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DH overstayer allowed to remain in HK to chase ex-employer

30 March 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The Shatin magistrate allowed the Filipina to skip jail so she can pursue her labour claim

A Filipina domestic helper who overstayed for more than a month while pursuing a claim against an employer who fired her even before she could start serving him, got a six-day suspended jail sentence for the offense today, Mar 29.

S. Manginga, 30, pleaded guilty to a charge of breach of condition of stay when she appeared before Magistrate Jason Wan in Shatin Court.



“Since this is your first offense, I will give you a suspended sentence,” Magistrate Wan told her.

The prosecution told the magistrate that the helper surrendered to the Immigration Department in January this year after realizing she had overstayed since mid-December.

Her counsel from the Duty Lawyer Service told Wan the defendant, who came to Hong Kong in 2019 to work as a domestic helper, was dismissed summarily by her first employer after just five months.

Pindutin para sa detalye

She found a second employer, who dismissed her last Dec 4 without paying her one month’s wage in lieu of notice, the lawyer said. It was while pursuing her labor claim that she realized her visa had expired.

The lawyer said a hearing of the labor case is scheduled for May.

Manginga said after the hearing that she had not actually worked for the second employer, whom she identified as Billy Chiu. She was supposed to take care of an elderly woman, the employer’s mother.

She said her first employer, a certain Ms Wong, fired her on May 11 last year after five months following an argument.


Maninga said she had to extend her visa four times trying to find an employer, until a friend told her that Chiu was looking for a helper, so she applied personally.

She said Chiu signed her up last Sept 8 and she processed the employment contract at Immigration on her own until it was approved in November, along with a visa that was valid for one year.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

But after telling Chiu that the contract still had to be submitted to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office for verification, the employer told her on Dec 4 to just scrap the contract because there was no more need for her services.

Manginga said she had wasted nearly three months waiting to move into Chiu’s household, and an opportunity to look for other employers.

She was at a loss after realizing that her visa had already expired. She said she went to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office to ask for help but an irate staff told her they couldn’t do anything about her problem as she no longer had a valid visa.

Fortunately, she met a townmate who accompanied her to the Mission for Migrant Workers. There she was told that they would help her file a case at the Labour Department.

Manginga said that in her meeting with Chiu at the Labour Relations Division, the employer denied that he fired her and claimed it was the helper who terminated the contract. 

The case was elevated to the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board, where the helper’s claim will be heard around mid-May.


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