A Sick helper, advice please



Posted by mooncakebaby 3 yrs ago
I know a helper, it looks like she had developed cancer. What is the legal situation? Are the family allowed to just break the contract and send her away, or must they look after her?

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KrisL 3 yrs ago
Legal situation? One would hope any employer with any sense of decency would focus on assisting the helper getting good medical care instead of firing her due to developing an illness. But I guess my expectations are a bit high, this being Hong Kong..
Terminating the contract and sending the helper home would most likely be the same as sending her to her grave as only the wealthiest individuals would be able to afford cancer treatment in the countries where the helpers come from.
It's not a malfunctioning robot, it's a human being, jeez..

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KrisL 3 yrs ago
According to the law (Employment Ordinance), not only is it an offence to dismiss a helper due to illness, the employer is also responsible for providing free medical treatment for the helper. As most DH insurances doesn't cover cancer treatment however, it is common for employers in this situation to bring the helper to a public hospital for treatment. As HK residents, foreign domestic helpers are of course entitled to the free universal medical care that we have here, and so will get the same cancer treatment as 70% of the HK population gets.

For more info see excerpt from the Labor Department's Guide to Employment of Foreign Domestic Helpers below:

Can an employer dismiss the helper who is on paid sick leave?

No, except in cases of summary dismissal due to the helper’s serious
misconduct. Otherwise, it is an offence under which the employer is
liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of HK$100,000.
The employer is also required to pay the helper:
payment in lieu of notice;
a further sum equivalent to seven days’ wages as compensation*;
and his/her entitled sickness allowance.
The helper may also claim remedies for unreasonable and unlawful
dismissal under the part of Employment Protection of the Employment

When your helper is ill or injured, you shall provide free medical
treatment to him/her whether or not it is attributable to his/her
employment. Free medical treatment includes medical consultation,
maintenance in hospital and emergency dental treatment. In this
connection, you are strongly advised to take out an insurance policy with
full medical and hospitalization coverage for the helper. You may also
consider taking out a comprehensive insurance policy which provides
medical and hospitalization coverage and satisfies the requirement under
the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance at the same time

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asiaXdreamy 3 yrs ago
Yes, just put aside the sickness things and view the employment without colouring by the sickness. Does she meet the job standard? If cannot perform up to standard/requirement, any remedial actions can she take?

Yes, you can terminate a helper if in cases of summary dismissal due to the helper’s serious misconduct, or continuously cannot perform up to the job requirement without the prejudice of the sickness.

Sickness is to be cared but not a shelter to be immune from dismissal, according to certain case laws.

Normally the helper cannot get pay on certain circumstances of sick leaves and for certain types of sick leave, the helper cannot get full rate of daily wage. Seek the authority or agent to ask how to calculate.

For certain already developed sickness, the insurance company will not cover any cent on it and in certain cases the employers do not have liability on long developed sickness.

In certain cases the employer challenged the medical screening and declaration by helpers prior to the start of the contract , then the court ruled out liability of employers.

Just to state other side of view to balance the views that can be obtained by readers, and not to promote the abuse of sick and welfare system.

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ElaineHall 3 yrs ago
I agree.

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