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What to write as reference for helper we are firing

  1. #17
    giginium is offline Registered User
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    Hi peainapod

    I don't mean to imply that your wonderful helper would necessary turn into a taker given her predicament.

    But it's just to err on the safe side. Though I've never experienced any bad experiences personally and my perception comes from only stories that I've heard, it wouldnt be helpful to your family to have to deal with more stress upon discovering missing items in your home.

    And yes, I do have a mini safe at home. It is also to prevent burglary break ins

  2. #18
    shwetakhanna is offline Registered User
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    Carang is right. It is illegal to have someone else's passport in your custody.
    Most passports have a declaration on the last page stating that THE PASSPORT SHOULD BE IN THE CuSTODY OF THE HOLDER OR A PERSON AUTHORISED BY THE HOLDER.
    So if you don't have an authorisation from your helper, it is illegal to hold her passport.
    carang likes this.

  3. #19
    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Giginium. Actually we are seriously thinking of buying a small safe as well.

    Mummymoo, you are very right that the pressure is mounting. Today one of the debtors slipped an envelope under our door while we were out. I guess this is to show us they were "here". It is unsettling to say the least. It's the first time we've experienced anything like this so hearing of your previous experience helps.

  4. #20
    2010-NewDad is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by shwetakhanna View Post
    Carang is right. It is illegal to have someone else's passport in your custody.
    Most passports have a declaration on the last page stating that THE PASSPORT SHOULD BE IN THE CuSTODY OF THE HOLDER OR A PERSON AUTHORISED BY THE HOLDER.
    So if you don't have an authorisation from your helper, it is illegal to hold her passport.
    Any act to take any property without authorization from the owner is illegal. You can't take your helpers camera unless she agrees, nor can you take her clothes, nor her passport. If she agrees, then it doesn't look illegal to me.

    I have seen nothing to state it is illegal to request and receive your helpers passport. Obviously taking it without consent is just as much of a crime as taking other property than doesn't belong to you.

    Once again, I should state I don't believe it is right, or acceptable to keep your FDHs passport - however I don't think it is illegal. Obviously if you take it without her consent that is a different story.

  5. #21
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    one could make the argument that an employer demanding to keep the employee's passport is duress, which would also make it illegal.

    you have now had 3 people tell you it was illegal... whether or not you choose to believe it is up to you.
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  6. #22
    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    Ironically, when I tried to ask my helper for her passport - as I need to write down the Visa Number which is now required on the Notice of Termination to HK Immig, she doesn't have it either!! Apparently she has given it to somebody as collateral for a $2000 loan and now needs $2800 to get it back ($200 per month as interest, and this was 4 mths ago)

    Anyway, it's neither here nor there. Personally I have never - and don't intend to hold a helper's passport. I was just sharing what someone told me and I really didn't mean to open up this can of worms!
    carang likes this.

  7. #23
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2010-NewDad View Post
    Any act to take any property without authorization from the owner is illegal. You can't take your helpers camera unless she agrees, nor can you take her clothes, nor her passport. If she agrees, then it doesn't look illegal to me.
    You are missing the point; passports are not like other possessions in that she does *NOT* own the passport and its not hers to give away.

    See second paragraph for PPines passports: http://newyorkpcg.org/index.php/our-services/passport
    Here is what Indonesia says : http://www.indonesiachicago.org/conpprie.htm

    Most countries have similar laws...
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  8. #24
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mummymoo View Post
    Aren't there laws to deal with harassment of any kind? Is firing always the answer? Again, I wouldn't like it but if my helper was marvelous and got herself into trouble I would probably rather deal with it that way. It's the right and choice of the employer, of course. Harassment is illegal even in the case of someone making poor financial choices. If someone showed up at my place of employment or home to harass me about someone else's debts I would immediately call the police.

    Thanka2, clearly you have never had this happen to you. It's all nice in theory to involve law enforcement but you are at the bottom of the police's to do list. When the thugs show up at your home you are lucky if they show up 2 hours later, that is if they show up at all. You'll get more help from your own management office.

    In terms of the police doing somethings about the harassing phone calls and mail, again they drag their feet, and usually tell you to sort it out with the debt collectors themselves. This is real life. all the while you are wasting your time calling the police ect, you and your family are getting harassed, especially your terrified children. This can drag on for weeks to months. The most effective method of getting rid of these thugs is to show them a termination letter and usually they will confirm with the management downstairs that the said person no longer lives at your place after coming round a few more times.

    I think its fair enough if you want to get yourself into trouble, and even if you want to get your own wife/husband/children into trouble with debt collectors but to force others to endure this for your own folly is incorrect.

    That said, I'm all for free will. If as an employer you're willing to tough it out with these people for your helper, than my hat off to you, but I don't think its fair to pass these helpers onto a new employer.

    btw I don't think your helper falls into the usual category. She obviously paid off her debts otherwise you would have known about it.
    Yes, my helper is far from "usual" but there are others like here in Hong Kong. So happy to have her. She sure has made our lives more lovely in many ways.

    I'm not saying anything would be easy but I do believe that I wouldn't just fire my helper if I was in that situation. Maybe I'm one of those employers who would tough it out. My interactions with the police here have always been prompt and I've had to call them on emergency several times for rough or violet altercations on the street. At any rate, I don't have a "management office" because I don't live in that type of block so the police would be the first I would notify.

    No, this particular situation hasn't happened to me personally but I am still glad I was able to voice my opinion and concern and that the original poster could also see where I was coming from. The original poster does have a long road to walk to sort out this situation and I wish her all the best.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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