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helper hours?

  1. #33
    vivianhui is offline Registered User
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    agree, you won't be able to find anything on legal work hours for DH. The best you can do is to impose what you think is humane and 'right' for your DH at home, and perhaps structure work in such a way that she will do more cleaning and other chaos (e.g. ironing, laundry for adults, cleaning kitchen etc.) on Sat so she doesn't need to work until she is completely exhausted during the week.

    Just FYI, a lot of local employers also actually do not let their DHs get a rest day every week (they pay them for that extra day of work) because they don't want them to be exposed to "bad influence".

    I didn't find the topic got out of hand, it's pretty interesting discussion actually...

  2. #34
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    I agree with Vivian, it's an interesting topic and is in no way out of hand.

    What I really don't get is why and how helpers are being worked to exhaustion. Maybe someone could explain. Our house is not huge but at just under 2000 square foot it's big by Hong Kong standards yet the whole place can be cleaned when my son is napping during the day. Am I missing something? What do you actually get your helpers to do that keeps them so busy (not including child minding)? I'm genuinely curious.. maybe my house is dirty! I know my helper is a little lazy and just likes to tick the boxes with her cleaning so to speak but we have another one starting soon and i'd like to make sure we have her doing what she should be doing.

  3. #35
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    my child-minding helper is defintely not "busy" to a lot of local standards. i've known families who employ one DH to do all the cleaning, cooking & child minding. now that's "busy".

    i ask my DH to come home before 9pm,because of the "bad influence" factor. but obviously one can learn to be "bad" even when going out during the day! but i always ask her not to do anything on the day of her "rest". but she always choose to finish off with clearing my daughter's diaper bad & refilling the clothes & getting the things prepared for the next day. i guess she thinks it's gonna be her work anyway whether she does it today or tomorrow. if i do need her to come home early for some reasons that i need her to help me out, i pay her a full day's pay (even if it's just 1 or 2 hrs).

    when she arrived she told me all the 6 yrs she worked in Taiwan, she's NEVER had a day off. I was shocked!! she said she's NEVER went out on her own!!

    about me never having a DH & now bring her out to just carry things - i used to feel sooooooo weird with this person tagging along my back carrying groceries. now i'm used to it.

  4. #36
    ELT
    ELT is offline Registered User
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    i think ours is not busy either. I work full time and I used to do all the cleaning and cooking myself. Well, alright! My hubby did help out with laundry and dishes. So our DH is very much doing the same work with more time. Although I do believe minding a baby is A LOT OF WORK. But our helper is very organized and efficient, otherwise, how could she find time to take afternoon naps and watch DVDs during the day?

    But back to Aussiegal's question... I guess there are some employers who are unreasonably picky / demanding? I know people who expect the floor to be moped with bleach followed by 2 rounds with water - that alone is 3 times the work. And then there are families that genuinly need the DH drop off and pick up the kid from school, prepare the kid's lunch then dinner for the family -- that already keep the DH very busy. I understand quite a large proportion of mums in this forum stays home or with part-time or flexible jobs (I being one of them). I think the fact that we are home or get to spend more time with the kids than average working mum gives our DH more time to do other work too.

  5. #37
    mintycat is offline Registered User
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    I have 2 helpers. One of them goes to the market, cooks and does the dusting around the apartment. The other one does the laundry, ironing, vaccuming and cleaning of the toilets. I just had a baby who is 6 week old, so the one that cooks also has to take my older LO to playgroups 3 times a week (1.5 hours each time). The reason I let her take LO to playgroup is because I am breastfeeding on demand (still trying to establish a schedule here) and I don't trust them with the newborn at home. They also have weekly chores such as cleaning of the fridge, interior windows, polishing silverware etc.

  6. #38
    regislea is offline Registered User
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    DH Hours

    Can I just deal - hopefully definitively - with the actual legal siutuation? There are no maximum working hours for anyone in Hong Kong - whether DH or CEO of Cheung Kong! What the Labour Ordinance does say is that any worker is entitled to a 24 hour rest period in any given 7-day period, plus statutory holidays. The lady who writes that she gives her DH 8pm to 8pm is within the law - although whether morally she should run her DH’s life for her is a question between her and her helper, I suppose. And by the way, if the DH does not take her day off and gets paid in lieu, the employer is still breakng the law!

    In practice, however, very few helpers get the full 24 hours (one survey suggests that over 90% don’t!). What happens is that they work until abut 10am and have to be back by 8pm - the so-called “curfew”. As an exercise, go to Statue Square, Causeway Bay or Wanchai and watch the rush for the MTR any time after 7pm.

    If anyone wants the full details of the regualtions, I suggest you go to:

    http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/hkvisas_5.5.htm

    which is the Guidelines document produced by Immigration Department. Every employer should have this anyway, but the relevant segments are:

    Statutory holidays

    60.*****The employer is required to grant statutory holidays to the Helper in accordance with the Employment Ordinance.

    61.*****If the Helper has worked continuously for the employer for 3 months preceding any of these holidays, he/she is entitled to be paid for that holiday.

    Rest day

    62.*****Under the Employment Ordinance, the Helper is entitled to not less than 1 rest day in every period of 7 days. A rest day is a continuous period of not less than 24 hours. The dates of the weekly rest day will be appointed by the employer who must, unless the rest days are on a regular basis, notify the Helper before the beginning of each month.

    Best regards,

    Kingsley

  7. #39
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    Regislea - thanks for the definitive legal answer !

    Back to the interesting discussion...

    I'm with Aussiegal, what do helpers do all day with a SAHM? Why do they need to work such long hours? When we holiday in Australia I do all our housework (well, my husband sometimes helps).
    * washing takes no time at all - sort clothes, put them into the washing machine, turn it on.
    * ironing - for a family of 4 I spend maybe an hour ironing every few days
    *vaccuming - even our house in Australia, which is bigger than our HK flat, takes maybe half an hour a day to do it all. I also wash the floor once/twice a week depending on what state it is in.
    * clean the bathrooms - I generally do it whilst I'm in the shower (not an option for a domestic helper obviously) but maybe 5 mins, then a quick wash of the floor, wipe of the benches and mirror, clean toilet. Maybe half an hour twice a week for 2 bathrooms?
    * Say approx weekly we also do other things like clean the fridge/cupboards/windows/sweep outside/gardening (we only have a courtyard garden)/changing sheets. Maybe an hour a week?
    * cooking - well, I suppose it depends on whether you have 10 course lunches, but we just have cereal/toast for breakfast (no time at all), sandwiches for lunch (no time at all), cooked meal for dinner (maybe an hour a day)
    * cleaning up after meals - this can take a while when my 16 month old decides to throw her dinner around, but just wipe, rinse the plates, put them in the dishwasher - half an hour.
    * shopping - I like buying fresh everyday. I make it a bit of an outing with my daughters and we often walk there (16 month old in the pram). Hard to quantify time, especially as we often stop at the park on the way.
    * I'm sure I've forgotten other things...

    So, maybe 3 hours a day? What do domestic helpers do all day? Maybe my housekeeping standards are too low???

  8. #40
    ELT
    ELT is offline Registered User
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    jane01, you are very efficient!

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