Have you done the following before you leave the current employer?
1. Get a reference letter or release letter
- A good reference letter can help you get the new job more easily because it allows the future employers who knows little about you to gain insight into your capabilities. A reference letter should be written and signed by your employer (not the other members of the family) and should include your service period, description of your duties and abilities, your employer’s feeling about you. Make sure the employer signs the reference letter and the signature is exactly the same as on the employment contract.
- Some employers are just too busy and refuse to write reference letter, then you should at least ask for a release letter from her/him stating your full name, contract number and the last working day. Both you and your employer should sign on the release letter and the signatures must be exactly the same as on the employment contract.
- Read the whole letter carefully before you sign. Do not acknowledge the letter if it contains false information or any information that you do not agree with.
- Make a hard copy or take a clear photo of it with your phone before you give it to agencies or potential employers.
2. Calculate the final payment settlement with your employer
The following items should be included in the calculations:
- Outstanding wages
- Payment in lieu of one month notice if any
- Payment in lieu of any untaken leave (annual leave, sick leave, day off, etc)
- Long service payment (you are entitled to it if you work continuously for more than 5 years with same employer and the employer dismisses you or doesn’t renew with you)
- A ticket to return home country or payment in lieu
- Food & travelling allowance
**If you are not sure about the calculation, you can go to your Consulate and ask them for a breakdown of the calculations.**
Ticket or Payment in Lieu?
Please note that it is required by the Immigration department for finished contract helper to wait for the new visa in Hong Kong (if you leave HK, your change of employer visa application will be cancelled) and the fact that the new visa will only be issued days or weeks after your last working day, you should explain to your employer and ask for money in lieu of a return ticket, otherwise you will have to pay hundreds of dollar to change the ticket date or even forfeit the ticket if your new employer wants you to defer home leave and start immediately. (Finished contract helper can defer home leave for one year)
Upon mutual agreement, employer can early release you one month before your visa expiry date and you are still considered finished contract by the Immigration department. Make sure your employer gives you an early release letter stating the last working day and her signature must be the same as on the employment contract.
Tips: We have seen some extreme cases that when the helper tells the employer that she is not renewing the contract, the employer immediately terminated the helper for no reason. Therefore, if you do not plan to renew with your current employer, and you think your employer is not a reasonable person, don’t raise this topic too early but only within one month before your visa expires.
Perhaps you hated every minute and you’ve been counting down the days until you can walk out the door for the last time, you should keep your professionalism and just treat the final days like any other workdays. You want to be remembered as a good helper. It is their loss.
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