Government to Stand by Policies on Job-Hopping for Domestic Helpers

In various fields of work certain trends among labour and workforce arise depending on a number of factors such as worker’s pay, quality of work, job security, and career growth which drive labourers and employees from changing jobs, but ‘how often’ is the more important question.

On this regard, Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong shared that the government has no plans of changing its policies against domestic helpers’ premature termination of their contract in order to change employers (commonly known as “job-hopping”) because there have been sufficient systems to set in place to prevent it.

Gov’t to Stand by Policies on Job-Hopping for Domestic Helpers
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Gov’t to Maintain its Policies on Job-Hopping for Domestic Helpers

In a statement to answer a question by lawmaker Dr Hon Chiang Lai-wan in the Legislative Council las Dec 12, Law explained that the Immigration Department has been actively improving the assessment of employment visa applications from foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) who have repeatedly changed employers within a given period of time, to combat abuse in frequently changing employers, as shared in a report by the Sun.

Owing to this fact, Dr Law cited figures related to this issue, and pointed out that this abuse, by far, is represented in isolated cases only.

According to Law, since June 2013 up until end of October 2018, the Immigration department has received around 544,000 employment visa applications from FDHs, 11,077 (2%) of which have been subject to further scrutiny by the department.

From this 2% where various exceptional circumstances may be involved such as premature contract termination on grounds of transfer, death, migration, or financial deficiencies on the part of the former employer, or where there was proof suggesting that the FDH had been subjected to abuse or exploitation, the department had rejected 1,817 applications, and 819 had been withdrawn by the applicants themselves, and 658 of which could no longer be processed further.

Other than strengthening the visa application screening process, the department, as per Dr Law had also implemented supplementary measures such as improving visa application assessment workflow, increasing manpower to handle such cases, and issuing clear operational guidelines to staff, and coordinating with formers of employers and FDHs suspected of ‘job-hopping’ to gain insight on the reasons for the frequent change of jobs or employers.

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