers were said to have colluded with employment agencies to make gains by job hopping and leave for neighbouring cities such as Macau before taking up a new job at another household. The Liberal Party, the political group that conducted the survey, urged the government to amend the Immigration Ordinance and to introduce a new regulation requiring foreign domestic helpers to return to their country of origin within 14 days. It also called for the introduction of a probation period during which employers were required to pay only for the maids' flights back home if either party chose to end the contract. More than 70 per cent of the employers polled agreed that Myanmar was a good new source of foreign domestic helpers. Most maids in Hong Kong come from Indonesia and the Philippines. The respondents also said that Myanmese maids made good workers as some spoke Putonghua and knew how to prepare Chinese meals.