Getting fired from a job is almost always a traumatic experience, regardless of work nature and industry you belong. For a domestic worker, it’s equally painful given that a job that requires too much time and compensated lowly can also be subject to abuse that could ultimately conclude in an employment termination. These are the most common reason why a domestic helper is let go from his or her job.
1. Disease and Persistent Ailment
If a domestic helper develops an ailment that makes her/him unfit to work, the employer may terminate the employment contract.
2. Deception and Misrepresentation
Domestic helper lied and allowed someone to misrepresent on her behalf. For example, someone could claim as previous employer for reference purposes. Once the employer finds out, the maid gets fired immediately.
The domestic helper abuses her employers. She stays comes home drunk and unable to perform her duties or brings friends to her employer’s house without prior permission.
4. Employers Leaving Hong Kong
The employers of the domestic helper decides to leave Hong Kong and left with no choice but to cut her employment contract short.
5. Misuse of Private Properties
Domestic helper is caught using her employer’s computer, wearing her dress without prior permission or unauthorized use of other household equipment.
6. Guarantor to a Debt-ridden Friend
Being a guarantor to a friend hounded by debt collector isn’t necessarily bad. But it turns nasty when collectors get hold of employers’ home phone number and ask for payment.
7. Jealous Employer
The female employer gets jealous of the domestic helper for whatever reasons, from the male employer’s treatment to insecurity. Or maybe when she’s caught making out with her male boss.
8. Bad Behavior
Domestic helper can’t help but frequently gets involved in argument with her employers over petty things. Her employers shout commands, and she yells back.
Domestic helper gets caught stealing money and/or jewelry owned by her employer. Others are caught on camera taking out cups of rice, cans of baked beans or assorted fruits. She lands on local paper and every reader of The Sun and Hongkong News gets to know her.
Domestic helper is released because of constant communication problem. Grandma and grandpa can’t speak English and their Filipina helper can’t talk in Cantonese. So they have to hire an Indonesian who speaks fluent Cantonese instead and lets go of the Filipina.
11. Violation of Applicable Laws
Employers of the domestic helper owns a bakery or flower shop and asks the domestic helper to act as saleslady or cashier in the business. This scope of work is clearly not stated in the contract. Both employer and helper gets caught. Employer serves jail time, helper looks for new work.
Domestic helper often watches TV or talks on the phone while her 16-month old ward is left to starve or falls from the couch. Ouch. Maid gets the boot for negligence. Worse, she might be asked by the court to pay her employers sum of money to compensate injury of kid and distress shed caused them.
Domestic helper came from the Philippines with no prior experience working at home (probably a) from a strict well-to-do family b) from a bitter breakup with boyfriend c) seeking adventure and escaped to Hong Kong). She can’t get ironing of clothes done. Can’t maintain sanitation at home. Eventually, she is shown the door.
14. Employer Bankruptcy
Employer and helper maintains great working relationship until one day. Employer gets laid off from her financial management job in Admiralty. She can’t support the helper anymore and asks to terminate the domestic helper contract.
15. Death or departure of employer
Upon death of an employer, the contract he or she entered with a domestic worker is no longer enforceable and therefore the helper is considered let go and his/her contract is terminated. The same also applies if an employer decides to emigrate from Hong Kong since the employment contract is only valid in Hong Kong.
Note: If a domestic helper gets pregnant during the duration of her contract, her employer cannot fire her. Otherwise, employer faces punishment by the anti discrimination law. Instead, employer provides maternity leave with pay.
Photo credit: Ian Riley