A new law that will protect foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong will start January 2017
Everyone is well aware about how several unfortunate overseas workers are being abused physically, emotionally and even s*xually. It is quite saddening that in spite of several instances being constantly recorded, there hasn’t been an impacting move from the government to stop violence or at least lower down the number. Furthermore, it is quite surprising that there are still a lot of people who prefer to work abroad, especially from developing countries like the Philippines. Is it still ideal and safe to sacrifice being away from the family just to earn more?
Hong Kong’s government has an answer to the underlying question. As also published on ofwguide.com, a ruling that will prohibit the employers to demand foreign domestic helpers to clean windows of their apartment building is set to be implemented by January next year. According to the rule, the helpers must not be obliged to lave outside windows located above the ground floor or near the balcony, wherever their lives will be threatened.
There is a sentiment from Emman Villanueva, spokesman of the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body because existing contracts don’t have the rule yet. However, as per Labor Commissioner Carlson Chan Ka-shun, current employers must follow this rule even though it is not specified in the employee’s contract. In spite of the tightness of the new regulation, bosses will not be criminally liable for the death of their maids, but they will be mandated to pay for a certain amount for damages, along with their insurance, if they die due to window accidents. He also reiterated that it would take up to 2 years to make sure that all contracts will have the regulation clause. The Department of Immigration will continue to process the contracts signed until December 31, 2016 without the ruling, and the full implementation will be January 27, 2017. They also committed to publicize the new directive so that everyone will be informed. This is a wonderful way to at least compensate the depressing feeling of workers who don’t have any choice but to work overseas.