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Domestic helper while we're away

  1. #1
    ollyvia is offline Registered User
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    HK
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    Domestic helper while we're away

    Hi,

    I'm a mother of 3 girls below 4 years old. Until now, everytime we go on holiday, we always bring our helper along. We're usually away for months during summer. The reason we bring her is, for now, so she can help me with the children and of course houseworks while we're abroad. But as years go by, next year, the youngest one will be 2 years old, and we're thinking about not taking her instead.

    Has anybody ever left their maid that long alone by herslef in HK? Or do you send her home?
    What about the salary? 'Cause I assume they'll be diligent enough to get part time somewhere. Do we still have to pay her full since practically she's not doing anything while we're away?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    1. It is illegal for a foreign domestic helper to work for anyone other than you.
    2. You are contracted to pay her a monthly salary for 2 years, NOT 2 years less your summer holidays.
    3. For what it is worth, we send our helper home to the Philippines when we go away for more than a week or so. We pay her monthly salary in advance before we go, as well as air ticket and other travel costs. In the past, at her request, we have also paid for our helper's husband to visit HK and they stay in our flat whilst we are away.

  3. #3
    ollyvia is offline Registered User
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    Thanks jane01 for your reply.

    I'm well aware that it's illegal for domestic helpers to seek employment other than their employer as stated in the contract, but what about all those part times that we see out there?
    If we're only away for 1 or 2 weeks, which we sometimes did, I'll ask her to stay. But I'm talking about away for months. We can be away for as long as 3 months. If we send her home for 3 months, who would look after our house when we're away? If she stays, would you still pay her full 3 months "empty" salary?
    I'm not very keen of having strangers in my house when we're away. Our helper single by the way.

    I'm still open for suggestions.....

  4. #4
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    You hired your maid - now you have to pay her salary. Or you can terminate her contract, and pay out whatever fees are associated with this. You can't have it both ways!
    I assume you are happy with her services, as she seems to have been working for you for a while.
    It seems unfair (not to mention illegal!) that she should be financially penalised to a quarter of her year's salary.

  5. #5
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    Ummm, what HappyV said.

    In regards to looking after your flat whilst you're away, what needs to be done if you're not there? If your helper came back from the holidays a week or a few days before you, she'd have plenty of time to dust, etc in preparation for your arrival.

    We have a few plants which need watering. We have an arrangement with our next door neighbour - when we go away their helper waters our plants and vice versa. Your helper might also have reliable friends who wouldn't mind watering a few times a week.

    Also, you could always ask a good friend or neighbour to mind your pot plants whilst you're away????

    Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    ollyvia is offline Registered User
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    Thank you HappyV and Jane01 for your comments.

    Yes, you're right, I'm happy with her services. I think I'll just send her home for a few weeks, up to 1 mth and ask her friend to come in a couple of times a week while we're away. Problem solved! Thank you very much for your input :-D

  7. #7
    JennyB is offline Registered User
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    Just regarding the part-time thing, it's not so easy for helpers to get hold of extra work on a temporary basis. There are lots of other helpers looking for extra income. Your helper might pick up a few hours here and there but it can take months for them to build up a substantial number of hours.

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