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Helpers who do not live in-Legal?

  1. #9
    Nashua852's Avatar
    Nashua852 is offline Registered User
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    Part-time helpers are illegal unless they are local - who are not easy to come by.

    Having said that, having part time help is probably more common than having a live out helper. We know people who do both. Generally, people who work and dont have kids opt for part time help and its not perceived as too much of a big deal. As you dont sponsor a part timer and liability would be hard to pinpoint. I believe it is regarded a greater offense if your helper is found to be living out -- and unfortunately has been used as ammunition when there are disputes between neighbours.

    The HK government largely impose this because as an employer who has sponsored someone from overseas they are your responsibility and there have been cases, more common than you think of live out helpers 'moonlighting' under unfavourable circumstances. The fine for being caught with a live out is something like HK$30,000 -- this was cited by a friend and I cannot vouch for it completely but it gives you an idea of how serious the government takes it all. Good Luck!
    Proud Mama to Kian Danyaal 08.12.2007 & Adara Michelle 10.10.2009

  2. #10
    AussieMum is offline Registered User
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    Yes, I beleive part time helpers are legal. It depends on your building and the apartment you chose. The building I am in, the larger one's have a seperate entrance and the smaller apartments the helper shares the same entrance.
    Good luck with the move.

  3. #11
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    http://ldh.erb.org/guie/er.asp

    Here's a site for local part time helpers.

  4. #12
    Aber97 is offline Registered User
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    Putting the legal issue aside, I think there are a lot of advantages to having a live-in. Particularly if both you and your partner work. There will be no issue of the helper being late in the morning and she can get things up and running whilst you get ready in the morning. Also, you're able to make last minute decision to go out in the evening anytime, whether for a quick drink down the local, or a full night out, and there's always someone there other than Sundays. I think a lot of people with live-out helpers tend to have to give longer notice to their helpers and plan things more when they go out. Hong Kong is a highly sociable place so you might find that you want more flexibility particularly in the beginning when you're making new friends. Another factor to take into account is that, if you have a live-in to begin with, you can always ask her to live out if you have to and she won't mind, but the other way round might be harder since a helper might already have become use to having her own place. If you have at least one child and you like to maintain a reasonably "varied" lifestyle, provided that you find the right live-in helper, you will probably end up finding her an indispensable part of the family. I think you will probably need to start living in Hong Kong to appreciate this.

  5. #13
    JoTs is offline Registered User
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    Yes, it is illegal to have a live-out foreign domestic helper - whether full-time or part-time. But many people still do it.

    When I just had my first child, I had a part-time local chinese lady clean a couple of times a week. That was plenty enough for me - but she didn't speak any English...

    I finally caved in and got a full-time live-in foreign domestic helper when my second child was 6 months old. Best decision I ever made! She is really great and although having her live with us takes some getting used to, the benefits far outweigh this.

    That said, we are currently looking for a new flat and I am favouring the ones with the helpers room through the kitchen with a separate door....

    Hope that helps

  6. #14
    BeaMae is offline Registered User
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    I don't think we saw any helper's rooms with a separate entrance. That aside, I think we will probably end up with a live in helper, especially if we have a second. We did not manage to have a regular sitter here at home, so the idea of having regular baby sitting would be fantastic. Thank you all for the input!!

  7. #15
    Portia is offline Registered User
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    BeaMae
    Usually it's the older flats that have a separate entrance for helpers and helper's area which is more separate from the rest of the flat. I live in a flat that was built around 40 years ago and it has not one, but two helpers rooms and a service area for laundry and ironing. The helpers area is off the kitchen and quite private. They can't hear us and we can't hear them if the doors to the kitchen are closed.

  8. #16
    BeaMae is offline Registered User
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    That makes sense, I think my husband was looking at buildings that were built more recently. Maybe we will end up moving after the first year, once we get settled. Thanks!

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