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2nd opinion on helper issues

  1. #9
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    i used to think it cruel, too... but after having given one month notice and having her work it... now i can totally say, i will NOT do that again. it is uncomfortable for everyone, even when you try to be nice about it all.

    we thought the same thing about our helper... that it was just not a good fit for our family and our needs. but she really showed her true colours. and even though i'd written into her notice that if she neglected her duties we would consider that to be her quitting without notice thereby negating any "month in lieu of" on our part.

    also, it's not like you are kicking her to the curb with nothing. you need to pay her for that month even though she's not working it. it is actually easier for her as she is available to interview for other jobs more easily than if she was working.

  2. #10
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Agree with much of what has already been written.

    It really isn't "cruel" to give a month's salary in lieu of notice. It's really the only option if the relationship is not great and your children are in the care of the helper. It just gives them a month to be angry and stew in your house--it's a real downer for everyone. If you give then that month's salary they don't have to work for that money and then they can go and find a new employer.

    I really think that the only way you're going to be able to properly train a helper to suit your family is to start afresh with a new helper. Your current helper has an improper attitude toward you and has challenged you on multiple occasions. But more importantly she's contributing to a negative atmosphere in your home and stressing you out. You definitely don't need that with two small children and study going on.

    Why not set up some interviews and appointments to see what's out there for helpers? There are lots of options. It is possible you could end up with a "worse" employee but it is equally possible you could end up with an amazing employee. And going into the situation with the mindset you have now you're more likely to be more selective with who you hire than you were two years ago when you were dealing with all the other major life stressors. I'm confident you can find someone who is teachable and suitable for your family. You will have to invest the time and effort to train her, however and that will take knowing exactly what you want and expect and clearly and consistently communicating and demonstrating that to her.

    I say, tough it out until you're done with your teaching but have someone in the works so the day you finish you can hand her her pink slip with her salary and welcome your new employee.

    “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

  3. #11
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong

    We interviewed recently too, as our previous helper wasn't a good fit for our family and decided it was best not to renew. There are some amazing helpers out there. Now that you know what you're looking for in a helper, best to start the search and find her. :)

    Founded GeoBaby in 2002

  4. #12
    mcmahons is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Sheung Wan


    Get rid of her.
    Been there done that as as the others have said it really does affect the feel of the house.

    Start looking now. As it takes awhile not only to find one but to also process the visa application etc. If you want time by yourself without a helper you can always have her start date when you want. It took about 6-8 weeks for the visa to process last time and it really stuffed the house routine up without a helper and trying to manage work etc etc.

    And it certainly isn't cruel to dismiss instantly. The helpers actually prefer it due to a months salary in lieu.

    If you are looking for a helper let me know because there is one in our building who is great (they come to our house a lot for playdates with my children) she is looking for a new employer.

    carang likes this.

  5. #13
    liveinhk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    We had the same problems with our first helper, she was hired with the recommendation of my friend's friend, when we were urgently looking for one. After 1.5 years miserable time she gave us, we decided to stopped the pain. I was a lot more careful choosing the second one, she was very good, kids loved her. Unfortunately, she had to go back after a 2-year contract. Our new one is good at cleaning, cooking, and house chores, but doesnt have much idea of babysitting(we have a 4.5 years old boy and a nearly 3 girl), but still way better than the first one.

    Get rid of her and get a new one, if you choose carefully and maybe have one-day try out with cleaner hourly rate, it can't be worse than your current one

  6. #14
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong

    Would chime in that helpers prefer NOT to have to work out their last month (in fact my helpers tell me they HATE having to work out their notice), they prefer to be paid out and if you can afford it. it's best to part ways ASAP when the relationship is ending. It also gives them time to look for new employment ect. The attitude and work performance is pretty poor in this last month, and there is always the concern that negligence could cause some serious problems in the home, thieving may also be a problem.

    Best to decide early on what day you decide to let her go. Almost all maids have a place to stay (unless they have zero contact in HK) either the church, friend's place (albeit without the consent and knowledge of the friend's employer), friend's boarding house. Then just let her know on the day you've decided she is to go, and take back all your keys, hand over any pay/tickets ect due.

  7. #15
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point

    Just an update: after a couple of weeks, my husband is convinced that our helper is intentionally "working to rule" and trying to get fired (ie, she's being a bit more of a nuisance than a help). I'm thinking she may have gotten wind of the fact we've been considering terminating her and that is why her work has been deteriorating. We've pretty much decided to terminate her contract because of the stress that the strained relationship is putting on our family. The timing is fantastic (NOT) as I'm due to start a 25 day full time teaching placement on Monday. We've been trying to figure out back-up ideas for those 5 weeks that are not worse than the current situation and if we can iron it all out in advance, we will terminate her contract possibly as early as Monday. If not, then we will keep her until I finish my placement and let her go then. I don't want to rush into hiring another helper without really looking around this time. Part of the problem was that I never really looked around in the beginning, and then never really trained her. I want to get that right the 2nd time around.

    carang and thanka2 like this.

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