Domestic workers in favor of moving to Beijing under specific conditions

The central business district of Beijing

Foreign domestic workers interviewed by the Times said that they would agree to move to Beijing if the city’s labor protection law is more extensive than that of Macau’s.

Beijing’s municipal commission of commerce said yesterday that the municipality is considering allowing foreign professionals to bring their own domestic workers to Beijing this year.

Under this amendment, domestic workers holding foreign passports, including those who are working in Hong Kong and Macau would be allowed to work in China’s capital under the condition that employers hold a working visa or permanent residence in Beijing.

These employers should also provide an employment contract and personal guarantee for domestic employees.

Authorities said in a statement that the move would attract high-level foreign talent and would help the city’s domestic service system to improve.

Currently, foreign household services are still illegal in Beijing.

Speaking to the Times, some domestic helpers hoped that the move would come to pass under the provisions that China and their respective country of origin would have a mutual memorandum.
“[They would] agree to move to Beijing if the labor protection law and salary would match China’s standards and if the government has an agreement from our government,” said Eric Lestari, the former president of an Indonesian migrant group.

Yosa Wariyanti, president of the Indonesian Macau Workers Union said that domestic workers would want to see a concrete legal policy and standard contracts before they agreed to move to the sprawling capital.

“We heard that the salary [can be higher] in China than in Hong Kong and Macau, so many workers, I think, will want to move. But not all, since some workers enjoy living and working in Hong Kong and Macau,” said Wariyanti.

Some household workers also expressed that they would consider moving to Beijing, along with their employers, if living conditions are better than that of Macau.

The municipal commission of commerce, together with 11 other departments of the city, jointly issued a circular in December 2017, encouraging innovation in home services and the introduction of foreign maids, according to state news agency, Xinhua.

Just last year, Shanghai became the first city in mainland China to grant a residence for foreign domestic workers to enter the city.

The Philippine Consulate General continuously reminds its nationals in the region that it is illegal to work and obtain employment in China as domestic helpers and private tutors.

It informed its compatriots to exercise caution in dealing with agents, individuals and recruitment agencies in both Macau and the Philippines who offer employment in mainland China as nannies, domestic workers and private tutors.

The Times knows of cases where domestic workers are brought to Guangzhou, along with their employers, as cleaners in the employers’ residences.

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