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Worker awarded nearly $8k after summary dismissal

26 February 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The employer was told by the court that Helen's firing was illegal

A 40-year-old Filipina domestic worker won a claim on Thursday, Feb 25, of nearly $8,000 at the Labour Tribunal against her former employer in Yuen Long for firing her summarily in August last year.

The helper, Helen O., said her termination on Aug 31 came shortly after the couple who employed her accused her of stealing a $3 million Rolex watch and killing one of their four pet dogs.

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As a result, she filed a claim for wages in lieu of notice, one-way air ticket and a $100 travel allowance against employer H.W. Kun, when they appeared before Presiding Officer Vivian Lee.

Kun agreed to pay the helper $7,825, which included her $2,500 air fare and $100 travel allowance. Helen will, however, have to wait a few days for the money because the presiding officer ordered Kun to pay the claimed amount to the accounts office, and for the helper to get it there.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The employer paid the helper arrears in wages and annual leave during their meeting before an arbiter at the Labor Relations Division office in Tsuen Wan last Sept 1.

Court records show the claimant began working for Kun on April 30, 2018, but after two years and four months, the employer decided to let her go.


When Lee asked the employer why she fired the helper, Kun replied she had stolen her husband’s watch. She also said the claimant had killed her old pet dog.

When the Tribunal officer asked if the employer had a police report to support her claim, she said she did but she left it at home.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

Lee told Kun her dismissal of the helper was illegal, as she did not give a month’s notice. She said under Hong Kong labor law, the employer must inform the worker one month before terminating her contract or pay her a month’s salary.

The officer said if the employer disagreed with the Filipina’s claim, she would give them a chance to discuss and reach a settlement. The employer, however, decided to just pay the remaining claims.

After the hearing, the helper said she had already found a new employer.

She claimed that she endured hardships while in Kun’s employ, such as cleaning a 3,000 sq ft, three-storey village house, caring for four dogs and tending four gardens.

Whenever the couple quarreled, she said Kun would vent her anger on her. At first, Helen said she managed to cope because the employer was frequently traveling abroad. But since the pandemic began, the employer had remained in Hong Kong and flared up easily.

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