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What if helper becomes pregnant?

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    Swoon's Avatar
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    What if helper becomes pregnant?

    Another question to Julie Jacobson or anyone else:

    Is it true that by law, you have to give your helper 3 months maternity leave if they get pregnant and also pay for all their medical bills during this time?

    I am very concerned about this matter because our helper is married but doesn't have any kids yet and is 36 years old (so it's kind of now or never if they want kids).

    When we first hired her, we firmly said that one condition to work for us is that she cannot become pregnant. With both me and hubby working full-time, it's just not feasible for our helper to take off for months (let alone a couple days). She agreed with our condition and we even wrote a "clause" into her contract and she signed it.

    BUT, I've heard that this is "clause" we've put in wouldn't hold up if it came down to legalities. Therefore, if we let her go if she became pregnant, we could be taken to court.

    Anyone have suggestions how to curtail this matter or who has encountered this problem and can share what they did about i

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    Bzee,

    Helpers are entitled to 10 weeks maternity leave only after they've worked a certain period. Haven't read anything about having to pay for their medical bills.

    Rani

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    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    Isn't what you are doing not only illegal but also immoral?

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    aldougie is offline Registered User
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    I think the clause you made her sign holds no weight legally. As an employer I would have thought, as Jane stated, that it also verges on illegal (certainly would be in the UK and you would be sued).

    I haven't encountered pregnant helpers but both my husband and I work, have a single helper in her early 30's helper and I would never dream in a million years to try and prevent her becoming pregnant no matter how 'inconvenient' it would be to us. Can you imagine what you would have done if your employer had asked you to sign such a clause?!!

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    Swoon's Avatar
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    But we're not in the UK, are we? In the U.S., if a job advert was placed specifying gender or age or a photo, that company would likely be sued. Or if someone had a loud mobile phone conversation while a movie was playing in a cinema, fights would likely erupt. We are living in a different society and because of this, we try to adapt to local mores, whether we like them or not sometimes.

    In fact, it was the maid agency that recommended we include the clause in the contract when we expressed our concern. They advised that this is what employers who were worried about this matter "usually do". And, being admittedly inexperienced in the helper-hiring process, and feeling that the agency would hold more knowledge in this area since it is their specialty, we took their suggestion thinking that it was just another regular part of the process--just like paying $3,670 per month in salary.

    I'm sure that many of us in HK from overseas who are employing full-time helpers to look after our kids count our blessings that we are able to do so at such an "affordable" rate. I'm sure in the UK, if you paid your helper the same wages as you do here in HK, it would be illegal and immoral too, would it not? So, it would seem fit for those of us who employ helpers at the current “going rate” to examine our own hypocritical behavior before casting another stone from our high horse.

    Or maybe I speak too soon because you are an employer who pays your helper HKD$15,000 plus per month to ensure you are a good moral citizen.

    For the record, I'm not usually a contentious person, just a mom who wants the best for my child, but what can you do if someone passes judgement...

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    As everyone has had a chance to share their opinions, best we close the thread before it deteriorates.

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