Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

Calls for agencies to pay price for job-hopping by Hong Kong domestic workers

Calls for agencies to pay price for job-hopping by Hong Kong domestic workers

Government has proposed approach to tackle issue of helpers quitting jobs prematurely without compelling reasons, saying proposals to revoke licences or issue verbal warnings lack teeth.
Hong Kong lawmakers have called for employment agencies to be fined or held criminally liable to combat job-hopping among domestic helpers, saying a government proposal to issue verbal warnings to firms or revoke their licences lacks a deterrent effect.

They were discussing the government’s proposed two-way approach to tackle the problem of helpers quitting their jobs prematurely without compelling reasons at a Legislative Council panel meeting on Tuesday.

Under proposed amendments to the Code of Practice for Employment Agencies, firms would be required to “clearly explain” to helpers that an application to change employer within the standard two-year contract period would be approved only under exceptional circumstances.

These would include the transfer, migration, death or financial reasons of the original employer, or where there was evidence the helper had been abused or exploited.

In addition, agencies would not be allowed to provide monetary incentives to helpers in employment to induce them to terminate their contracts prematurely.

For helpers, the government proposed that those already in work must return to their home country and submit a new application if they wanted to change employer. But their applications would be rejected if evidence suggested job-hopping was involved.

Lawmakers said the proposals, which the public will be consulted on until May 15, lacked teeth.

“The proposed punishments to the agencies, including issuing oral warnings and revocations of licences, are not enough, as they can always find another way to apply for a new licence,” lawmaker Judy Chan Kapui said.

She suggested criminal liability could be introduced as a punishment.

Echoing her was Lai Tung-kwok, who said punishment “always takes a long time to process which minimises its deterrence”.

He proposed fining agencies if they violated the policy.

Assistant Commissioner for Labour Cheung Hoi-shan told lawmakers the job-hopping problem had greatly improved, with the number of cases dropping nearly 70 per cent compared with 2021.

According to the government, 5,844 applications were referred to the Immigration Department for follow-up action on suspected job-hopping in 2021. Of these, 2,833 applications were rejected, almost nine times the number of rejections in 2020.

Cheung said the proposed amendments could eventually put the cost burden on the agencies, as they would be required to discuss refunds or replacement arrangements with employers if a helper initiated a termination of contract.

In addition, agency operators would not be given another chance to open a new company if their licence was revoked.

“If the licence holder is employed by another agency, the agency’s qualification for applying for a licence will be given special attention,” Cheung said.

Undersecretary for Labour and Welfare Ho Kai-ming said the proposed amendments did not mean helpers were forbidden from changing their employers.

“But we require them to do so only after they finish the two-year contract or the exceptions emerge,” Ho said.

Lawmaker Peter Shiu Ka-fai wanted to know whether it counted as job-hopping if helpers were “acting lazy on purpose to get fired”.

Cheung admitted it was “difficult to define job-hopping in a real situation”. But she said the Immigration Department had a special task force to review suspicious cases since June 2013.

“That will include how many applications for employer change are filed by the same foreign domestic helpers within a year and whether each time the reasons are acceptable,” Cheung said.

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.