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helper hours?

  1. #25
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    Nov 2003
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    I had visions of a french maid's outfit as well ! Glad you sorted that one out for us joannek.

    So you grew up without help, so your mum and dad looked after you and your sister. I find it strange, given your upbringing, that you won't go out without bringing your maid along to carry the shopping and nappy bag. Would you consider structuring your day so that your maid gets time off for a rest/nap especially if she is up a couple of times in the night to attend to your daughter?

    You must love your husband a lot to put up with a mother-in-law like that. May I be nosey and ask if she lives with you? If so, you have my fullest sympathies.

  2. #26
    mintycat is offline Registered User
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    I also provide "uniforms" for my helpers. When they came on board, I asked them if they want "uniforms". I told them it will be black track pants and polo shirts from Bossini. They both agree. Sometimes they wear their own clothes, most of the time, they wear the "uniforms."

    I agree on the phone thing. With my previous DH, I was out for an appointment one day and when I came home , I walked in on her talking on the phone and feeding my then 5 month old. I must have startled her that she dropped the phone and thankfully not the baby! After that I told her she shouldn't chat on the phone while minding the baby. I don't mind if she chats on the phone when she is ironing or something.

    While I don't ask them to return home very early on their rest days, I did tell them I want them home by 10:30 pm. One of them always come back around 8 pm and have dinner here. She said she wants to save money by eating home. She always helps out in the kitchen despite me constantly telling her its her rest day and she doesn't need to do anything.

    I do have a rule about not bringing friends home without my permission.

  3. #27
    regislea is offline Registered User
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    Jun 2007
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    Mid levels Hong Kong
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    I’m intrigued by the several postings that admit to demanding that the DH is home by a certain time on their “rest” day.

    How many of you are aware that, legally, a DH is entitled to a full 24 hours once a week and on statutory - not Public - holidays?

    Are you doing this out of ignorance of the law or simply breaking it because “everybody does it”?

    Best regards,

    Regislea

  4. #28
    ELT
    ELT is offline Registered User
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    We don't have a curfew but we do ask our helper to call if she's going to come home after 10pm. That said, I would be concerned if she came home after midnight every week. Otherwise, as regislea mentioned, it is her dayoff!

  5. #29
    vivianhui is offline Registered User
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    regislea, I didn't impose a curfew for my helper, but just to answer your question, the 24 hour rule starts from the time when the helper starts to rest the previous day. e.g. if your helper rests on Sunday and she finishes her work at 8pm on Saturday, then the 24 hours will be over by 8pm on Sunday and so she will be expected to be home by 8pm on Sunday.

    This is what I read on the baby forum for local Chinese. Most of the local Chinese families want their helpers to be home early on Sunday for various reasons, some need their help to tidy up or clean the home after spending a whole day with the baby, others believe helpers will be exposed to bad influence if they hang out with their friends for too long. So they will let their helpers finish their day early in the evening before their rest day so they won't break the law even if they ask the helpers to come home early.

    just thought this is interesting to share.

  6. #30
    jamesandsimo is offline Registered User
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    sorry all - didn't mean this to get out of hand. ALL i NEEDED to know what the LEGAL hours for employment. Surely there must be something???? Most of our husbands (or wives) who work have a 8am - 6pm contract (yes, i know they work longer, some get overtime some dont etc etc)

    I will try and check with the government what is legal - personally i don't think its ethical or should be legal for helpers to work more than 12 hour days, especially without breaks -i don't think we 'own' them. I would totally be offended if my husband was required to work 15 hour days 6 days a week with 7 days off a year!

  7. #31
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    Mar 2006
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    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong
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    Hi Jamesandmio, am pretty sure you won't find any legal limit for the number of hours a helper can work. If there was a limit, am pretty sure it would be in the contract but there is nothing in there.

    You'll find in HK that it's one set of labour laws for helpers and one set of labour laws for the rest of us! I also don't think the labour laws for the rest of us in HK are particularly stringent either.

    In Canada for example helpers are not allowed to work more than 8 hours a day, and if for whatever reason they are required to work more than 8 hrs you must pay them overtime. I can tell you that nothing like that exists in HK.

    I believe the only law is that you must give them one day of 24 hours off a week.

    It is horrendous- but without legal limits on how many hrs a day people can make their helpers work it is something the govt. allows to happen. All you can do is impose your own hours of work a day that you think are appropriate. If 12 is too much, so don't ask your helper to work 12 hrs.

  8. #32
    ELT
    ELT is offline Registered User
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    I think the condition here is quite different from the west. You might already notice that in HK, a lot of mums continue to work after they give birth, mostly for financial reasons. In HK, there's not a good pension system and people do have to pay for healthcare so locals need to work to save up for their retirement and children's education. Since both parents work and a lot have jobs with long hours or shifts (a lot of locals are in service industry), they need their DHs to work long hours. It is not a matter of being mean or not, it is the only option.

    Of course, there are some truely mean employers who would work their DHs' asses off with unreasonable demands and expectations.

    But hypothetically speaking, if HK implement maximum work hours and overtime system, many mums might be forced to stay home as it would be too costly to hire DHs. While there could be a further decrease in the already low birth rate because some families just can't afford to raise children with single income. The population would get older, more pressure on healthcare, increased taxation, and social problems...

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