Date Posted: 13/07/2020
There can be several factors why someone is in debt. Many employment agencies and training centres benefit from many domestic workers. Charging them illegally high fees which they have to pay for months, sometimes years.
Domestic workers are economic migrants and are generally the only heads of households in the country of origin. On average, domestic workers send between 50% and 60% of their monthly wages to support 4 to 5 family members. A loan may have been the best option for families to cover a range of different costs.
It is often difficult to know for sure if a domestic worker has a debt problem. Many domestic workers are led to believe that the illegal taxes collected are legitimate “entry” or “training fees.”
There are several valid concerns about hiring a domestic employee who may be in debt. However, from an employment perspective, the employer must focus on the potential employee’s ability to repay a loan, rather than the fact that he/she currently has unpaid debts.
If the potential employee has a well laid out loan repayment plan, this would indicate that he/she is responsible and proactive, which is beneficial to the candidate.
As an employer, you can lessen the likelihood of your helper going into debt by hiring through an authorized, certified, tax-free employment agency.
What should I do if I find out that my domestic helper is in debt?
Remember, you should never feel pressured to pay your domestic helper’s debt. If they are in debt because of loans or because of their irresponsibility, they may need professional help to get rid of their obligations and debt pattern.
How To Avoid Debt Traps
Proper financial management and financial stability mean that a domestic worker can avoid being distracted from financial stress while working in Hong Kong. By supporting family members at home, and making savings plans for the future.
Excessive employment rates are a significant cause of the problems associated with the financial indebtedness of domestic workers. Domestic workers spend an average of four to six months to pay their contractual debt.
The use of monthly wages can be useful for employers and domestic workers. They can help keep records, monitor monthly salaries, deductions, allowances, and other entitlements.
A bank account is a useful tool for managing money. Instead of money, wages can be paid directly into the domestic worker’s bank account. This avoids the slight temptation to spend money. Domestic workers can go further by opening a second account to save money and transfer funds from the original statement to the reserve.
Hong Kong-based charities can provide financial management training to domestic workers and confidential individual financial advisory services to indebted domestic workers. Employers and foreign domestic workers can contact this organization.
If your helper reaches out to you, consider giving her some caring advice. Consider that helpers do not earn as much as you. When they are having to decide whether to put food on their children’s table or to take care of their sick parent, it’s a challenging situation for them to be in.
Debt is an easy thing for many of us to get into. It can be depressing to have debts hanging over your head while still having so many monthly outgoings.
For anyone in debt, remember there is always light at the end of the tunnel.