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Ground rules

  1. #1
    shahirakk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Repulse Bay, Hong Kong

    Talking Ground rules

    Dear all,
    I have now purchased a copy of "Helpers Helper" as recommended on this forum which I am hoping to put into practise.

    I am quite a relaxed, easy going person. From what I have seen of the helper I am about to employ and from verbal references I have had from her previous employers, I know she is very hardworking, cares passionately about what she is doing, and seemed to handle my son very well but I can see she can sometimes be a bit headstrong.

    I really want to channel her energy and also ensure that I keep channels of communication clear and open, so I wanted to lay some ground rules / house rules before we start.

    Has anyone done this before / do you have any suggestions on what I should cover? I know I wont be able to cover every eventuality but I would like to have a main checklist to avoid possible misunderstandings in the future.

    So far, I have seen the following issues come up

    Lending money
    Taking Saturday off / Saturday night
    What the maid does in her room and issues of privacy
    Friends/ Visitors in maids room
    Smoking / drinking alcohol
    Food and food allowance
    Keeping passports - is this even legal?
    holiday- do maids get all the red days and then annual leave - what is annual leave entitlement?
    Sick leave
    Bonuses & discretionary payments
    Using the landline phone
    Taking my child outside the immediate complex and vicinity
    Anyone got any other ideas?

    Also, anyone got any ideas on mobile phones - obviously dont want to be a dictator but has anyone got a sensitive way of dealing with this?

    What are your thoughts? I had thought we'd work these out as we went along and that I didnt want to want to make anyone feel uncomfortable with too many rules. However,looking at these forums, I am starting to think this relaxed attitude might lead to misunderstandings and ambiguities. I am hoping I can sit down and discuss this list with my helper to be before she starts and agree some ground rules so that we can build a good, working relationship.

    Really appreciate your help with this one

  2. #2
    Sophia_Chan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Clearwater Bay

    Dress code:
    I'm not fond of short shorts, mini-skirts, bikinis at swimming pool/beach, and anything too revealing.

    Your vacation:
    If you might be taking her along on your vacation, discuss how she might have to still be working (looking after the kids when you're out dining on some nights) and how you would compensate her days off.

    Keeping me in the picture:
    I want to be kept informed about everything that has happened to my kids, regardless how minor; a fall, a fight with play dates, comments from other parents/helpers, anything. If you think there's something not right with my kids (slow in some developmental ways), please be honest with me. Sometimes I miss out on these things...

  3. #3
    kellyst is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Hong Kong

    some answers to your questions:
    - keeping passports is illegal, it's more something you work out with your helper and if you do it at all, it's to prevent borrowing (we went through the if it is appropriate or not discussion in another thread, so i won't want to go thru that again)
    - we do a soft curfew and told them we'd like them to be back at around 9pm. but we're flexible and the helper respect that too
    - they get what's called statutory holidays off, so not ALL red days, but most of them, search for 'stautory holidays hong kong' on google, you'll find them
    - sick leave, i don't think we do anything special, if they're sick and needed rest, we'd just ask them to take a rest and not work for the day

    (just a side note on this, my helper was sick with a virus, we didn't remember to isolate her from the baby and half of my family ended up getting sick as well, so just a note to remember to be mindful of that.. there's a very contagious flu going around)

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