Is the cost of hiring a helper going to rise drastically?


Recruitment agencies in the Philippines, as of today - Feb 28, 2013, are putting a moratorium on sending domestic helpers to Hong Kong. The reason for this is that in 2006 the Philippines government imposed a "no placement fee" policy, insisting that recruitment agencies in the Philippines either 1) work for free or 2) convince HK partner agencies to charge the HK employer the full cost of recruiting from overseas.  Hong Kong agencies and HK people have been unwilling to do this, so recruitment agencies in the Philippines have been forced to close or work outside the law.

Let's assume that the total cost of bringing a worker from the Philippines is around HK $10,000. Are you willing to pay that expense with no guarantee on the quality of the worker?  If you can hire a worker from Indonesia for $4000, will you consider a worker from the Philippines for $10,000? 

The agencies in Manila are asking their government to allow them to charge a fee equal to one month's salary, $3920. That seems reasonable and fair, but the POEA is insisting that the Philippine recruiters should not charge, but rather receive a fee from HK employment agencies. If that policy is enforced then HK agencies will have to charge more, much more.

Below is the article from the Malaya Business Insight website along with a link to the article.

THE Society of Hong Kong Accredited Recruiters of the Philippines (SHARP) yesterday announced it is imposing a moratorium on the deployment of household service workers (HSWs) until recruiters and employers in that territory could address the issue of high recruitment costs.
SHARP president Alfredo Palmiery said at least 30,000 employment opportunities are expected to be lost with the self-imposed moratorium which began Wednesday.
He said the decision was reached by the SHARP general assembly last month due to what it claimed was a continued lack of action by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration on its June 28, 2012 plea to reconsider its policy of disallowing the collection of a placement fee equivalent to a one-month salary from HSW applicants to Hong Kong.
SHARP said there has been an “alarming increase” in the number of claims filed against them by household workers asking for a refund of recruitment costs passed on to them by Hong Kong recruitment agencies.
SHARP said Hong Kong employers have not been paying the total recruitment and deployment costs.
POEA administrator Hans Cacdac said government is not inclined to suspend the no-placement policy despite the moratorium set by SHARP. He said the policy for domestic helpers covers all host countries, including Hong Kong.
Cacdac said government would continue to deploy domestic helpers in the former British colony. 
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