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Holiday Policy for Amahs in HK

  1. #9
    Fiona is offline Registered User
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    annual leave

    it is 7 days PER ANNUM (ie, per year). so 2 years = 7 days per year, which is 14 days.

    so at 3 years of employment it is 8 days per annum, which is 24 days, and so on.

  2. #10
    shri's Avatar
    shri is offline Administrator
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    I researched this a bit.

    The Guide to the Employment Ordinance is valid for FCW / Domestic helpers according to this snippet.

    http://www.labour.gov.hk/text/eng/fo...01/news03.html

    The relevant chapters of the employment ordinance are on

    http://www.labour.gov.hk/text/eng/lr...ns_guide_4.htm

    and clearly state

    An employee's entitlement to paid annual leave increases progressively from seven days to a maximum of 14 days according to his length of service.
    Annual leave is per year not per contract term. The person employed by you (domestic helper or anyone else for that matter) is entitled to 1 week's worth of leave for every year they've worked.

  3. #11
    Jenny is offline Registered User
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    Thanks everyone. I also interpretated it as to mean 14 paid annual leave days for a 2 year contract period.

    However, I also notice that in the standard employment contract, upon renewal, an employer is supposed to pay for one return ticket back to the helper's home and also give at least 7 days (unpaid or paid - up to you) of vacation. I was wondering whether typically, employers allow their helpers to go home at the end of their contract for 3 consecutive weeks? That's a bit long as that is equivalent to all of my annual leave for one year.

    Does anyone know whether an employer is required to send the helper home in order to process a renewal visa? Seems a bit of a hassle....

  4. #12
    fifi is offline Registered User
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    not long enough

    We've just given our helper three week's paid leave so she can go home and see her family before my baby arrives next month. She works so hard there is no way I would only let her have 7 days leave each year. Important to remember that the hand that rocks the cradle needs to be treated with respect and trust. Also remember that these women only get to see their families once a year, 7 days doesn't give them much chance to unwind let alone catch up with their lives back home.

    We've only had our helper for a few months but as she hadn't been home since last Christmas I didn't think twice about letting her go off now. The government guidelines don't always have to be followed so rigidly!

  5. #13
    babyblue is offline Registered User
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    Our family goes on holiday each year for about 2 weeks and our helper takes this time to go home for her holidays. Not all helpers can afford a trip back each year, as contractually the employers pay for one return trip every 2 years. What really amazes me too is that many local families hire a new helper every 2 years to avoid paying long service leave which they are entitled to after working continuously for 5 years or more. Plus this long service leave payment is not legally payable if the helper resigns, only when she is fired. I wouldn't dream of having a different helper every 2 years - it is not stable for the kids at all.

  6. #14
    shri's Avatar
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    What really amazes me too is that many local families hire a new helper every 2 years to avoid paying long service leave which they are entitled to after working continuously for 5 years or more. Plus this long service leave payment is not legally payable if the helper resigns, only when she is fired.
    You have to understand that the majority of the employers in Hong Kong are lower middle class / poor people who have to hire a helper to take care of the elderly or the young, while the rest of the family is at work. They're on extremely tight budgets and barely making ends meet.

    Just as there are employers who don't keep their helpers on for long terms we know of several local employers who have kept their helpers for over decades.

    Some employers are able and willing to pay the extra and be nice. Some are not. Lets leave it at that...

    To answer Jenny's question

    Does anyone know whether an employer is required to send the helper home in order to process a renewal visa? Seems a bit of a hassle....
    Jenny, she does not need to go to her home country to process a renewal. The renewal can be done here and I'm sure if you're unable to send her you can negotiate with an alternative time or payment to her (i.e. pay her for the plane ticket + time off).

  7. #15
    babyblue is offline Registered User
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    Paid holiday

    All workers according to the Labour Ordinance are entitled to annual leave every 12 months from 7 to 14 days depending on length of service. If they have been on a continuous contract for 2 years, it is 7 days, 3 years - 8 days, 4 years - 9 days. Rani was right first time around. It is not 7 days per year. They can always take no paid leave if the employer agrees.

  8. #16
    babyblue is offline Registered User
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    Poor people are those who earn less than $4000 per month. They cannot afford to hire domestic helpers. Furthermore, you need to have at least $150,000 annual income (or a bank deposit of $350,000) to be able to hire a domestic helper. Therefore people who employ helpers are not, as you say "poor".

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