FDHs should pay only up to $300 for lost, damaged items
A foreign domestic worker who damages any appliance or house equipment of her employer should pay only up to $300 for each damaged item, a lawyer said.
Louise Le Pla, an officer of the law firm Lewis Silkin, said employers can only deduct up to $300 from the salary of an FDH for any appliance or property damaged by the worker.
“They can get only up to $300,” she said during a forum at the Philippine Consulate General.
Under Hong Kong regulations, the total deductions should also not exceed 25 percent of her monthly salary. Any person who unlawfully deducts wages is liable to a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for one year.
Le Pla also reminded FDHs not to sign any paper or document that they do not understand or agree with.
“Do not sign anything that your employer gives you unless you agree with it and understand it. We’ve had a lot of cases where a piece of paper might say I resign and then you go you seek help because they kicked you out of the house and then they say you resigned. You signed a piece of paper,” she said.
“And then the domestic worker says, ‘But I did not know what that meant.’ Just don’t sign. If you are ever unsure, go speak to a friend or speak to a non-government organization or the Philippine consulate and seek some advice,” she said.
Le Pla also said that for any receipt that employers ask FDHs to sign, the worker should first make sure that she “actually did receive the money.”
“If you are not sure that you’ve been given all the money that your entitled to, then ask (non-government) organizations,” she said.
“Keep a record of what happened. Anytime that you have a sick leave day…so that at the end of the contract, if there is an annual leave that you are entitled to..you have it written down,” she added.