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Helper home leave/pregnancy etc.

  1. #9
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2010
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    Hong Kong
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyH View Post
    I am not even sure that you can terminate her contract because you think she might get pregnant.
    No, technically you can't otherwise you might run into problems with the Equal Opportunities Commission and their discrimination ordinance. But of course this is just academic really, because if you did terminate your helper because you were worried she might get pregnant, you just wouldn't say that was the reason.

    The pregnancy of helpers is such a difficult situation, and one where the law is overwhelmingly in favour of the helper. I have had no end of problems with my sitatuation and it has threatened, in the past, to really screw up my own life. I have spoken so many times with the labour department and immigration and I have pretty much no rights.

    I completely understand the point of the law that prevents terminating a pregnant helper and I support ensuring she doesn't lose out financially, but I believe the law should be revised to allow employers to pay full salary and maternity leave and for the helper to go home. I offered my helper almost $32,000 to go home in August - that is 7 months salary / full salary and maternity - but she declined because she wanted to stay here so that she can work illegally once the baby is born. Ironic that I am not legally allowed to prevent this....

    So I am forced to keep her in my house, look after her if she has complications, and have a newborn baby in my house for 10 weeks, all across a period of intense study for me that I gave my job up for and cannot postpone for another year.

    I can then terminate her contract the day after she comes off maternity leave, and she will have to go home (providing she hasn't found someone to sponser her and her baby illegally), with no more money than she would have had. The only difference is that I have failed my exams because I can't study so my future is potentially buggered.

    An endless headache...

  2. #10
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Liquorice -- I don't think people are being hard on her because they are against contraception or birth-control education in general. Of course those are good things. (I'm not religious at all myself, and spent many years on the pill. I think everyone should be able to have birth control of they want).

    People are critical of the idea of an employer forcing -- either directly or indirectly -- someone to take contraception against their will. There's a huge difference.

    If I wanted to have a child -- but I was hard up for money, and knew that my boss wanted to force me to take the pill -- that would lead to a serious ethical dilemma.

    Just talking to her helper would be best. But not if she's going to do it with the attitude she takes here -- which hints that she would fire someone because they MIGHT get pregnant just because they want to visit their husband.

  3. #11
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    As for Singapore -- I think it's awful that FDHs get deported immediately just bc they go through the natural process of getting pregnant. Getting pregnant is not a crime.

    Clearly it's immoral -- and, to boot, it discriminates based on nationality and class. No American woman expat in Singapore would lose her visa because she decided to have a child with her husband. But an Indonesian maid would.

    But, of course, we are not in Singapore.

  4. #12
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    Jul 2008
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    316
    I would put away the idea about 'asking' the helper to take a depo injection to prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately there is a significant power difference here and even though you mean to offer it to her as a choice it is likely she construes it as a must. I would just say to her that if she ever needs to talk to you about anything that she can approach you, and suggest a range of topics like the stock market (if you know anything about this that is!), term deposit rates, any illnesses she is experiencing, contraception ect and leave it at that.
    I agree with the poster who suggests that if you are worried about a pregnant helper than hire an older one. Unfortunately as inconvenient as pregnancy is both in our homes with helpers and in the office, it is a woman's right and that goes for helpers as well as all working expats and locals. Somehow, asking someone to temporarily sterilise themselves, especially in light of the power differential, does not sit right with me.

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