How to handle the food arrangement of your Filipino domestic helper(s)?

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What does the contract say about food?

5(b).  "The Employer shall provide the helper with suitable and furnished accommodation as per the attached Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties and food free of charge. If no food is provided, a food allowance of HK$1053 a month shall be paid to the helper."

In the past few years, I worked in a Filipino helpers agent, to coach helpers, employers and handle employer-helper conflicts. I am surprised to find out that lack of food is the most common reason for a helper to quit. It is because employers and helpers’ interpretation of the meaning of “ providing food” are different. These conflicting understandings lead to many actual conflicts and premature terminations.

 Common Conflicts on Food

 Hong Kong Employers     

  • Eat 3 meals per day, i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Assume they are reasonable employers because they provide the helper's food for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Believe that the helpers should buy their own snacks.
  • Think helpers should eat whatever the employer provides.
  • Feel offended if a helper asks for food allowance, think the helpers
  • has no right to ask for that.
  • Some employers want their helpers to eat healthily, while some employers do not care about the nutritional value of the food provided to the helpers & provide the poor nutritional value food, e.g. instant noodle, congee, canned food, leftovers, food from fast food stores etc.
  • employers think all helpers should know where to find something to eat. If a helper does not know what and when to eat, she should ask the employer.                        

Filipino Domestic Helpers

  • Eat 5-7 times per day breakfast, lunch, dinner AND  afternoon tea +/- morning snack before breakfast, morning tea, night snack.
  • Assume their employer will provide food whenever she is hungry, that means provide 5-7 meals per day, including snacks.  
  • Some may dislike the food their employers provide.
  • If the employer fails to provide them with enough food OR if they dislike the food provided, they will ask for the "food allowance". They do not want to have conflicts with employers over food and this seems to them a reasonable alternative.
  • Some helpers don't worry about health, they just buy whatever is affordable and familiar But some helpers like to eat healthily and eat fresh food, dislike the food left overnight, canned food and instant noodle.
  • Some helpers are hungry because of they do not know what/when to eat, or they are afraid to eat if the employer does not tell her what to eat. Filipinos are shy to ask question
  • related to food.

How to avoid/resolve conflicts over food

During the interview,

  • ask applicants if they have dietary restrictions and state clearly what you expect the food arrangements will be.
  • If they are unhappy with the food, will you consider giving them a food allowance instead? If so, tell them so when you confirm to hire them.

If you choose to provide food,

  • please state clearly what kind of food she can eat, what kind of food she cannot eat without your permission, what and when to eat for breakfast, lunch, if they need to wait for your permission before they can eat.
  • Helpers should not be picky about the food provided by the employer. At the same time, if employers should encourage their helpers to tell if the food is not enough. Tell them clearly that you want them to have enough food to eat, enough energy to work, do not be shy.

  • Provide some snacks at home, so the helper can eat when they feel hungry, and inform you when they are lack of stock.

If you choose to give a food allowance,

  • please give the allowance at the beginning of the month, not at the end of the month, so they have money to buy food. Let your helper signed for receiving the allowance.
  • Respect their choice of food.   Some employers and helpers like to eat healthily, some employers and helpers do not care if the food is healthy. If you give your helpers food allowance, it is okay to advise them to eat healthily, but at the same time, please respect their choice of food.
  • state clearly after giving the food allowance, will you let her use any ingredients/food, like salt, oil, rice, where she can store her food.

Summary

It is good for employers either to provide their helpers with food or food allowance, as long as employers set the rules clearly.

Learn more insights on how to manage a Filipino worker by attending our Employer Orientation Class (僱主裝備班). You will learn about the common problems that arise between employers and helpers and how to prevent and resolve them.

  

 

你可懂得處理菲傭飲食方面的問題嗎?

