Date Posted: 04/02/2021
There are differences between a domestic helper’s release letter and a termination letter. Sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances, you will opt to end your helper’s contract. It can be because you both decided it’s not working for you, or the other party doesn’t want to continue anymore. Depending on the case, here is some helpful information that you should know.
If either your domestic helper or you decided that you don’t want to finish the contract, you have to make a termination letter for legal purposes. In this letter, you have to update when the contract ends and specify why it is ending. If the two-year contract period is over and you don’t want to renew it, you should write a release letter instead of creating a contract letter.
A release letter should show the contract’s actual end date and include the final payments you gave your domestic helper. It may be wise to calculate the legal amounts you still need to pay. If you are looking for a sample termination letter, here’s a link that you can check. If there’s a disagreement, you can ask a third-party to attend so that a witness is present when you both sign the letter.
Different things could happen to your domestic helper once you terminate them. It could be these:
Suppose you terminate them because your family is migrating to another country. Maybe you are financially challenged at the moment, or the family member the domestic helper was caring for passed away; the domestic helper’s status would be “finished contract.” She doesn’t need to return to her country before she finds a new employer.
If the reason for termination is: incompatibility, incompetence, etc., then the domestic helper will need to go back to their country before they can apply again or find a new employer.
If the domestic helper wanted to resign or end their contract early, she should explain why in her letter of resignation. However, this is optional. You can check this link for sample termination letter of domestic helpers who want to break their contract.
Make sure that there are no outstanding payments.
For proof and evidence, you can ask your domestic helper to sign a document stating that she has received all final payments and that there’s no outstanding balance you need to pay.
Make sure you indicate all types of expenses like salaries, annual leaves, etc.
You must inform Hong Kong’s Immigration Department about this change within seven days of the contract termination date. You can also choose to notify them four weeks before the contract termination date.
Drafting a domestic helper release letter is easy. It is also known as an acknowledgment letter. This letter shows the employee’s end date plus a statement that you and your domestic helper have no outstanding salaries, annual leave, various amounts, air ticket (equivalent), etc.
A release letter is not a legal requirement for an unrenewed contract. However, domestic helpers are asked to present a release letter when applying for a new visa application once they have a new employer. This is also a vital document as it proves that the helper has finished the contract with their previous employer. Be mindful because sometimes, in Hong Kong, a “release letter” is interchangeably used as a “termination letter” when there is a broken contract.
It’s challenging to find both a good domestic helper and employer. If your domestic helper performed well and you think she could fit well with another family, it is encouraged that you write her a reference letter. This can be essential in helping your domestic worker find new work.
When writing a reference letter, you can highlight your domestic helpers’ skills, the qualities you see in her, and how well she’s able to perform the specific tasks you ask her to do. A reference letter can also serve as detailed information about the helper’s duties so that potential employers will know her through your eyes. You can talk about their abilities such as cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children, etc.
HelperFirst helps both employer and domestic helpers. We can directly ask for a reference letter from their previous employment.