HK Labor Secretary Dr. Law to Employer: Persuade your FDW to postpone their vacation
No Christmas vacation this year, yet!
Dyesebel Duran, a domestic worker in Hong Kong for 22 years wished to spend her Christmas vacation in her hometown in the Philippines with her only daughter. The last time she was with her daughter was in 2019, in celebration of her daughter’s 18th birthday, and before the pandemic.
Since the start of Covid-19, with the cost for quarantine facilities (presently at 21 quarantine days) and the difficulties of booking hotels for quarantine period once foreign domestic workers would return to Hong Kong to work, most of FDWs stayed in Hong Kong and did not take their Christmas vacation in the Philippines (as Christmas is the most popular holiday).
But, Duran’s wishes would be impossible to happen since the Secretary of Labor and Welfare in Hong Kong wrote on his blog posted last Sunday, Nov. 14, that employers need to persuade their domestic workers to postpone their holidays in their home countries. This can reduce the chance of infection and avoid being blocked when returning to Hong Kong, Law added.
For those who wished not only for holiday but to permanently to go back to the Philippines or want “to go for good”, the secretary of Labor also said that mutual understanding and agreement should have between the employer and current domestic worker.
If the existing FDW wants to return to the hometown after the contract is over, and the employer needs to hire a new FDW, the best way is to reach an agreement with the present FDW and renew a new contract first. When the new FDW successfully arrives in Hong Kong and after the completion of the quarantine, the contract can be terminated with mutual consent, Dr. Law said.
Labor Secretary added that the next best thing is to persuade the current foreign domestic helper to extend the existing contract, which can be up to six months. After the new foreign domestic helper successfully arrives in Hong Kong and completes the quarantine, the contract is terminated with mutual consent.
In Hong Kong News private messages, some FDWs wrote asking the HK government to lessen the number of quarantine to at least 7 days so they can take their holiday in the Philippines especially this coming Christmas season.
Some posted that they want also to see their children who were only babies when they left but after years of not visiting the Philippines, they are afraid that their children would not recognize them.
As for Duran, she is not the only one who wanted her to take a vacation in the Philippines, her daughter misses her also.
“Nakakamiss na nga umuwi kasi kahit anak ko nagsasabi na sa akin na namimiss niya na daw din ako”.