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Going away for 6 weeks - what to do with helper?

  1. #9
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    i haven't read all of the previous posts, but here's my take:

    1) this is what i'd do... but not necessarily part of her annual leave. that needs to be mutually agreed. she can't help that you are going away for as long as you are.

    2) don't think sending her on unpaid leave is fair either....again, not her fault you are going away and i think it's unfair to ask her to take unpaid leave...

    if I were to go away and there was no pressing need (dogs etc) to have her stay in hk, i would give her the choice of going home (i would pay for 1/2 of the flight costs) or staying... both options would be paid.

    but if she were to choose going home, it would be starting 1 week after we leave and she would return 2 weeks before we came back.

    while she was here and we were not, i would have her do a very thorough spring clean.
    Last edited by carang; 03-30-2011 at 06:31 PM.

  2. #10
    1stimemum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    bel air
    i had a similar situation and here's just what I did, not sure if this will work for you.

    I too wanted her to make sure the apt didnt get mildewy.. happened when we left for 3 wks previously..

    Stayed 1 wk in HK working, big chores that dont get done as well sometimes,
    Went home for 3 wks (2 were her annual leave, i didnt give her a choice in this to be honest, 1 wk extra - paid)
    Home 1 wk in HK in preparation for our arrival, stocking up the fridge again.

    She was very happy with the arrangement, 1 extra week to stay home to see family, time to get chores done which she herself said really needed to be done when baby was away ( dust, eczema issues) .

    This is just what worked for us and I hope it helps.

  3. #11
    kiwiinoz is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong
    When we were in your situation, we ended up with the following arrangement:
    Our helper stayed back and gave the place a big spring clean just after we left (especially the things you can't do with kids always around), then she went to the Philippines for 4 weeks (we chose to pay for her flights and pay her salary while we were away (but I know a lot of people who don't when they send their helper home)). She returned to HK a week before us to get everything in order and clean, stock the cupboards, fridge, etc. We did however leave one air con running while we were all away to combat the mildew problem.
    When we arrived back in HK the apartment looked amazing - no dust or anything (We have to deal with dust allergies too). She actually enjoyed being able to give the apartment a 'deep clean' without having to worry about the chemical smells, etc lingering. She also was extremely grateful for the time with her family.
    I guess at the end of the day, do what you feel comfortable with. What works for one isn't going to work for others, but hopefully you'll figure something out that works for you both. The last thing you want is to be worrying about things here when you're trying to enjoy an 'escape'.

    p.s. does this mean we can do a dance because you have gotten the all clear?? Love reading your blog. XD

  4. #12
    charade is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Hey Nicole, not judging... just sharing my experience with my helper since I literally had a similar conversation a couple of days ago (though we are going away for only two weeks). If you feel you'd like her to stay in Hk for part of the time, then of course up to you as an employer and that's perfectly fair since you're paying for it. Not sure of the legality of the unpaid leave bit though... Have you considered taking your helper with you? Depending on the price of ticket of where you're flying to, that can also work out cheaper than paying food allowance in HK and with two babies might be a help for you on your vacation.

  5. #13
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point
    Hey all, thanks for your helpful answers - especially the genius who suggested I ask her what her preferences are and then go from there (I tend to get WAY ahead of myself and plan out all the possibilities in advance). I talked with her and she said she would prefer to just go back for only two weeks. So actually what she wants and what we want are the same thing!!

    Kiwi - yes we did get the medical approval in the end! This will be the first time that I've been home in over a year and a half, and the first time my husband has been back in over two years. It's been a long wait but I'm glad that we get a LONG time away after all the stresses of the past year! Although we've NEVER been away this long so there's a lot more to think about logistically. Also since we JUST got notification yesterday and we are leaving in less than three weeks, we don't have a whole lot of time to plan it all! Hence my freaking out a little ;)

    Charade - I think if I was going by myself with both girls, I might consider taking her but hubby is coming too so I think she may be more in the way of our family time :) I'd definitely keep it in mind for the future though!!

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