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Ask Andreas: My helper ran away, what should I do?

ExpertsPost Category - ExpertsExpertsFamily LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - Domestic HelpersDomestic Helpers


On a recent trip overseas my helper ran away – she literally went out for errands and never returned.  We quickly got word that she was apparently lured by the promise of higher salaries here and was probably not aware of the legal implications since she’ll be working illegally. What should I be doing – what authorities do I need to inform, etc? 

You need to write a letter to the Immigration Department explaining the situation. Include your HKID number, the helper’s HKID number, the contract number and applicable dates. Immigration will “break” the contract for you. It might help if you call the Immigration hotline at (852) 2824 6111 a week or so after you send you letter to make sure any loose ends are tied up.

And should she be in touch in some way, know that technically you owe her any outstanding salary and vacation time, as well as her trip back to her home.

For the only guide you’ll ever need on working with a helper, check out Andreas’ fab book ‘Hiring and Managing Domestic Help’ and buy it here.


Andreas Rosboch was born and raised in Sweden by an Italian father and a Swedish mother. He has been an expat for more than ten years and plans to keep it that way. He has spent most of his career in the information technology field, handling everything from brand management to customer support. He is the author of one of our most-recommended books Hiring & Managing Domestic Help – an absolute must-have for Hong Kong mamas (psst- and you can buy it here). He lives in Hong Kong with his wife, two children and dog.


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