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根據聘用外傭的標準合約5(b),僱主必須為外傭提供免費膳食。僱主亦可選擇以膳食津貼代替。該膳食津貼每月應不少於1,053元。

過去幾年,我在菲傭公司工作,負責訓練菲傭、僱主及處理僱傭糾紛,驚訝地發現最常見菲傭辭職的原因是: 缺乏食物。究其原因,僱主和菲傭原來對“提供食物”的理解存在很大差異, 這直接引起不少衝突。很多菲傭甚至最終因為食物問題-吃不飽/ 不喜歡僱主提供的食物而辭職。

食物上常見的衝突、成因及結果

香港僱主

-很多家庭每天吃三餐,即早、午和晚餐。因此,普遍僱主認為他們為菲傭提供早、午、晚三餐, 是合理安排。菲傭若想吃三餐以外的零食/茶點等,便應自己付款購買。

-如菲傭要求食物津貼, 有些僱主會感到憤怒/ 不合理, 認為已經向菲傭提供足夠食物,菲傭無權要求食物津貼。雙方關係有次轉差。

-一些僱主希望菲傭吃得健康。假如外傭飲咖啡/ 偏食,僱主便會嘮叨,令雙方關係緊張。

-另一些不關心菲傭的健康,提供價錢便宜但營養價值低的食物給外傭,例如,方便麵、罐頭食品、腌制食品,如:肉丸、香腸、火腿;隔夜飯餸快餐店食品等。

-有些認為菲傭應該吃僱主提供的食物,包括隔夜飯餸,不應揀飲擇食/偏食。

-有些誤以為所有的外傭都應知道在家中找東西吃。如果菲傭不知道什麼時候可以吃/ 吃什麼,便應主動問僱主。

菲傭

-菲律賓人普遍每天吃5-7次早餐,徐了早、午、晚餐外,還有早餐前的茶點、上午茶、下午茶、晚間小吃等。故此,菲傭理解 "僱主會提供食物",即指在他們飢餓的時候,會提供食物。那就意味著僱主每天會提供5-7餐食物,包括正餐和小吃、零食。

-不少菲傭因為食物份量不足又不敢告訴僱主 只有半飽,影響工作表現。

-也有些不喜歡僱主提供的食物/ 自知偏食,而長期用自己錢買食物給自己。

另一些不想和僱主就食物發生任何衝突,會向僱主要求“食物津貼”。他們認為這是合理、有效解決食物問題的方法。

-一些十分注重身體健康。他們喜歡吃健康、新鮮的食物,不喜歡過隔夜飯餸、罐頭和方便麵, 認為僱主若長期提供營養價值低的食物給他們,等同漠視他們的健康。

-另一些不關心食物的營養價值,他們偏食/ 只要方便煮食/ 價錢便宜/; 很多每天飲一至三杯咖啡提神。對於僱主常常嘮叨他們的飲食,感到煩厭。

-也有些菲傭投訴時常挨餓,因為他們不知道何時可以吃/ 吃什麼 /如僱主不告訴她可以吃,他們便不敢吃。菲傭普遍由於害羞,不敢/不會向他們的僱主提出有關食物的問題。

 

如何避免/解決食物引致的僱傭衝突

以下的建議,可避免/大大減少食物引致的衝突。

1 在面試中,詢問申請人是否有飲食偏好,並明確說明你預算中的食物安排。

2 如果他們對食物不滿意,你會考慮給他們食物津貼嗎?如會的話,請你在確認僱用他們時告訴他們。

3 菲傭到你家時, 僱主應該主動告訴菲傭關於食物安排。如果您選擇提供食物,請清楚說明那些食物她可以吃、那些食物要得你同意才可以吃、那些食物不可以吃; 什麼時候吃早餐、午、晚餐,一起吃還是分開吃、是否需要等待您的許可,才可以吃等等。

4 如果您選擇提供食物津貼,請在月初給予津貼,而不是在本月底,讓他們有錢買食物。

5 尊重他們選擇的食物:

一些僱主和菲傭喜歡吃得健康,一些僱主和菲傭並不關心食物是否健康。

如果僱主提供食物,菲傭不應挑剔食物。菲傭也不應主動向僱主要求食物津貼。僱主則應該營造直接溝通的氣氛,鼓勵菲傭若對食物安排有任何意見,可直接告訴管理他的人。當然,我也很鼓勵僱主考慮在家裡放置一些如:咖啡、餅乾或麵包等零食,讓菲傭在餓時吃。僱主要清楚向菲傭傳遞一個訊息: 希望他吃得飽、有足夠能量工作。

