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HK has no plans to change policies on job-hopping

20 December 2018

Immigration Department


The Hong Kong government has no plan to change its policies against domestic helpers' premature contract termination to change employers (commonly known as “job-hopping”) because enough measures are in place to prevent it, according to the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong.

Answering a question by legislator Dr Hon Chiang Lai-wan in the Legislative Council on December 12, Law said: “Since June 2013, ImmD (Immigration Department) has strengthened the assessment of employment visa applications from FDHs who changed employers repeatedly to combat abuse in changing employers.”

He cited figures indicating that this abuse is not prevalent.



“From June 2013 to end-October 2018, ImmD received around 544,000 employment visa applications from FDHs, of which 11,077 were subject to further scrutiny, accounting for 2 per cent of the total number of applications. Among the 11,077 cases closely scrutinized by ImmD, various exceptional circumstances may be involved, including premature contract termination on grounds of the transfer, migration, death or financial reasons of the ex-employer, or where there was evidence suggesting that the FDH had been abused or exploited. Of these 11 077 cases, ImmD refused 1,817 applications, 819 applications were withdrawn by the applicants, and 658 applications could not be processed further.”

He added: “The Government has all along been closely monitoring the suspected abuse of the arrangement for premature termination of contract by FDHs.



“Since June 2013, in order to combat suspected "job-hopping" by FDHs, ImmD has strengthened the assessment of employment visa applications from FDHs who changed employers repeatedly within a short period of time.  ImmD later implemented a series of measures to further combat "job-hopping", including improving the visa application assessment workflow, increasing manpower to handle cases, and issuing clear operational guidelines to staff, which include checking relevant records of employers and FDHs, and contacting the former employers and FDHs suspected of "job-hopping" to understand the reasons for premature contract termination etc."

He added that ImmD will continue to and review the effectiveness of the measures.



Law said the Labour Department (LD) has "all along been encouraging employers to purchase air tickets for FDHs instead of providing them with cash equivalent to the value of an air ticket... to reduce the chance of FDHs or employment agencies (EAs) not returning to their places of origin or not arranging FDHs to return to their places of origin after receiving from employers free return passage to the places of origin."



He also rejected a proposal for the government to introduce a probationary period in which employers can terminate their contracts with their helpers, because this would also make it easier for helpers to terminate their contracts prematurely, with the cost of recruitment still shouldered by employers.















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