Date Posted: 20/08/2020
There are many various reasons as to why foreign domestic workers are unhappy in their jobs. From poor working conditions to long hours. From a low wage to not getting along with the people you work for. In this article, I am going to explore what I believe to be the main reason for this general unhappiness.
It is common knowledge that for many people around the world, it is incredibly difficult to obtain a visa. It is at least a 9-week process for first-time helpers to be employed on a Hong Kong working visa, a 4-week process for those helpers who are already in Hong Kong.
After a helper has finished their contract or their job for an unfortunate reason has been terminated, helpers only get a 2-week long visa before they are legally obliged to leave Hong Kong. Is it already obvious enough why this is an issue?
Having a job as a helper in Hong Kong (or any other ex-pat country/community) is crucial for their quality of life. It gives people a steady income, as well as giving them the opportunity to care for their families. This includes anything from being able to send their children to school, being able to provide their families with food, or sometimes providing medical care in matters of life or death.
Often, employers terminate contracts without considering the consequences properly. It can often be due to relocation purposes, and with Hong Kong having such a large ex-pat community people can decide to move house or country in the space of a few months. This for anyone relying on their job and income can cause a lot of worry and stress.
Imagine you are at short notice told you that you have to find a new job, and you only have a month to be able to organise the paperwork and find a new employer, many Helpers are forced to accept job offers that may not personally suit them. Many helpers are forced to accept job offers that have bad sleeping conditions, rude employers, an illegally low wage or a high-pressure job that requires too much of them.
I personally believe that the short visa extensions prevent helpers from bettering their working conditions, and having to constantly settle for less. We want to change that at HelperFirst. We give people the opportunity to constantly have a profile on display, even if they are already in a job. Thus securing people the ability to be on the lookout for their next job! We don’t want people to accept any old job because they rely on the wage, we also want helpers to have a say in their own working life — after all, what would you want if you were working a minimum of 6 days a week, 12 hours a day.