A Filipina domestic worker was given an assurance from a Philippines official that she should be able to return to Hong Kong although she was unexpectedly dismissed by her Hong Kong employer while she was away for Christmas vacation. Her employer justified her dismissal as due to her alleged “habitual negligence”.

The Filipina domestic worker named J. R. told a migrant support group that her Chinese employer sent her a text message that terminated her employment contract with effect from December 24 and without any notice period as prescribed by the Labour Code, sunwebhk.com reported.

Under the Standard Employment Contract, an employer may terminate the contract without notice or payment in lieu if the domestic worker is habitually neglectful in their duties.

The employer cited four instances of J.R.’s alleged “habitual negligence,” the first of which supposedly happened on July 16, when the worker allegedly “left children at the door of a shop.”

The three other cases of alleged negligence were letting a child fall from a high chair on November 18; ignoring the reasonable requirements of the children such as washing their hands or going to the toilet; ignoring the employer’s reasonable work requirements and not improving her work performance after her employer’s repeated warnings.

J.R. was advised to seek help from the Philippine Overseas Labour Office and the migrant support group Mission for Migrant Workers.

When informed of J.R.’s situation, Labor Attaché Jalilo dela Torre immediately gave assurances that she should be able to return to Hong Kong and file a labor claim against her employer.

The migrant worker group also advised J.R. to respond to her employer’s text and deny the four claims of negligence leveled against her.

J.R. said she had no idea that her employer was unhappy with her work and had planned to dismiss her. She was supposed to report back to work on January 3.

The report did not mention how long had J.R. been working for the current employer or the current situation of the worker.