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helper is pregnant

  1. #1
    onesarah is offline Registered User
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    helper is pregnant

    Hi
    I wonder if any one can help.

    I have just found out my helper is 11 weeks pregnant, due next May. I am aware that she is entitled to 10 weeks paid leave, but am wondering about any other entitlements. For example, do I need to pay for her flight home to have the baby? Who covers any associated anetnatal medical costs (the health insurance does not cover pregnancy)?

    I am very happy for her and want to support her the best I can but this has coincided (very badly) with my own pregnancy and infact we are due 2 days apart. Would I be able to get temporary cover while she is away? She says she will come back 4 weeks after the birth, but I wonder if the reality will be like that for her.

    Any advice would be great.
    thanks

  2. #2
    AndreaY is offline Registered User
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    firstly, when did she join you? if she is going to give birth less than 40 weeks after she joined, you do not have to give her paid maternity leave, only the leave days itself. Also, when is she planning to leave? If she is pregnant, she is entitled to refuse certain work which she thinks is too much for her in her pregnant state and in any case, she may not have a problem free pregnancy. It may not be in your interest to keep her working for you when you are also pregnant and may need more help.

    when our helper got pregnant and we decided to wait for her return, I had her sign a letter saying that if she did not come back by a certain date (in your case, maybe 4 weeks after her due date?) that we should treat it as her resignation and we would no longer be liable to her for anything under the contract and the law.

    We only waited for our helper cos we were just working couple then. I know it sounds coldhearted, but I don't think I'd wait if I were pregnant and required more help before and after the birth. Especially since she is due the same time as you and this means she'd not be there the 1st few weeks of your baby's arrival. If you do wait, the way I see it, the upside will be she will treat yours like her own, the downside maybe she will get too attached to your baby, more than you'd like.

  3. #3
    AndreaY is offline Registered User
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    Forgot to add, we paid for her return ticket, although legally not really required to, how else will she be able to go home? And staying is not really an option. Legally, dun think you have to pay for any antenatal care, apart from if she is ill for any reason. Pregnancy is not an illness and antenatal checkups are merely for the mom's assurance that everything is going ok. If she is not covered and you would like her to have antenatal checkups, can always go public which is alot cheaper.

  4. #4
    jenayds is offline Registered User
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    Yikes, I don't think I would be comfortable with someone leaving their 4 week baby and coming to work to help me with mine. I agree it could get very complicated emotionally for you both. And you will really need help both before and after the birth, you get so, so tired in the last trimester. I don't know your history with this helper, but from an objective (and I know, cold hearted) point of view, you would be better off with someone who will be able to really help you during the critical periods for you.

  5. #5
    onesarah is offline Registered User
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    Thanks ladies. I agree, I DO need someone who is 100% reliable and without their own emotional baggage, so to speak. I cant imagine her situation or belief that she will return to Hk when the baby is so young.
    But I get on very well with my helper, and she will have been with me a year when she is due so I will have to pay maternity leave. As much as I want to help her, I do have to think of my own situation and we already have a toddler who is full on.
    I do not think I have any way of terminating her contract or suggesting that she stays at home to look after her baby and not come back to HK after 4 weeks. What do I do? I am very aware that it could be virtually impossible to get a full time helper to cover her while she is away for the 10 weeks but this is the time I will need help the most.
    What bad timing eh! :(

  6. #6
    AndreaY is offline Registered User
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    Have you considered offering her money as incentive for her to terminate the contract herself? Normally that works.

  7. #7
    elizaveta is offline Registered User
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    And what about taking a second helper? I do not know your situation, you may think it is ridiculous proposal financially... Personally I also have a toddler and expecting a baby next May. I am seriously considering second helper, especially because nr 1 had terrible colic and trust me, if you have a difficult child you could do with 10 helpers. You just never know.
    I also think, especially if you are working, the load of 2 kids and full household is too much. If you take a second helper, first could train her and have her maternity at peace. But again, maybe you would not want to have extra charge... Good luck!

  8. #8
    kmalia's Avatar
    kmalia is offline Registered User
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    check out: http://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public/ConciseGuide.htm

    chapter 6 covers Maternity Protection for Domestic Helpers

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