You don’t want to be empty-handed with knowledge about working in Hong Kong. Having a ‘Just-sign-the-contract-and-don’t-mind-anything-else-but-your-salary’ mindset would surely put you in a difficult situation when some unexpected happen. As they say, ‘Iba na ang may alam’ (You have an edge, and advantage when you have knowledge).
Be an ‘equipped’ worker, not just with passion, dedication, and skills, but EVERYTHING about being a worker.
In this article, we’ll have a specific country to tackle, which is Hongkong, and for those who are planning or are already working in Hongkong, let us lead you to the things that you need to know about being a migrant worker there.
So, let’s go?
1. MINIMUM WAGE
FROM HK$ (Hongkong dollar) 4,210, the government raised the minimum salary to
HK$4310 (that’s a 2.4 % increase).
Sounds like a good news?
No, not really, one union states that the increase is NOT enough, according to the union’s word: “NOT a livable wage IN Hongkong”
HK$5000 minimum wage was not approved, because the government says that they need to strike a balance, because of the aspects that they are dealing with, regarding the increase (including the capacity of the employers)
2. MATERNITY LEAVE
A.) First, let us define what a ‘continuous contract’ is.
A contract of an employee can only be called a ‘continuous contract’ if the employee has been employed continuously by the SAME employer for 28 days (4weeks) or more at least.
B.)So now that we know what a ‘continuous’ contract is, we’ll now tell you that a pregnant employee is ONLY entitled to maternity benefits if she is under a ‘continuous contract’, and if the employee works for
18 hours a week.
A pregnant employee is given 10 weeks leave, with an additional time
“equivalent to the period between the EXPECTED date of birth and the ACTUAL date of the birth.”
(10 weeks leave WOULD START 4 weeks before the expected date of birth)
On top of that additional time, they are also entitled to another
4 weeks additional leave (in the event) of illness.
This ‘leave’ is still different and exclusive from the ‘sick leave’ that is usually entitled to employees.
C.) Employers cannot fire their employees because of their pregnancy.
*But of course they can terminate you (if you have comminuted a gross
D.) A pregnant employee cannot perform hazardous and tiring tasks.
E.) Maternal Pay
The employee CAN be eligible for maternal pay if she is employed for more than 40 weeks, has provided a pregnancy certificate to her employer and the expected due date of her pregnancy.
F.) Employees, DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
The government has already provided protection, benefits, and considerations to their pregnant workers, but please, be responsible enough to avail of those considerations. Inform your employer as early as you can (about your pregnancy) and provide a certificate that proves your pregnancy.
There’s a FORMALITY involved here, and formality is a must, regardless of what your work is.
3. CAN MIGRANT WORKERS JOIN IN A TRADE UNION?
Let’s define something first:
“What is a TRADE UNION?
TRADE UNION is an autonomous and democratic organization run by the workers, which has the right to REPRESENT the workers in negotiations with the employer and the government.”
YES!, workers are allowed to join in trade unions, but with conditions, of course, (that are completely understandable)
Participation in activities are only allowed at an “appropriate time”
(outside working hours)
or yes, anytime within working hours, (which depends on the agreement between the employer and the employee)
Employers are prohibited by, yes, the LAW to “prevent, dismiss or punish” employees who decide to join a trade union.
These are just the basics, and it’s a good start for you to know your rights as a worker in Hong Kong. Always keep in mind that IT IS your responsibility to be knowledgeable about your rights, no matter what your work is.