Two Week Rule; Does it ring a bell? How much do you know about the two-week rule in Hong Kong which applies to OFWs? Understanding the two-week rule, the effect to you as a Foreign Domestic Helper, who to contact, what will happen when you violate it and what to do once in the situation, might come handy in the future.
As a Foreign Domestic Helper you signed a 2-year contract, but in the event that your contract is terminated before the expiration, then the two-week rule applies to you. In short, you only have 14 days to stay in Hong Kong, and fly back to the Philippines within that period.
2-Week Rule in Hong Kong: Worker Needs to Go Home in Two Weeks Once Contract is Terminated
It would be heart breaking to fly back home without finishing the contract, when you have already spent time, effort and the money just to work overseas.
The following questions might enter your mind once you are in this situation:
What can I do when my contract is terminated before it expires?
- First, you have to notify the Immigration Department about your current status.
- Apply for an extension of stay, which will cost HK$190. However, you are not allowed to work while waiting for the result of your application.
- Find a new employer
- Remember to apply for an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) with the Philippine Consulate before leaving Hong Kong, in order for you to come back and work again in Hong Kong.
What if I stay more than the allowed 2 weeks?
- It is understandable to wish to stay and look for new employment, however if you can’t find one, and overstay then you are taking a great risk. Staying in Hong Kong beyond the allowed two week is punishable by law.
What are the Special Considerations in processing a new contract?
According to Mission for Migrant Workers the following reasons are given special considerations:
- The employer is moving to another country.
- Sudden death of the employer.
- The employer is not financially capable to pay your wages.
What can I do to support myself while waiting for the result of my application?
- You are not allowed to work during this period. It might be hard, but there are a lot of Domestic workers NGOs that can help you. They can provide boarding houses, where you can stay for free.
Fingers crossed, you might not need it, but in the event that you do, these guidelines will come handy in the future.
Hong Kong is a good place to work and to earn a lot of money, but you also have to be aware of certain circumstances that might happen in the future. So, understanding the two-week rule better, and empowering yourself with ideas that can help you survive this situation, might prepare you for the future. It pays to be prepared.