F A Q
  
Below is some information and FAQ on how to use Amahnet to find the perfect domestic helper
  
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General

On First Employment

Payment and Deduction of Wages

Reimbursement of Costs of Documentation

Termination of Contract

Leave and Other Benefits

Return Air-ticket and Traveling Allowance

Miscellaneous

Enquiries and Complaints

 

What is Amahnet.com?
Amahnet.com is a new way for Employers and Domestic Workers to locate each other using the Internet. We have thousands of Employers checking our site weekly for the several hundred Domestic Helpers available for employment in Hong Kong.

 

Is Amahnet.com an Employment Agency?
No, it is a webpage publishing service where Domestic Helpers have Amahnet.com publish their bio-data and contact details on the Internet. We also provide a search engine to make it simple to locate the best candidates for each Employer.

 

How much do I pay as the Employer to use Amahnet.com’s service?
Absolutely nothing! How do I use Amahnet.com’s services? Look right below.

 

How do I hire a domestic helper without using an agency?
You just log onto the site and using our search engine define what the perfect background of the Domestic Helper of your dream is. You will get a list of names with thumbnail pictures next to each. Just click on the names and you will see the candidates full details including their contact details. If you are interested in interviewing the candidates call them on this number and make arrangements directly with the candidate that suits you.

 

What is Amahnet.com’s responsibility?
We are strictly a publisher of information. We publish the information given us without any qualification of that information. It is the Employers responsibility to check references of the prospective Employee as well as scrutinizing their documents. Remember this information that is being provided to you would is saving you thousands of dollars from going through an Agency. You should expect to add a little more time to the process in hiring for that savings.

 

What should I do after hiring a domestic helper using Amahnet.com?
Once you have a contract with your domestic helper. You should email us with the contract number so we can delete them from our site as they keep getting calls after they start working for you if you do not.

 

What should I do upon my Helper’s arrival to commerce work?
  • You should pay your Helper the daily food and traveling allowance for her journey to Hong Kong and reimburse her the cost of preparing all necessary documents. See Section III.
  • You are advised to explain to your Helper the duties you expect her to perform. Such duties must be domestic duties. See Section VII.
  • You should appoint rest days for your Helper. If it is a fixed day in a week, you only need to inform her once. If it is a floating rest day, you should inform her before the commencement of each month.
  • You should fix a date on which you will pay wages to your Helper. See Section II.
  • You should take out employees?compensation insurance against your liabilities for your Helper’s injuries at work. This is requirement under the Employees? Compensation Ordinance. Failure to do so is an offence in law, punishable by a fine and imprisonment.

 

What should I do when I start working for my Employer?
  • You should produce all relevant receipts for expenses connected with preparation of documents to facilitate reimbursement by your Employer.
  • You are advised to ask your Employer to explain your duties. See Section VII.

 

How should I pay wages to my Helper?
  • You are advised to pay wages by cheque or by autopayment into your Helper’s bank account. To do this, you have to obtain your Helper’s consent before hand. If your Helper does not prefer such methods of payment, you should pay her wages in legal tender.
  • You are required to keep records of wage payments. You are also advised to obtain receipts from your Helper for such payments and keep the relevant bank statements. A sample wage receipt is suggested at Appendix I.

 

When should I pay wages to my Helper?
  • You should pay wages to your Helper not less than once every month. For example, if she commences employment on the fifth day of a month, you should pay her as soon as possible on the fifth day of the following month, and in no case later than 7 days after that day. It is an offence in law to delay the payment wilfully and without reasonable excuse.
  • If you wish to change the date of payment, you should give prior notice to your Helper and clear the outstanding wages on the new payment date you have specified. For example, your Helper commenced employment on the fifth day of a month and is paid on that date every month. If you intend to change the payment date to the fifteenth day in the next month, you should clear the balance of the ten days?wages (i.e. from 6th to 15th) within 7 days after the fifteenth day of this month before you pay her on the new payment date next month.

 

How much should I pay my Helper?
You should pay your Helper not less than the wages and other sums due as stipulated in the employment contract.

 

May I deduct my Helper’s wages to compensate for damages to or loss of goods or property caused by her?
Yes. If the damage or loss to your goods or property is directly attributable to your Helper’s negligence or default, you may deduct from her wages the cost of the damaged item, subject to a limit of $300. The total of such deduction should not exceed one quarter of the wages payable to your Helper for that month.

