Date
23 October 2017
Complaints about  domestic helper agencies remain high. The consumer watchdog is urging the government to implement a code of conduct in the industry. Photo: HKEJ
Complaints about domestic helper agencies remain high. The consumer watchdog is urging the government to implement a code of conduct in the industry. Photo: HKEJ

Watchdog backs code of conduct in maid placement industry

Hong Kong’s consumer watchdog wants the government to implement a code of practice for domestic helper agencies, saying complaints about the industry remain high.

The Consumer Council said it received 234 complaints in 2015 compared with 284 a year earlier, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Most were about a lengthy hiring process, high fees, delayed deployment of helpers and their poor performance.

Michael Hui King-man, chairman of the council’s publicity and community relations committee, said some helpers might be doing substandard work on purpose.

They might be hoping to get dismissed, receive termination payment and quickly sign up with a new employer, he said.

The Labor Department will submit a draft code of practice to the Legislative Council’s manpower panel on Tuesday, according to Ming Pao Daily.

The council warned prospective employers to do their homework and require references from applicants before hiring them.

It cited one case in which an employer who needed a Cantonese-speaking helper was induced into hiring an applicant after the agency showed a video of her talking, according to Apple Daily.

In another instance, an employer had to wait for her new helper several months longer than the agency had promised after paying it HK$6,800 (US$877).

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