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Helper In Debt

  1. #9
    Jenny is offline Registered User
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    May 2003
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    You should terminate her. I think that something like 1 out of 3 helpers in HK borrow money and go into debt. Several of my friends' helpers had these problems and they all terminated them immediately. The problem is that even if she gets out of this debt (eg you pay it off for her), undoubtedly, she will go into debt again.

    Its better to get a helper that you totally trust and are happy with.

    On the topic of termination, what type of return ticket do you normally give to a helper upon termination? Fixed date or open date?

  2. #10
    ggrizzy is offline Registered User
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    my friend, an agent for domestic helpers, reminded me not to mention that i was dismissing my helper based on the point that she was borrowing money! i gave her some money equivelant to a one-way ticket back to her hometown so that she can fly whenver she wants (but this amount was mentioned clearly on the last receipt she signed for me as an amount equal to her airfare home).

    i couldn't terminate her immediately that time coz i needed someont to take care of my kid while i was at work and my new helper was not due to arrive for a month or so.... but we did our best to hide the fact that she was due to be terminated....

  3. #11
    armstroe's Avatar
    armstroe is offline Registered User
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    I'm interested to know if this debt problem is more common amongst helpers who've only been here a short time (say less than 2 years) or a problem with long-termers too.

    For the 6 years we've been here, I've only heard of these debt problems in the last year. Could it have anything to do with the cut to the minimum wage?

  4. #12
    ggrizzy is offline Registered User
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    actually, a few of my friends also had these problems too and apparently it's a very common problem amongst philippino maids who have been here for several years.... it may not be the case for all philippino maids but all the ones that me and my friends have come across have had the same problem unfortunately. i am now emplolying an indonesian maid, first timer in hk, but with prior experience in singapore - seems to be working out just fine!

  5. #13
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Ggrizzy,

    Most Indonesian helpers are also in debt. They pay close to $15k to the agencies to train them and match them with an employer.

    We were really keen on hiring an Indonesian nanny who had worked for several family friends in Indonesia and Singapore. We took her papers to the consulate who refused to even look at them unless we went thru one of "their" agencies. We contacted the agency and were willing to pay the processing charges, but they also insisted the helper had to "re-trained" and she would have to pay $20K which would have been deducted from her monthly pay. In the end we gave up and just hired a local Filipino
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  6. #14
    babyblue is offline Registered User
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    My helper also borrowed money (she told me she owed about $20k), but I think the problem is with these so called "finance houses" and "banks", because theylend out large amounts of money to helpers without any form of guarantee. Why would you lend $20k to someone with a $3k/mth salary?

    We got calls every day from the bank and then the collector. The collector even came to our building one time. What I did was put in a password on our phone, so they could not call our home phone anymore.

    Why would you consider firing your helper because she took out a loan that she is not able to repay, if she is doing her duties properly? So what if they were greedy and took out a loan for some easy money - these banks harass their families in the Philippines as well, so have some sympathy.

    I would never ever suggest bailing them out because they will just leave your employment and technically they would have ripped you off as you paid off their loan.

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