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Hiring a live-out DH

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  1. #31

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    Usually, on two of the three instances I've had this happen that one debt (to telecommunications companies in both cases) was actually only part of a far bigger mess of debts to banks, credit cards, her friends (apparently the Filippinas organise lots of minor to major inter-friend loans and underwriting) and in one case debt collection from other countries. So my rule now which I should have had from the very beginning when I was fresh of the boat is, 'Any financial problems [that I or this household get to know about obviously] - you are fired.'


  2. #32

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    Interesting point of view (which I can understand). I think in general most employers are unaware of the financial problems their helpers have. Many are indebted to agencies to the tune of thousands (some times tens of thousands) of HKD even before they start working - especially those with school age children.

    If the employer is aware of the charges made by the agents they can usually negotiate with the Agent to get the fees reduced or even removed. Any fees above a few months' salary are usually illegal and the Agent will normally quickly waive the fee if you threaten to inform the authorties. The helper then starts her employment in a better frame of mind and does not have punitive repayments to make every month which reduces the need for her to take a loan to pay off the agent etc.

    If she screws up after that then fair enough - firing her is your prerogative. Having a talk with the helper about her financial position before she starts working for you is well worth it and you are free not to sign a contract for her on the basis of what she tells you.


  3. #33

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    Yes very good.
    I was talking about things which came to light after the person was employed and was related to an overdue bill. When we asked why the phone bill alone was the cause of so many phone calls (to our house) then the mess came to light.
    I'm emplying a dh. I am not the World Bank, UNHCR, the UN, HSBC, the Salvation Army and the Samaritans combined.


  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by shilo507:
    Any fees above a few months' salary are usually illegal
    Isn't the maximum permissible fee actually 10% of one month's salary (i.e. about HK$350)?

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM:
    Isn't the maximum permissible fee actually 10% of one month's salary (i.e. about HK$350)?
    Yes - you are correct.

    "Maximum commission receivable by an employment agency
    The maximum commission which may be received by an employment agency from each job-seeker is an amount not exceeding 10% of his/her first month's wages received after he/she has been successfully placed.
    Penalty for offence: fine of $50,000"

    The 'problem' is that the Consulate of a certain country charges employment agencies HKD 500K per year for a licence to process applications and these agencies see the helpers as fair game to recover the money by way of fees. The HK Government has no jurisdiction to outlaw the fee charged by the Consulate but it could vey easily clamp down on the agents. The helpers tend not to ptotest for fear of losing their jobs or not being placed.

    It could be that the agents get around this by only charging the helper 10% of her first month's salary for the actual placement but are free to recover the Consulate fee. I will check.

    This leads to an even more sinister practice whereby some agents place helpers with their friends or families in the full knowledge that the helper will be fired after 6 months (after the fees have been paid) so that the whole process can begin again. Some agencies even call employers after the fees have been repaid so see if the employer would like a 'new' helper...

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