Contract termination

Contract termination

Date Posted: 16/06/2020

 

There are unique challenges when it comes to managing a good working relationship between employers and domestic workers.

 

Terminating the contract of a helper can be very difficult but also avoidable. It is encouraged to consider all situations before you make such a decision. If you ask your helper why she is struggling, she may open up to you and let her in on your problems and struggles.

 

We have put together some important notes that you should bear in mind during difficult times.

 

Under the standard employment contract, the employer and the domestic worker both have the right to resign/terminate a contract. They must give one month’s notice or pay a month’s wages instead.

 

The notice of termination of the contract must be sent to the immigration service within seven days of the date of termination.

 

Employers and domestic workers may be separated due to the termination of a contract or the contract being terminated prematurely. However, there are essential points that need to be addressed in the separation process.

 

The aim of this article is to provide a clear and practical overview of the process involved.

 

Management

 

Managing an employee when things go wrong has its challenges. This can be particularly difficult when the said employee lives both under your roof and on a work visa.

 

Management solutions are aimed at avoiding other negative consequences, generate resolutions and provide directions for the future.

 

Feedback is essential to help domestic workers improve their performance. Several factors ensure that feedbacks are sent effectively.

 

Make sure you select the right time and place to give and listen to feedback from your domestic worker(s). Make sure the feedback is clear and understandable.

 

 

Consider the situation

 

Have a conversation with your helper to ask why they are struggling with certain aspects of work. They could be overworked or upset about something happening in their personal life.

 

Find some time where you and your helper can sit somewhere private. Be kind. Approach the situation with caution.

 

Many people do not like being questioned. If you make her feel comfortable and open up to some of your own troubles, she may feel more inclined to open up herself.

 

Consider taking her out for a coffee or a walk, so she isn’t surrounded by her everyday surroundings.

 

Performance Reviews

 

Performance reviews are a more formal way of providing feedback and setting expectations for future performance.

 

A performance review may include the following:

 

• Employers’ expectations

• Worker performance

• The expected action of the worker

• Timeline of the planned action

 

 

Warning Letter

 

If you think that some things are not working as expected, even when you have given feedback to the worker and explained in detail.

 

The next line of action is to provide the worker with a formal warning letter. The objective is to solve performance or behavioural problem, highlight the necessary improved work and specify the consequences of the expected improvements if not achieved.

 

For this, it is recommended to include the following points in the letter:

 

  • Defined problem
  • Solution/improvement needed
  • The timeframe of the expected, planned action
  • Consequences of unsatisfied expectations.

 

Once you have served the warning letter, make sure that you, the employer and the domestic worker both sign.

 

Termination Process

 

If you have tried the processes mentioned above and you feel there is still no improvement, the next thing is to consider terminating the contract of the worker.

 

The termination process should involve

 

  • Read and understand the legal obligations.
  • Inform the domestic worker of your resolution.
  • Prepare the necessary documents.
  • Settle all entitlements.
  • Notify the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

 

People often say that you shouldn’t mix your personal life with your work life, but it’s worth considering that helpers often don’t get much personal time.

 

This lack of personal time can lead to a build-up of problems and ultimately may end up affecting the standard of their work. Giving your helper some time to personally deal with her problems could be very beneficial to all parties.

 

Remember, helpers, are human.

 

 

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