part time domestic helper - has anyone been caught?
After reading the part time domestic helper ads it seems nearly every ad from employer/employee is breaking the law, only a few state that they have a hk id card. It would be pretty easy for immigration to do a "roundup" just by answering the ads. Has anyone been caught? Do they just turn a blind eye? Has any one had any experience or know someone who has been caught and what are the consequences?
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Posted by Ed (433 days ago)
I asked our helper section manager Sally about this some years ago... and yes plenty of helpers and employers have been caught... although I suspect the % is very low...
She informed me that there were a number of helpers serving time in the Central Police station at the time... I believe they get 3 months prison then sent home...
If I recall employers get a hefty fine- I think HKD50,000. I am not sure if they get a criminal record...
This is indeed serious stuff... our solicitors advised us to put that notice re: part time help to warn people against hiring illegal part timers..
Obviously the most prudent though slightly more expensive solution is to use merry maids and sparkle maids... both have ads on the part time section
Posted by Lawrence24 (431 days ago)
I think you will find that many do in fact have HKid, its just that they do part time while holding down full time jobs. I dont know if this is legal, they work on their days off. All the part times you see advertized in shop windows are doing this.
My maid who I pay a full time salary only works three times a week for me, I just dont want her under my feet all the time. I gave her permission to find part time on the strict basis that when ever I need her outside of these three fixed working days house sitting and such she be available something she had to tell the part time employers.
It doesn't quite work out like that though as the part time employers are incredibly Bolshevik demanding prompt hours and regular hours at all time knowing full well they are employing someone else's full time. They dont bother with HKID
The maids themselves getting used to a higher income bracket then get surely when you tell them you need such and such doing on one of those days. Its a lose lose situation so I advice anyone in my situation and anyone taking on a part time to contact their legal employers and come to an arrangement before taking them on because I simply put my foot down so the part time employers lost out completely.
One woman when told by my maid that she couldn't come on a particular day for one time because her employer needed her to do something said she only wanted my maid on that day because thats when she does her pilates so didnt have to be there with the maid and threatened to shop her to the police unless she did come!!!! Some people.
It causes confusion and mayhem unless you make proper arrangements with others. If you can spare your maid a few hours or days a week and Im sure there are plenty of those then make the proper arrangments or dont condone it full stop.
Posted by axptguy38 (430 days ago)
HKID is not the question. All FDH have HKID. However to work part time and so forth you need "PERMANENT HKID", which is proof of permanent residency.
"My maid who I pay a full time salary only works three times a week for me, I just dont want her under my feet all the time. I gave her permission to find part time on the strict basis that when ever I need her outside of these three fixed working days house sitting and such she be available something she had to tell the part time employers."
Assuming she is a Foreign Domestic Helper, this is illegal.
Posted by Lawrence24 (430 days ago)
The initial query was about HKID, do foreign domestics get this if they are to be legal part time only workers?
So all the part time ads by foreigners are in fact illegal unless they have permanent residency because as we well know foreign domestics dont get PR so I suppose these ads should be removed if they are put up by foreigners.
In my situation its difficult to prove that I haven't just lent the maid to someone for a few hours to clean up, the authorities would have to track her movements over a month or two and witness payment, cant think they have the resources or inclination when there is no or hardly any locals anymore wanting to be domestics part or full time.
Its interesting how things shift, before there was always a very good local Chinese labour force working as domestics.
I wonder if maid sharing is illegal, part time/full time?
Posted by forsalebyownerhk (430 days ago)
sorry yes my point was as domestic helpers do not have a "permanent" id card they are in fact only able to work and live (mostly) with the person that signed their contract. How then do they advertise "part time wanted employer lives in...only needed sometimes...available..." To say I only need my helper part time and this nasty lady was going to "shop her" was a bit strange. If she was going to "shop her" You would have been fined for allowing your domestic helper to live and work outside. I am not saying who is right I just wanted to know if any one had actually been caught.
Posted by axptguy38 (430 days ago)
"The initial query was about HKID, do foreign domestics get this if they are to be legal part time only workers?"
Foreign domestics cannot be part time and legal. They must work for one family, live in that family's residence, and not do any work on the side. They get HKID, but not the permanent kind.
"So all the part time ads by foreigners are in fact illegal unless they have permanent residency because as we well know foreign domestics dont get PR so I suppose these ads should be removed if they are put up by foreigners."
"How then do they advertise "part time wanted employer lives in...only needed sometimes...available..." "
Posted by Susie1 (430 days ago)
Helpers are only insured to do work at the address of their sponsering employer. Therefore if they had a bad accident doing a bit of illegal work for somebody else, or break things, or indeed steal the insurance will not cover them.
Many helpers advertise themselves for 'extra work', and their real employer does not even know.
I think it is wrong of any forum to solicit by allowing adverts for illegal work.
Posted by Lawrence24 (429 days ago)
Yes, this is how it works.
The question about being shopped is proof that people who employ part time live outs know they are breaking the law and also know the maid is breaking the law. I imagine most know this. However the employer being an expat can claim ignorance of the labour laws I suppose getting maybe a fine at most but the maid will be deported. More threat posturing than anything else.
I just hope my maid isn't working for busy bees or anything because if she is and they require a reference it's a fraudulent document either way from her or them to any potential clients. I will be furious if she has signed into any other agreement or agency.
Posted by cara (427 days ago)
i always marvel at the irony of people asking for illegal workers who are "honest".... isn't it dishonest to be looking for illegal workers?
