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What would you do?

  1. #1
    curiousmummy is offline Registered User
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    What would you do?

    hi all,
    Just wanted advice on what you would do given the below circumstances.
    I have a great helper, can't complain much. However, I recently found out that she's applying to UK to be a helper there, which enable her to earn 1700usd. She did not reveal this to me, I had found out from some documents she has left in the kitchen by mistake. She has taken long periods of time on 3 days (working hours) without asking me to get the application going.

    she was of course surprised when i asked her when her last day is, since I need to plan in advance. She told me that her application may not be successful, and it takes like 4-6 months for the UK visa approval. And that, she will give me 1 month's notice, should she be approved for the UK visa. She asked to continue working here till the uk visa is approved.

    I dont really trust that it takes 4-6 months for visa to be approved by UK. And I dont know how much lies she's spinning.

    Will you all start looking for a new helper and have to terminate current helper if managed to find a good one? Or wait till she gives notice? Any advise is appreciated!

    I have a 7 month old baby, and working full time, so a helper is crucial

  2. #2
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    Your helper is correct - they can apply for a UK visa, and due to the nature of the working visa and their nationality, it can take 4-6 months to process. Ditto when they apply for Canadian visas.

    Ask for two months notice in return for you not firing her - that way, so have time to find and process a new helper, and she gets to keep her job in the meantime.

    We are facing the same issue with our helper - she wants to go to Candada. As she is free to pick and choose her employment, just as I am free to pick and choose my employees, I do not see this as being a big deal in itself. I understand you are annoyed that she didn't tell you, but she has the right to control her own destiny, as you do.

    I hope it all works out - good luck.

  3. #3
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    First, if I were you, I would look at things from your helper's point of view. You said that you are a working mother so as an employee yourself, surely you can relate to how it is to be an employee. Your helper is an employee.

    I don't think that it is unreasonable for any employee to seek "greener pastures"--in this life we all have to look out for ourselves. If she thinks that she can get a better job with greater opportunities (higher pay) by going to the UK, why should she be forbidden or discouraged from checking into it and even pursuing it?

    As an employee, do you tell your boss everything that you do? Say you are considering working for another company and you need time to check into it--maybe go to a job interview or gather necessary documents. Depending on how understanding your boss is and how long and close your relationship is, you may not want to make known to your boss, "Hey, I'm looking at other options." Your boss may get the wrong idea and think, "That ungrateful employee of mine is not satisfied with my company....I'll just fire her!" Really, what you are doing is looking out for yourself. Maybe you love your boss and the company but for personal reasons want to try somewhere else--or maybe the pay is higher somewhere else and the chances of a raise with your boss are small.

    The truth is, your helper is your employee but you don't own her. As a human being, it's totally understandable that she is looking for better opportunities for herself in the future--especially if she has a family to take care of.

    Now, if she is neglecting her duties of caring for your child and just spends here time running around the city doing her own errands, that may be a problem. If it were my helper, as long as my child was taken care of, I wouldn't mind if she spent a couple of days attending to her own business--she can just as well take my child to the immigration office to pick up paperwork as taking him to the park one day. Afterall, it's only a few days and helpers have such long work weeks anyway with very little holiday. Actually, I can't imagine myself being on-call 14 hours day, 6 days a week as many helpers are. So, I guess I'm just more compassionate when it comes to things like this.

    As far as visas go--yes, it does take that long to process visas so I would give your helper the benefit of the doubt on that one. It sounds like you are very quick to mistrust her so maybe deep down, you are looking for a reason to fire her anyway. If she's a good helper otherwise, I wouldn't make a big deal of it. I would show compassion and understanding to her and make it clear that she has duties she cannot neglect and if she does, that is reason for firing her. She is only required to give you a 1-month's notice of contract termination by law so you can't force her to give you two months in exchange for not firing her. If you're going to fire her, fire her--give her her termination notice right now and start looking for another helper.

    However, as I said, if she's otherwise a good helper, it may be in your best interest to keep her as long as possible and do just exactly as she's doing--keep your eye out for another opportunity to hire a different helper. It truly is hard to find a good helper.

  4. #4
    curiousmummy is offline Registered User
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    Hi thanka 2, thank you for the response.
    I do not believe I mention in my original post that i was going to stop her from seeking greener pastures, nor was I unhappy that she was doing so. Neither did I say I was unhappy about her processing her visa, but that it was because she had gone off without letting me know. I do not expect her to let me know she was applying for UK visa, but the approximate number of hours she will be gone for the day for me to do my back up planning.

    As a responsible worker, she should have told me she was taking the time off. And not have gone half day without letting me know.

    Main question was would you look for a new helper in this scenario and the time to process the visa. Noted on your answers and would appreciate if you do not over-react with all your presumptions as well.

    Perhaps you had the better experience dealing with good and honest helpers. But there are employers like me who have had bad experiences with various helpers. And we are not fighting for the rights of helpers in this thread.

  5. #5
    0ze_Kid's Avatar
    0ze_Kid is offline Registered User
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    But you don't tell your employer that you are applying for a new job. Yes, she should have asked for time off but I don't think she needed to tell you that it was to apply for a visa overseas.

  6. #6
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    rani is offline Administrator
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    We're also going through this as well. Our helper is off to the US, and she told us last summer that she is applying. We only started looking for a replacement once the US side of the paperwork was completed. We're estimating that it will take another 2-months for the final papers to come through at the HK Consulate.

    Yes, do ask for 2-months notice.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    curiousmummy is offline Registered User
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    Thank you for all the advise.
    Rani - are you currently looking for a replacement helper yet?
    Good ones are so difficult to find!
    Started my interview process just to be safe!

  8. #8
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    We started looking for replacement in June. We were counting on a family member replacing her, but it didn't work out. We looked locally, and couldn't find anyone that my helper and I both liked. Finally, found someone in Manila. She should be here in a few weeks. Just hope they'll be a handover of at least 2 weeks.

    Our current helper has been with us for 5 years, and my son is very close to her. They're already making plans to meet up next summer in New York. :)

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