Are helpers who owe money less likely to quit than those with no financial burden?
Customers often tell us they want a helper who has a financial burden, because they believe that these helpers won't quit easily. Their reasoning is "She can't quit, because she owes too much money." Oddly enough, the same customers, during the interview will tell the helper "If you borrow money in HK, then we will fire you." So debt and financial burden is okay, unless it is accumulated in Hong Kong. Hmmm.
Will a helper with a financial burden stay longer? In our 8 years of experience I have seen NO correlation between debt load and longevity. Think about the following scenarios:
Scenario # 1: In order to pay her 60,000 peso placement fee (HK$ 10,650) Maria has to borrow money in the Philippines. Her brother, Jose uses his farm land as collateral, so Maria is given a loan with high interest. She will pay off the loan in 4 months with payments of $3000/month. Her other brother, Miguel promises to loan her 5000 pesos a month for 4 months to take care of her family while she is repaying the loan. After the loan is repaid Maria will start sending money to her family and will repay her brother 6000 pesos a month for 4 months. After 8 months she hopes she will be debt free.
Scenario #2: Anna comes through Arrow Employment Services. Because they follow the Philippines Zero Placement Fees law, she doesn't need to borrow money to come to Hong Kong. After arrival in HK, she begins saving $1000/month as an emergency fund and does so for 6 months. She sends HK$2000 to her family every month for their needs, gives to her church and lives on the rest. After she has set aside her emergency fund, she begins saving to buy another piece of land for her husband to farm, or some piglets they can raise for income in the Philippines.
Which woman will be the more stable helper? The one driven by debt or the one driven by goals who sees an immediate return from her labor?
Scenario #3: LIFE. Sooner or later, probably sooner - LIFE will happen. Maria or Anna's fathers or children will have an accident, a medical emergency, a typhoon will ruin crops or blow the roof off the house. When that occurs what will Maria do? What will Anna do?
Maria will stop paying her loans in the Philippines and use all her income to send for the emergency. If that is not enough she will go out and borrow in Hong Kong. She feels she has no choice. She is not going to let her family suffer just because the employer said "Don't borrow!" Her debt load will grow exponentially and she'll begin to realize the sad fact "I'm never going to get out of debt. I'm suffering away from my family for what? for the finance company! Might as well go back to the Philippines.
Anna will go to the bank and withdraw money from her emergency fund. She may ask for 1/2 day off so she can remit it to the Philippines right away. Those needing medical attention will receive it, or new need will be purchased to replant crops. Life will go on in the Philippines and Anna will continue working in HK. She will, of course, build her emergency savings fund back up, because sooner or later - LIFE will happen again.
Who do you want to hire? Maria or Anna? At Arrow we believe that Anna will be the more stable and fulfilled worker. Our strategy is to help workers develop good financial habits and attitudes toward money. Our workers arrive without a debt load. If you're shopping at another agency, why don't you ask them "How much do the helpers have to pay in the Philippines to come to HK?" Better yet, hire your helper through Arrow.