With several new policies lined up to protect the interests and welfare of Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is cautious in setting its programs in full throttle especially when these initiatives affect not only Filipino household service workers but also their employers, and in a way, the Hong Kong government, as well.
Insurance Policy for Filipino HSWs Deferred Until Further Review of HK Gov’t
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has announced that it will indefinitely put on hold the implementation of the insurance policy for household service workers (HSWs) in Hong Kong until the legality of the policy has been reviewed by the Department of Justice, as shared in a report by the Manila Times.
Regarding this, POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia did not disclose a timetable as to when the opinion of the DoJ may be released. He also hinted that the policy, which wwas originally set to be imposed back in October 2018, may still be further suspended until mif-year.
Olalia added that the Hong Kong government may not honour the insurance for the purpose of serving as a warrant for any claims of distressed HSW as the insurance policy will issued in the Philippines and not within the territory of Hong Kong.
Once the policy has been approved and adopted, all HSWs on the island-state will be required to pay HKD 144, as insurance in any local insurance firm. This aims to force employers who plan to shortchange their employees by not paying them the agreed salary stated in their contract to cover the insurance, and not by the HSW.
However, the policy has drawn a lot of criticisms from various labour groups who claim that it will only be used to increase government revenue at the expense of low-wage earners such as domestic helpers.