如果你給你的菲傭食品津貼,你可鼓勵他們注意飲食,但同時應尊重他們對食物的選擇。

總結

不論是提供食物或膳食津貼,雇主也應清楚訂明有關食物/膳食津貼的安排,鼓勵菲傭如有問題,要盡快提出,好禮讓問題盡早得到解決。不值得因為食物問題而影響僱傭長遠的合作關係。更不值得因這問題而失去一位好幫手。

如欲了解更多關於如何管理菲傭的資訊及技巧,可報名參加我們的僱主裝備班。您將更了解僱主和菲傭之間的常見問題,如何預防和解決問題的方法。

假若你需要僱傭關係/糾紛資詢(每45分鐘電話資訊$200),歡迎把你的名字、聯絡電話電郵至kathy@icarefamily.hk .

幼兒先爬行好? 或是先走路好?

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問題一: 幼兒會走路先過爬行, 從幼兒發展角度而言,這是好事嗎?原因為何?

答:這不是先後次序的問題,而是能力的問題。意思是: 幼兒不論是先走路後學爬行的動作, 還是先爬行後走路, 兩樣都冇問題。幼兒都能夠慢慢自我調適, 適應到變成正確的走路方法。

有問題的, 是那些沒有經過爬行, 便直接學會走路的幼兒。因為通常他們適應了走路後, 就缺少爬行的動機。這直接影響他們的背肌會較為軟弱, 令他們將來較容易寒背、有脊柱側彎等; 他們的協調能力也會較差。
雖然如此, 這也有補救方法, 就是讓孩子多游泳或玩攀石。這些運動可彌補沒有爬行引致的問題。

問題二:如發覺幼兒喜歡學走路、不喜歡爬行,家長可以做什麼鼓勵幼兒多爬行?

答:若幼兒喜歡學走路、不喜歡爬行, 家長應找出問題的原因。很多時幼兒有不同原因引致不喜歡爬行, 如:幼兒手、膊頭或上背下腹肌肉力量不夠力。如幼兒腹肌不夠力, 家長可以讓幼兒玩多些轉身動作。

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另外, 家長可多訓練幼兒手腳的力量, 如:多些把幼兒放在俯臥位置(prone position)。


若要訓練他們手腳的力量, 可以與他們玩球、或讓幼兒張開雙腳坐在地上, 用兩隻手支撐身體。 假如幼兒背肌不夠力, 可多和他玩飛天遊戲-- 抱住幼兒好像超人般飛-- 這對訓練背肌也很有幫助。

(受訪者: 鍾頴傑, 物理治療師。國際嬰兒按摩協會講師。教育心理學碩士、幼兒教育碩士。資料整理、筆錄: 林麗琼, 愛家寧創辦人及家庭生活教練。)

The minimum wage for Hong Kong’s foreign domestic helpers is to be increased by 2.3 per cent, to HK$4,410 a month

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The Government announced that the minimum wage for foreign domestic helpers(FDH) signed on or after 30 September 2017 is to be increased from $ 4,310 to $ 4,410. Meal allowance will be increased to not less than $1,053 per month.

Some employers consult me: Do they need to increase the salary of their FDH (who are working in Hong Kong) to $ 4,410? The answer is: "NO". The salary of a FDH within two years of work is based on the amount written in the contract. By the Hong Kong law, employers cannot pay lower than the amount of salary written on contracts. But, employers also have the right to pay FDH higher salary at any time. Therefore, employers with FDH who is working in Hong Kong/ signed contract on or before September 29, 2017, have no obligation to increase their FDHs' salary to $ 4,410.  

