If the Hong Kong Observatory forecast that the typhoon signal no. 8 might be hoisted on the foreign domestic helpers’ coming holiday, what should employers and helpers do?
If an employer wants to give a helper holiday as usual, the employer should advise the helper to have holiday and rest at home for safety reason. In case the helper insists to have holiday outside and the typhoon no. 8 signal is hoisted, the helper may be in trouble to return home.
(A gentle reminder: all helpers should enjoy 24 hours rest in their holidays, employers have NO right to ask their helpers to work. The employers who force their helpers to work on their holidays will violate the Hong Kong labour laws.)
If the helper decides to rest at home, employer should consider whether free food will be provided. If NOT, employer should arrange time to let the helper go out to buy food as early as possible, when the weather is not too bad.
When the weather is bad, employers should not ask their helpers to do unnecessary outdoor work. If the employers really need the helpers to work outdoor, please provide sufficient protective equipment for the helper’s safety. If the helper was wounded during the above outdoor work, it is work injury.
Employers should discuss with the helpers, if the helpers agree, employers can rearrange another day for holiday, to replace the original holiday. The replacement should be arranged within 30 days of the original holiday.
I strongly advise all employers and helpers to discuss the arrangement of holidays BEFORE the typhoon no. 8 is hoisted so as to prevent future argument. If you are a helper, DON’T BE SHY to discuss with your employer.