The Labor Tribunal in Hong Kong. Photo: Google Maps
The Labor Tribunal in Hong Kong. Photo: Google Maps

The Labour Tribunal has allowed a trade union officer to represent a Filipino domestic worker who has already left Hong Kong to pursue a claim against her former employer.

Labour Tribunal presiding officer Timon Shum allowed Shiella Grace Estrada, Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions (FADWU) secretary, to represent Joenalyn D. Mallorca during the hearing on her claim on October 9, reported.

Mallorca is seeking HK$12,421.33 (US$1,584) from her former employer, Ng Mei Shuen, for wages in lieu of her termination notice, damages, and other expenses.

Estrada said this was the first time the Labour Tribunal had allowed a trade union to represent a domestic worker who had left the city with a claim pending.

Estrada said they were hoping that Mallorca would be allowed to testify via a video link from the Philippines.

The tribunal officer set the next hearing for December 28, adding that he would decide afterwards whether to allow Mallorca to testify via a video link during the trial, which is expected to happen in the first half of 2019.

Mallorca had filed a case at the Labour Tribunal against her employer after she was dismissed in September last year.

However, she had to go back to the Philippines in December 2017 to take care of her young children and her elderly mother who had been diagnosed with cancer.

The Labour Department had offered to cover her expenses to return to Hong Kong to testify. However, besides taking care of her children and her sick mother, Mallorca now has a job in a factory in Laguna province.

Read: Court allows maids to testify via video at Labour Tribunal