Posted by Lawrence24 (427 days ago)
No I dont think so. How else would they get a proper part timer that isn't a rip of hourly service.
Problem is the local laws are up the pole in many respects.
The live in policy for one is just idiotic. Most people let there maids sleep in the most appalling conditions in a tiny box at the back of the kitchen simply because they dont have space but have to by law make the domestics stay there.
I for one find it claustrophobic having maids gardeners under the same roof, so they live out and its totally illegal.
Maids often club together and rent a small room where they can escape on the weekends and day off as they also find living under the same roof as their employers night and day with no where to go claustrophobic.
Im not sure why there is this law, probably something to do with trying to curb foreigners doing other jobs/activities after they get ID as a domestic helper. It makes no difference honestly anymore as more and more local Chinese feel indifferent about doing jobs like waitering secretarial and other things where foreigners are now also employed.
Posted by cara (427 days ago)
whether or not i agree with it, it is the law. (personally, i think it is ridiculous)... but it is the law nonetheless.
how can you ask for an "honest" helper to work part-time? if they are honest, and you are too, then you wouldn't require someone to break the law in order to work for you.
Posted by Lawrence24 (426 days ago)
By honest what they mean is someone who wont steal or abuse their position in their private home, criminal activities. Breaking a stupid law is not criminal or dishonest its rather convenient for most to ignore the law pure and simple. Sometimes laws simply do not work and wouldnt people look ridiculous all sheepishly following a law that was so obviously flawed.
In Japan there is no age of consent.............a bit of common sense must prevail.
How come (completely aside) the edit function here is not functioning, you cant even edit obvious grammatical mistakes post post grrrrrr
Posted by axptguy38 (426 days ago)
"The live in policy for one is just idiotic. Most people let there maids sleep in the most appalling conditions in a tiny box at the back of the kitchen simply because they dont have space but have to by law make the domestics stay there. "
The live in policy is most likely there to protect helpers from the high rents in Hong Kong. This way they are guaranteed a place to stay. If they live out the employer would have to pay the rent and then that would have to be policed.
"Breaking a stupid law is not criminal or dishonest its rather convenient for most to ignore the law pure and simple."
Breaking a law, stupid (in your opinion) or not, is criminal by definition. No amount of disagreeing with the law will change that.
If you don't agree with the law, you can always lobby the political parties and try to have it changed.
Posted by bunny boiler (425 days ago)
You can employ a p-t local Chinese. They are punctual, reliable and hard-working. And no need to break the law.
Posted by auslass (412 days ago)
I am just curious. My husband starting working here last year on a two year contract for his company. I have HKID as a dependent spouse but am not sure if it would be considered 'permanent' or not. I suspect it probably isn't. My husband did say that I am allowed to work here though. If I wanted to do some part-time cleaning/cooking/childcare work whilst the kids are at school, would it be legal? I am from Australia, not Indonesia or the Philippines. Does that make a difference?
Posted by Sapphire (412 days ago)
To have 'permanent' ID status you need to have lived in HK for 7 years. However, as a 'dependant spouse' with HKID you are allowed to work in HK. Unless you specifically want to work doing domestic duties, you may find better opportunities are available for you depending on your work skills/experience ...
Posted by Susie1 (411 days ago)
Hi Auslass, both you and your husband are on a temporary HKID, which has to be renewed every two years, if you stay longer. It is a different ID to an FDH,
Wives of expats on a 2 year contract can apply for jobs in their own right on their spouse visa, but would have to declare earnings for tax purposes, unlike an FDH who doesn't pay any tax.
Posted by madtown (410 days ago)
Auslass, technically your HKID does not need to be renewed, but your work visas need to be renewed every two years (after the first year) with sponsorship from your employer. Simple process. A spouse can get a dependents Visa, at which time he/she can work just the same as anyone else (local). If you reside in HK for seven years (even on a dependents visa and never work) you can than apply for permanent residency. I know one permanent resident who has lived in HK for 22 years and has never worked a day.
As for part time help. Quite honestly I don't believe HK proactively enforces any rules, especially in regards to the FDH scheme. To my knowledge their are little to no "raids" or "sting" operations per se. Therefore the likelihood of you getting caught using illegal part time help are about the same as the likelihood of a suicide jumper landing on you and killing you......errrr....maybe even less.
Roughly 300,000 FDH in HK....we know darn well a good portion of them are working illegally on the side...yet you would be hard pressed to find anyone who has ever heard of anyone getting caught.
Like someone said above, it would take your illegal helper getting seriously injured to spur some sort of action. Everyone turns a blind eye to it. Gurkas or front desk ladies at every housing estate could report dozens of these cases if they wanted to...yet none do.
Posted by beancurd (406 days ago)
Auslass, you are allowed to work here as dependent of your hubby. Year 2004, Hk banned the dependents to work, but year 2006, Hk government lifted up again, so, either you work as cleaner, nanny, in the office or whatever, you have no problem.
If the FDH is taking a part time job, both employer and the FDH are very discreet in order to avoid problem. Of course, it is illegal working for other family. Many FDH are working during their free hours and must be discreet. They do not even tell to friends or anyone else because sometimes the reason they are in trouble when people tipped them to Immigration.
Posted by liverane (312 days ago)
in this case as long u work for it thats legal, its only illegal if you steal,abuse people"s right and many stupid things mostly people not only foreign helprs are doing illegal things just to survive this is only the rule in hongkong but in real rule "as long as you work for it and its worth to get it"
Posted by cara (311 days ago)
huh? that makes no sense whatsoever.....???