Next Tuesday (25/12/2018) is Christmas. Let us share the joy of Christmas with our domestic helpers who have left their homes, come to Hong Kong to serve us and our families.
I asked the domestic helpers a question: If your employer wants to give you a Christmas gift, what do you want to receive?
Here are their answers (the top 6 things they want, 1 = the most preferred, and so on):
1 Give the helper a red pocket --
~ You can consider giving a red pocket to your domestic helper as a Christmas gift, so that they can buy Christmas gifts for their children and family / celebrate Christmas with their friends and enjoy the holidays. The amount of money to be given depends on the employer's preference, or the performance of the domestic helper.
~Most helpers, no matter what their religious background are, want to have holiday on Christmas day, so they can enjoy the holidays with friends in Hong Kong. (According to <<Labour Law>>, employers are required to give a foreign domestic helper a holiday on Christmas.) They are unhappy to spend the holiday alone.
~ If your helper is a Filipino, Christmas is a big holiday in the Philippines. Many Filipino helpers hope to return to the Philippines and celebrate Christmas with their families. If you are unable to arrange it, please try your best to arrange for them to have a holiday on Christmas Day, so they can go to the church (most Filipinos are Catholics and Christians).
~ for helpers working for less than 3 months:
According to the <<labour Law>>, the helpers working in Hong Kong for less than 3 months can also enjoy statutory holidays (but without pay). In other words, employers can deduct their helpers’ current salary when they go out for the public holiday.
In spite of this, I recommend all the employers to be generous to your helpers. Even if they worked for less than 3 months, let them enjoy the salary of Christmas Day. This directly shows your kindness and love to the helpers, which in turn will make their hearts be more willing to stay in your family.
~ If your new helper is a Filipino, please observe if she has any signs of homesickness - such as: easy to cry, shows black faces, working performance declines. If yes, you or your spouse (depending on who manages her) should find a time to talk to her, listen patiently, let her express the feeling of homesick and encourage her. On Christmas Day, give her a long time to use her mobile phone. If you don't want to share your WIFI password with your helper, you may consider lending your computer or laptop so that she can use SKYPE to chat with her family at Christmas to reduce her homesickness. Homesickness is one common reason for new helper to resign.
3 clothes --
Most helpers are women, after 6 days’ work, most of the helpers would like to dress up nice to enjoy the holiday. Besides. most of them never experience winter in their own countries, so they may not have enough winter clothes to keep warm. Beautiful clothes can make most ladies happy. Winter clothes help them to feel employer’s love and care directly.
4 Respect --
~ Not only Christmas, most helpers express their hunger to feel respected. Employers, the family members and the helper should respect each other all the times. Please do not easily get angry, never shout loudly them, give them enough food and rest, and give salary on time. Almost all the helpers say that they are happy to work for a reasonable employer who respect them, give them dignity at work.
5 cosmetics / sim card / coffee / watch / Bible
No matter your domestic helper is from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, or other countries, please thank her/him for leaving her/his home and serving your family. Let her/him know that you appreciate her/his sacrifice. As an employer, your warm and encouraging words can give your helper(s) job satisfaction, ease the sense of loneliness during the holidays, and decrease their desire to quit.
Christmas is coming, I wish you and your domestic helper a Merry Christmas!