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Thursday, 10/23/2014

My obligations

POSTED BY GemmaW (2 yrs ago)

I have signed on a domestic helper who will come work with me in August, which is when my current helper finishes contract.

She will get her visa approved before she goes back to Indonesia.

Here's my question. If she gets pregnant between now and August, am I obliged to still take her on?

I have already paid for her to do a medical check up before she starts working for me.

Thanks.

#1 POSTED BY Sarah99 (2 yrs ago)

I would think the answer is no, as she has not actually started working for you..... just because the visa is out it is not the same as start of work date. if you are worried you could ask the agency you are dealing with to have her attend a pregnancy check up before coming back in August to prevent future problems.

#2 POSTED BY Susie1 (2 yrs ago)

When we employed a helper we wrote a clause on the initial contract papers that the contract is pending satisfactory medical report, and didn't sign the final papers until we had got the medical report. This was signed by the prospective helper, and nothing was said by Imm when it was handed in, in this way, and we pointed this out to the helper. Our helper had her medical one week before starting work for us.

#3 POSTED BY malka (2 yrs ago)

Susie

Does pregnancy constitute unsatisfactory medical report? To you maybe but unless your specify it in the clause (and I wonder if this is legal or acceptable to Immi), you could be challenged by doctors who say being pregnant is not the same as being sick or unfit for duty.

She could still get pregnant once she starts working for you (see other thread) and she would be protected.

#4 POSTED BY Susie1 (2 yrs ago)

For an employer who has not signed the final employment papers if they make satisfactory medical report a clause--including if the helper is pregnant, then they do not need to take this helper on, by refusing to sign the final papers, and they can do this because they don't have to. During a good medical for helpers, they have an X-ray to check for chest problems including TB, urine tests and blood tests to check for anaemia, any other blood disorder, STD's, and Pregnancy. I agree with you that pregnancy is not an illness as such, but it would be inconvenient to take on a helper knowing she is already pregnant and a possible liability, and not many employers would do this, or want to pay for the extra care she will need due to being pregnant let alone put up with a newborn in the house for a few weeks that they don't want the hasstle of, till it is sent back to the home country of the helper.
Yes a helper could get pregnant while working for you, if the baby was conceived during the duration of the contract, then unfortunately the employer has this extra expense they didn't bargain for, and often demands of a manipulative lazy helper to deal with, there are exceptions some helpers will work like most normal pregnant women do, and others just 'milk' the fact they are pregnant to do as little as possible, and to extort as much money out of their boss as they can to get rid of them.
We actually had an over 50's helper, when we had a medical done, not a chance of her being pregnant, but due to the fact she had an all clear medical it was re-assuring for her to know she is healthy and for us, had she been younger and possibly pregnant she would not have had the final contract papers signed.

#5 POSTED BY beancurd (2 yrs ago)

It is really a risky business. If she arrived and work in Hk, to send her back to Indonesia is already your responsibiltiy.

In the Philippines, there is a check up of pregnancy test before leaving the Phils. But of course, no guarantee that she is not pregnant. You will come to know later on.

If the helper is a responsible lady, she will take precaution while on leave. The pregnancy problem is really beyond our control.

#6 POSTED BY malka (2 yrs ago)

Hire a male!

Susie,

Thanks for your reply. Do you know if it can be stated in the contract (i.e. legal) that should the DH become unable to do certain work like heavy work e.g caring for elderly need to be able to carry/lift them in and out of bed, etc. - this would be grounds for termination (without mentioning pregnancy but a possible consequence of)?

#7 POSTED BY Susie1 (2 yrs ago)

I doubt that, heavy lifting of a person is in the contract, or can be written in as this is not a task a small FDH should be expected to carry out. If the disabled person can reasonably transfer from bed to wheelchair/ bath etc, without putting undue weight on the helper, this is OK, if the person is totally not weight bearing then a hoist from a surgical appliance shop should be used, otherwise the helper would hurt themselves.
My view is if a helper is looking after a disabled person, they should not be made to do any tasks, especially lifting, that the employer would not attempt themselves, and it does not matter whether they are pregnant or not, they are not work horses but human beings.
That advice is from many years I have in the medical profession, and also as a health and safety specialist and infection control specialist.


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