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Help us with our DH leave issues!

  1. #1
    2Buffs is offline Registered User
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    Question Help us with our DH leave issues!

    At the beginning of January 2009 we hired a DH. She was being let go from her prior employer in HK and did not go back to the Philippines between contracts. She has a sister working in the UK who is returning to the Philippines in June and our DH would like to take leave at the same time. So far we are pleased with our helper and would like to accomodate her as much as possible but in June my wife will be returning to work after having our first child. We will both be working long hours making it difficult not to have our helper.

    From reading some online forums I gather that DH are entitled to 14 days of paid leave in the 2nd year of their contract (or after the contract). Is this correct?

    So, technically our DH is not entitled to any paid leave this year? Do most of you give your helper paid leave each year? If so, how many days? I'm also assuming she will only take one trip home. Is that a reasonable assumption?

    Our helper's sister is taking her leave at a time which accomodates her British employers and I feel like we will suffer if our helper takes time of those same dates.

    Any information you can provide on what is reasonable paid leave for helpers (how many days, how often, etc) would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i believe that if your helper agreed to take the leave that she should have taken between contracts, you are obliged to let her go sometime before the first year is up. whether or not you pay her is up to you as technically, she should have taken it before she started with you.

    we have in the past paid our helper when it wasn't "necessary". we found that it was ok for us. it strengthened our relationship with her and helped to build loyalty.

    we also gave her more leave when her son graduated from high school. her husband took time off from his work in saudi arabia and although i'd JUST had a baby via c-section, i had a hard time saying "no". i knew that it had been almost 4 years since she'd seen her husband as they were never able to get time off at the same time.

    it really is up to you, but remember that after her contract is finished, she IS entitled to another PAID trip home.

  3. #3
    2Buffs is offline Registered User
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    Thanks carang. Just out of curiosity, how many days of paid leave to most employers provide (not what is required)? Our DH might be a bit spoiled as her prior employer sent her home 4 times in 2 years but we don't know for how many days. We are less concerned about the cost of one or two flights than not having her here to help us with the baby.

  4. #4
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    my helper took 2-3 weeks each time. however, that isn't always possible.

    we have offered to bring her son here to visit, but he's been busy at school so hasn't come yet.

    her husband has since visited us twice more. he's a really nice guy and we are now trying to hire him, too.

    would it be possible, instead of her going home to have her sister come to hong kong on the way home? or on the way back? she could stay here for a few days and they can catch up rather here rather than there? (that's what our helper's husband did on one of his trips back. we agreed that he could stay at our house, in her bedroom as she has a proper bedroom and not the tiny amah quarters. but even so, she may be able to stay in a lower star hotel or a hostel if she is unable or you are uncomfortable having her in your home.)

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
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    ps> with two kids of my own, i must tell you that when helpers go on their holidays it is NEVER convenient, unless you are away at the same time.

  6. #6
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    I would caution against promising holidays too early based on you being happy with her since she started. I mean, it's only been a month or so. She will be on her best behaviour. There should be no harm in telling her you want to see how things pan out a bit longer before committing to anything, especially as you are not actually obliged to give her any holidays until she has been with you a year.

    I don't like to be a downer or a cynic but having gone through 2 helpers to finally get to a good one if there is one thing I have learnt it is that giving too much too quickly does not work how you think it will. Rather than it inspiring loyalty it has for us at least (and many friends) backfired. Our previous helpers got lazier (they considered us 'soft touches'), started asking for more and more (loans, etc) and when we didn't oblige them they just started lying to try and get what they wanted. It didn't work because by then we knew better but having to fire/hire etc with two young children was very difficult.

    Our third helper is very good and we gave her holidays earlier than she was due them but only by two months and only because it was also convenient for us. (I am due with my third child in a few weeks). She certainly wouldn't have entertained having discussions with us about holidays within a month of starting with us.

    If I sound harsh believe me I'm not. Our helper has it great with us. She is paid a lot of money, has already been on two big trips (Oz and Thailand), goes to church during the week on our time, works reasonable hours but fair is fair, she is still our employee and what we do for her needs to be repaid to us by her being good at her job and doing the right thing. With a new baby at home you need to first do what is right by your wife and child. As Carang said, her sister could always come to HK to be with her. You might consider paying her airfare (as we did for our helpers sister) and in return she can help out a bit around the house for free. In fact, our helper's sister stayed with us for two weeks and we helped her find an employer.

    Either way, good luck.

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    except that in this case, as far as i understand it... the helper IS entitled and indeed REQUIRED to exit to PH BEFORE the one year is up as her holidays between contracts were "deferred" so that she could start immediately. however, these holidays are not PAID.

    i think offering to have sis come might be the best option.

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