 

What should I do when my Employer pays me wages?
You should check the amount paid to you. If correct, you should sign on the receipt prepared by your Employer. If the amount is less than the wages stipulated in the employment contract, you should check with your Employer to see if there is any mistake in calculation. If there is no satisfactory explanation for the underpayment, you should report the case to the appropriate branch office of the Labour Relations Service of the Labour Department immediately.

 

What expenses should I reimburse my Helper under the employment contract?
  • Under the employment contract, you are responsible for expenses incurred on your Helper in preparation of documents for taking up employment with you. Normally she would have paid such expenses and you should reimburse her, preferably through the bank, as soon as possible when she produces the receipts. You are advised to ask her to acknowledge your reimbursement in writing and keep the receipts for proof of payment. A sample receipt of reimbursement of expenses to Filipino domestic helpers is suggested at Appendix II.
  • Taking the case of the Philippines as an example, you may be asked to pay the following:
    • Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) fee (collected by the Philippine Government for processing the exit permit and compulsory attendance of a briefing session for the Helper prior to departure)
    • Mandatory insurance
    • Medical examination fee
    • Notarization fee (charged by the Philippines Consulate in Hong Kong
    • Visa extension fee (charged by the Hong Kong Immigration Department)

 

What expenses should I reimburse my Helper if I renew her employment contract?
You should pay your Helper the fees for notarizing the re-engagement contract and renewing the visa.

 

Should I pay the processing/documentation expenses to my Helper who is hired through an employment agency in Hong Kong?
It depends on what expenses the employment agency undertakes to pay on your behalf and whether your Helper has actually paid any necessary expenses out of her own pocket. If you have paid the employment agency any money to cover such expenses, you should ask the agency to furnish you with the relevant receipts for proof of payment.

 

May I terminate the employment contract before if expires?
Both the Employer and the Helper may terminate the contract by giving not less than one month’s notice in writing or by paying one month’s wages to the other party. A sample termination letter is suggested at Appendix III.

 

What should I do upon termination or expiry of the employment contract?

For the Employer

  • You should clear all outstanding wages and other sums due to your Helper, preferably by payment through the bank, and obtain a receipt for all payments.
  • You are required to notify the Director of Immigration in writing of the termination within seven days of the date of termination. It is not necessary to inform the Labour Department.

For the Helper

  • You should settle all accounts with your Employer and ensure that all sums are paid to you before you sign any receipt.
  • You are required to notify the Director of Immigration in writing of the termination within seven days of the date of termination. It is not necessary to inform the Labour Department.

 

Upon termination or expiry of the contract, what items of payment should I pay to my Helper?
  • You should pay the following items as soon as practicable and in no case later than 7 days after the date of termination:
    • outstanding wages;
    • wages in lieu of notice (if any);
    • payment in lieu of any untaken annual leave;
    • where necessary, long service payment; and
    • any other sum due to the Helper in respect of the employment contract.
  • You should also pay the following items as soon as possible after the date of termination:
    • a return air ticket and travelling allowance; and
    • severance payment, if necessary.
  • A sample receipt is suggested at Appendix IV.
 

 

May I terminate the employment contract without giving notice or payment in lieu to my Helper?
You should not do so except in special circumstances which are allowed in the Employment Ordinance. Please refer to the Concise Guide to the Employment Ordinance for details.

 

What should I do if my Helper leaves without giving me notice or payment in lieu?

OR

What should I do if my Employer dismisses me without giving notice or payment in lieu?

  • You should notify the Director of Immigration if you consider that the contract has been unilaterally terminated by the other party. For the Employer, you may also wish to report the case of missing helper to the Police.
  • If you consider that the other party is not entitled to terminate the contract without notice and you wish to claim wages in lieu of notice, you should approach the appropriate branch office of the Labour Relations Service of the Labour Department without delay. This Service will help you settle your claim by conciliation.
  • You may of course waive the requirement of proper notice from the other party.

 

What should I bear in mind when considering termination of the contract without notice?
  • Termination of employment without notice is usually preceded by disagreement between the Employer and the Helper. In the midst of heated arguments, things may be blown out of proportions and either party may there and then believe that it is justified for him to terminate the contract or to consider that it has been terminated. This often turns out to be ill-conceived. As independent witnesses are not usually available in a domestic environment, it will be difficult to re-construct the circumstances leading to the dispute and decide whether the action taken is justified.
  • The best way to solve problems arising from employment is for the parties to talk things out. Try to be considerate and tolerant with each other in sorting out your differences. Most problems can be resolved without resorting to drastic actions.
  • The law only allows termination of employment without notice in very special circumstances. If you really have to do so, you should make sure that you have sufficient evidence to back up your case. Otherwise you will likely face a claim from the other party.

