Labour Tribunal to Allow Foreign Domestic Workers to Testify by Video for Compensation Cases

Labour laws concerning worker’s contract and due compensation are a big thing here in Hong Kong. It is for this reason that the labour courts are looking at new ways on how to better enforce the justice system given the fact that there are various foreign nationals who are also covered by such laws.

The goal in short, is that, even when the complainant is no longer in the country, by means of technology, justice can still be served.

Labour Tribunal to Allow Foreign Domestic Workers to Testify by Video for Compensation Cases
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Foreign Domestic Workers to be Allowed to Testify by Video When Seeking Compensation

The Hong Kong Labour Tribunal will now allow foreign domestic workers to testify by video when seeking compensation, even if they are no longer in the country, as shared in a report by the Hong Kong Free Press.

This development came after a decision was released by the High Court last year regarding the use of video by migrant workers when seeking compensation.

In line with this, last February 19 (Tuesday), the Labour Tribunal authorized a former domestic worker from the Philippines, Joenalyn Mallorca, to testify by video on court without leaving her country, where she currently is based.

In 2016, Mallorca filed her case at the tribunal seeking compensation for her ex-employer. Mallorca claimed that she was physically assaulted and was abruptly dismissed from employment without proper basis.

According to regional charity group Justice Without Borders, which assisted Mallorca with her case proceeding, such cases are not entirely unique as many foreign domestic workers have been forced to decide whether or not to stay in Hong Kong, which could last for several years, in order to pursue their cases, or give up their claim and go home.

Furthermore, the Labour Tribunal’s Presiding Officer Timon Shum Kei-Leong also approved Mallorca’s request to be represented by a union officer at the trial of her case, which marks another first in the country’s justice system.

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