• Can the Employer sign another employment contract with the Helper?
  • How to overcome the language barrier and communication problems with the Helper?
  • Is there 3-months probation for Helpers? If either the Employer or the Helper terminates the employment contract, are they required to offer a 7-day notice?
  • Helpers often forget the work routine and make mistakes, how could Employers deal with?
  • If the Helper return to her hometown for visit before the contract end date, is the Employer responsible for airfare?
  • Can Employer keep Helper’s passport?
Cannot. "Standard Employment Contract" (i.e. ID407) is the only document for all foreign domestic helpers. Any other kinds of employment contracts entered into by Employers and Helpers privately is illegal and which cannot be executed.
First, Employers should assess the Cantonese or English language ability of the foreign domestic helper by interviews or direct dialogue during the selection and screening process. Inevitably, Cantonese is not the mother tongue of helpers. Difficulties or problems in communication may arise. Employers are advised to be patient and communicate with Helpers sometimes in Cantonese, so as to enhance the Helper’s Cantonese proficiency.
There is no probation. If the Employer or the Helper terminates the contract (even within the first 3 months of employment), they have to give at least 1-month notice or 1-month wage in lieu of notice, unless they have other mutual agreement.
Communication problems may stem from the ineffective communication between Employers and Helpers. Employers may try to demonstrate the work routine in person with explanation. Helpers should make notes to remind themselves.
Helpers can handle their work more easily if clear guidelines are provided. Therefore, Employers should prescribe "guidelines" for Helpers. Employers may draft the guidelines based on their personal preference including daily work schedule and requirements. Employers should explain to Helpers if they have any issue.
The Employer is not responsible. He/She is only required to pay the Helper for the one-way ticket for returning to the hometown, travelling expenses and food allowance when the contract ends.
Cannot. The Employer has no rights to keep the Helper’s passport, unless it is by the Helper’s own will. Employers generally misunderstand that keeping the Helpers’ passports could bolster the Helpers’ obedience. In fact, however, the Helpers can report loss of their passports to the police and apply for a new one from the Consulates in Hong Kong. To improve the Helpers’ obedience, Employers should communicate more with the Helpers in order to build mutual trust, which is a more effective way to avoid problems.