In spite of this, FDHs will like compare their salaries to each other. There have been a FDH whose overall performance was good, often cheerful. One day, this FDH's performance got worse suddenly, and she looked very sad.  When talking to this FDH, I found out the reason: When she heard that the government increased the minimum wage for Hong Kong FDH, she regretted to come so early and was sad to earn $100 less each month. Finally, her employer decided to add $ 100 to this FDH in her monthly salary, and this FDH was so happy and thankful, that she performed better.

As an employer, if you does not mind to increase your FDH to $ 4,410, you can tell her it is an reward for her good performance at work. If the performance of your FDH is not satisfactory, you can encourage them that they can get an additional bonus of $ 100 per month if they will improved in certain areas.

For the detail of the Government's decision to increase the minimum wage for FDHs, please visit the following website:
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education-community/article/2113423/minimum-wage-foreign-domestic-helpers-hong-kong

外籍家庭傭工最低工資- 由4,310元增至4,410元

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政府宣布,有2017年9月30日或以後簽約的外籍家庭傭工, 最低工資由4,310元增至4,410元。膳食津貼將增加16元至每月不少於1,053元 。

有僱主查詢, 正在香港工作的外傭, 其僱主是否需跟政府的新規定, 追加薪金至4,410元? 答案是: 不用。外傭在工作兩年內的薪金, 是根據合約規定的金額。僱主不可以支付低過合約上的薪金, 但有權隨時加外傭薪金。因此, 在2017年9月29日及以前簽約/ 外傭正在香港工作約的僱主, 就算不跟隨政府, 每月額外加外傭100元, 也沒有犯法。

雖然如此, 外傭一定會互相比較其薪金。曾經有外傭到港後的幾星期, 整體工作表現好、時常笑容滿面。後來, 外傭的表現忽然直插水, 終日愁眉苦臉。細問之下, 才知道這外傭聽到政府宣布調高外傭的薪金, 便為自己早咗嚟香港, 結果每月收少100元而傷心、飲恨。僱主知道真相後, 感到哭笑不得。最後, 這僱主決定加外傭100元, 而這外傭立刻像充了電一樣, 繼續愉快、積極工作。

若僱主不介意追加外傭薪金至4,410元, 可告訴工作表現好的外傭, 這100元是給她工作表現好的獎勵。如外傭工作表現欠佳, 則可以鼓勵他們, 只要在那些方面改善, 每月就可得到這100元的額外獎勵。

關於政府調高外傭最低工資的新聞, 詳情可瀏覽以下網頁:

https://topick.hket.com/article/1915890/%E5%A4%96%E5%82%AD%E9%80%A3%E7%BA%8C7%E5%B9%B4%E5%8A%A0%E8%96%AA%20%E5%A2%9E%E8%87%B34410%E5%85%83

免費廣東話班及英文班 Free Cantonese and English Class!!!

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給僱主及外籍家庭傭工的好消息:  由民政事務總署資助的「融匯–少數族裔人士支援服務中心」(CHEER)將舉辦免費廣東話班及英文班,對象: 持有效香港身份證的非華裔香港居民。懂得聽英語的外籍家庭傭工也可以報名!!名額有限,先到先得!!!

Centre for Harmony and Enhancement of Ethnic Minority Residents (CHEER) is a support service centres funded by the Home Affairs Department (HAD) of HKSAR Government to provide accessible services to ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. They are going to hold FREE Cantonese and English Class.

Foreign domestic helpers are welcome too! Add value on yourselves!!  First Come first Service!! 

 

課程內容及時間表Course Content and time table:
廣東話班 Cantonese Class:https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-NgNZDXnoHRUXVvakdvSjBCdGM
英文班 English Class:https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-NgNZDXnoHRUGFaeXhBT3oxS3c

網上報名Register online:
廣東話班Cantonese Class:https://goo.gl/forms/QqAJu9zZkW2tAlKC2
英文班 English Class:https://goo.gl/forms/RRvwWYRz2QxG0h3l1

*獲取錄者將於開課兩天前收到通知,他們必須於上課當日登記成為CHEER會員。中心不會另行通知不獲取錄的申請者。

*Successful applicants will be notified two days before the commencement of the course, and they must register as CHEER members on the day of class.  If you do not receive any notification, that mean your application is not successful.

