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Helper changing contracts?

  1. #1
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    Helper changing contracts?

    In May, we hired a second helper, in anticipation of our second child. We did all the paperwork - made sure her passport was up-to-date, signed her contract, paid all the fees, got insurance coverage, etc.

    She is already in HK. Our great agency worked as a liasion between her old employer and us. (Conveniently, she used the same agency for both her old and new employers). We knew her contract with them would be up in mid-July, and had planned for her to move in next week.

    Now the agency says it would be illegal for her to live with us while her visa is being processed, and that it could take up till early August. That's because Immigration refuses to do start processing any paperwork until her old contract is up.

    Practically speaking, this isn't an immediate disaster, as we have our current helper here. But this rule seems silly. Plus, if this problem drags on past early August, I'm in trouble - as my old helper is going on vacation, and I will be nearing my due date.

    Does this mean every time a helper finished one contract and starts another with a new employer, they have to float around homeless, unemployed and uninsured for 2-3 weeks? She can't go home to the Philippines, since she has to be in town to deal with the paperwork. And, like most helpers, she won't have money to pay for accomodation with no paid work.

    The explanation from the government is that it's for safety reasons - that, until her new visa comes through, she will not be covered by insurance in she has a "workplace accident."

    This makes no sense. She is far safer in our home, with her own room, than wandering around the streets of HK all day, and in some dinky cheap boarding house at night. Also, we're happy to pay for an extra few weeks of insurance.

    We've heard conflicting advice.

    One person said she literally could not enter our home, or we risk an immigration raid. Also that HK was "cracking down."

    Another person said she could sleep overnight as a "friend" but could do no work. So she could spend all night here, but we'd have to kick her out during daytime work hours. That also makes no sense.

    Yet another person said nobody would notice if she just lived with us right off the bat. That the changes of immigration raiding a nice middle-class household, with no record of helper problems, and punishing a heavily pregnant mom were basically zero.

    Anyone else go through this? The rules seem unfair to helpers (who don't exactly have tons of spare money and time), and inconvenient for well-meaning employers.

  2. #2
    ilgattonero is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    hong kong

    Our helper (who resigned from her previous employer and staying with friends) stayed with us for a week before she had to go to Macau to process her visa. She and I arranged it separately without going through the agency. My situation wasn't the same as yours but how would they find out?

    The one time my helper was checked by the police when she was out walking the dogs, all they asked to see was her HKID. They didn't ask to see her employment visa or ask to speak to me.

    I think you're pretty safe to risk it. Your only other option is to hire a legal part-time helper and that's just impossible to come by!

  3. #3
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    they don't need to see an employment visa. they can "call in" the hkid # and the person on the other end will look it up on the computer....

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