Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong have been advised to check their contacts and work visas if their contracts are terminated by their employers or they quit.
In a commentary published on sunwebhk.com, Cynthia Tellez, the general manager of The Mission for Migrant Workers (MFMW), said domestic workers should inform the Immigration Department before their termination instead of overstaying their visas.
Tellez cited a case of one domestic worker who was fired six weeks before her contract expired. The helper was told by her employer that it was an “early release” but actually it was a termination of her contract.
After that, she only had two weeks to stay in Hong Kong and look for another job. If she exceeded the two weeks, she would have been charged with overstaying, which is a criminal offense.
Tellez said the Immigration Department had a standard form covering the termination of contracts which should be followed.
Whoever initiates the termination – either the domestic worker quits or gets fired – it is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee to inform the Immigration Department.
Tellez advised domestic workers to keep track of the date they start work and count the remaining days on their visas. She also advised them to consult the Immigration Department if they had any questions.
“Do not put yourself in a risky situation. Once you have a criminal record, it can prevent you from enjoying many opportunities,” Tellez said.