 

What kinds of leave should I provide for my Helper under the law?
  • Under the Employment Ordinance, you are required to provide your Helper with the following leave:
    • rest days;
    • statutory holidays; and
    • paid annual leave.
  • Please refer to the Concise Guide to the Employment Ordinance for details.
  • You are required to keep records of the statutory holidays and annual leave taken. Your are also advised to keep the wage receipts to prove payment.
 

 

May I ask my Helper to forfeit a statutory holiday in exchange for extra wages with her consent?
  • No. You may ask your Helper to work on a statutory holiday only if
    • you have given her not less than 48 hours?notice; and
    • you will give her another holiday within 60 days.
  • Whether statutory holidays have actually been taken and paid is a common cause of dispute between the Employer and the Helper after their employment contract has been terminated. You should ensure that holiday and payment records are kept properly to avoid future disputes.

 

What other benefits are my Helper entitled to under the law?
  • Your Helper is also entitled to the following benefits under the Employment Ordinance:
    • sickness allowance;
    • maternity leave;
    • severance payment; and
    • long service payment.
  • Please refer to the Concise Guide to the Employment Ordinance for details.

 

May I appoint a medical practitioner for my Helper in times of illness of injury?
Under the employment contract, a Helper shall accept medical treatment by any registered medical practitioner as provided by the Employer. It is advisable to reach prior agreement with your Helper as to which medical practitioner should be consulted in times of illness or injury.

 

Am I required to insure against liability for accidents to and illness of my Helper?
Under the Employees?Compensation Ordinance, you are liable to pay compensation for your Helper’s injury or death by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, and you have legal obligation to take insurance against such liabilities. Under the employment contract, you are liable for medical expenses incurred as a result of illness or accident not attributable to the employment. You may also wish to insure against such liabilities.

 

Is my Employer responsible for paying my passage back to my place of origin upon termination or expiry of the contract?
Yes. Upon termination or expiry of the contract, your Employer should provide free passage for you to return to your place of origin. Usually an air ticket will be given to you and you will be asked to sign to acknowledge receipt.

 

What kind of air-ticket should I provide for my Helper upon expiry or termination of contract? Should it be open-date or fixed-date?
This is not specified in the employment contract. You may wish to provide an open-date ticket to avoid financial loss on your part in case the Helper is unable to use a fix-date ticket due to unforeseen circumstances.

 

How many days?travelling allowance is payable to my Helper under the employment contract?
It depends on the journey time between Hong Kong and your Helper’s place of origin. In general, if the Helper is from an Asia country, one to two days?travelling allowance should suffice.

 

As a domestic helper, what kind of duties should I be asked to perform?
The Helper’s duties are not specified in the employment contract. Generally speaking, a Helper’s duties may include domestic cooking, household chores, baby-sitting, child-minding and car washing. You are advised to ask your Employer to explain your duties before commencement of the employment.

 

May I take up part-time employment with my Employer’s consent?
No. It is an offence in law for you to take up any employment with someone not named in your visa. You will be liable to prosecution and removal for breaching the conditions of stay. If you are so removed, you will not normally be allowed to come to Hong Kong again to work as a helper. It is also an offence in law to employ anyone who has been permitted to stay in Hong Kong to work for another person without the prior approval of the Director of Immigration.

 

What should I do if my Employer deploys me to work for another person or take up non-domestic duties?
You should report the matter to the Investigation Division of the Immigration Department.

 

May I live away from my Employer’s home?
Under the employment contract, your Employer is required to provide you with free accommodation. If you and your Employer have agreed on living-out arrangements, you should inform the Immigration Department of such arrangement. The letter of notification should be signed by you and your Employer.

 

What should I do if my Employer keeps my passport and refuses to give it back to me?
You should approach the Police or your Consulate for assistance.

 

What can I do if my Helper uses the IDD at home without my permission?
  • You may consider installing security check against unauthorized use of your IDD.
  • You may make prior agreement in writing with your Helper concerning reimbursement of the expenses incurred.

 

Who should I approach for enquiries regarding the employment contract or the Employment Ordinance?
You may call the Labour Department Enquiries Hotline at 2717 1771 (24 hours service) or approach the branch offices of the Labour Relations Service of the Labour Department. The office addresses are at Appendix V.

Copyright 2001 Amahnet. All rights reserved.
Web site developed by Gateway Int'l Ltd. Send comments to the webmaster.