**如有疑問,請直接致電3106 3104與CHEER職員聯絡。 

**For enquiry, please feel free to call 31063104 during office hours

假如天文台有可能懸掛8號風球, 恰巧那天是外籍家庭傭工的假期, 應怎麼辦

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假如天文台發出暴風信號3號,並有機會轉掛8號風球,外籍家庭傭工將會在該日準備休息,僱主應為安全理由,叮囑她不要外出,但照常休假,只是留在家中。同時,這也可避免後來若改掛8號風球時,外傭因冇車回家而要求在外留宿的可能。

 

同時,僱主不得要求外傭在休息日工作,僱主若強迫外僱在休息日工作除,即屬違反[僱傭條例]的規定。除非外傭自願在休息的工作。

 

當然,僱主也可以與外傭商量,如她同意,僱主可另定休息日,代替原來指定的休息日。另定休息日須安排在同一個月內的原定休息日之前,或在原定休息日的30天內。

新手父母育兒Q&A

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1 如何知道嬰兒哭是因為肚餓:

嬰兒出生的頭2-3個月, 在哭的同時:

- 常有「口擘擘」動作

-父母將手指放嬰兒咀邊時, 嬰兒的面會隨住大人的手指「追住吸啜」

2 如何知道初生嬰兒奶量充足

不論初生嬰兒是喝母乳或是是奶粉,頭三個月:

-每天應更換最少六條濕透尿片

-每個月體重增加至少0.5 公斤

3 如何知道初生嬰兒粉量不足

-小便量減少、尿片有橙色尿漬

 

替嬰兒剪指甲、腳甲

每個新手父母面對替嬰兒剪指甲,可能都會感到誠惶誠恐,開吧會不小心剪傷孩子的皮膚。究竟睇嬰兒剪指甲、腳甲時,有什麼要注意呢?

為何要替嬰兒剪指甲?

指甲容易藏污垢、細菌,若不定時替嬰兒剪指甲,他們容易抓傷面部、頭皮,引致皮膚發炎。

工具

嬰兒專用指甲鉗或剪刀。市面上有很多不同牌子、款式的選擇,只要父母感覺唔該晒小林你搵到等人媽咪病了當瞓咗用得舒服就可以。

最適宜剪指甲、腳甲時間

一般而言, 嬰兒洗澡後, 指甲會變軟,家人替他們剪指甲、腳甲會更容易。然而,不是每個嬰兒都會乖乖不動,任大人剪甲。若你想替孩子剪甲,但他不停的郁動手或腳,那你便不應浪費時間,和他博鬥。嬰兒年紀太小,未懂得如何與大人合作。這時,父母應考慮趁嬰兒熟睡時,才靜靜的替他剪、腳甲。這樣比較安全,因為這是孩子不會再掙扎,剪傷他們指甲、腳甲的機會也相對較少。

頻密度

嬰兒的指甲、腳甲生長很快,平均每星期可以替嬰兒剪甲一、兩次。

如新手父母害怕替嬰兒剪指甲,應怎麼辦?

父母可以考慮讓嬰兒穿可以遮蓋手指的薄長袖衫。這樣,嬰兒就不容易抓傷面部、頭皮。

 

 幼 兒 照 顧 服 務 Child Care Services

社會福利署非致府機構提供多元化的幼兒照顧服務,以支援一些因工作或其他原因而暫時未能照顧子女的父母。這服務也可舒緩僱主因外傭辭職/ 新外傭未能及早到港,引致沒人照顧嬰幼兒的壓力

詳情請登入以下網頁:
http://www.swd.gov.hk/tc/index/site_pubsvc/page_family/sub_listofserv/id_childcares/

        
The Social Welfare Department in Hong Kong provides Child Care Services to assist parents who cannot take care of their children because of work or other reasons. This services can reduce the stress of employers if your existing helper resign/ new domestic helper cannot come early.   

For detail, please click the link below and read:
http://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_family/sub_listofserv/id_childcares/