Exit with haste
The Christmas holidays are a time when people travel near and far to celebrate and often count blessings of family, finances, and employment. Macau is a city that brings migrant workers from all over the world, but with the new policy from Macau’s Immigration Services, the holidays may be a good time to evaluate Macau as a stable work environment for non-residents. The updated policy decrees that non-residents who leave their employment or are fired will have only eight days to depart from the MSAR. The revision is down from the previous 10 days. Furthermore, if non-residents have been working in Macau for less than six months, they will only be able to remain in the territory for two days after their employment is terminated.
It is widely believed that most companies offer full relocation services to migrant workers, but this is incorrect. Specialized employment positions and the opportunity to work in our international city entice people to come to Macau even when companies offer only a small portion of relocation or none at all. For an individual or family to have only eight days to relocate following a dismissal, non-renewal of work visa or termination is an incredibly costly and emotional threat that is sure to cause great concern.
According to a report from Televisao de Macau (TDM), the International Labor Organization (ILO) has expressed concern over the decision, warning that it might foster unequal employment relationships. The organization advocates that non-residents ought to receive the same treatment as local workers.
Ten days was already too short a time to prepare to exit the country, especially if the non-resident worker wants to appeal or challenge an unfair dismissal, and shortening the time to eight days seems extreme. What benefit does cutting the policy by two days bring?
I believe this policy change does not promote the benefits of choosing to move to Macau for work and further suggests the notion that non-resident workers are not embraced by our city. Macau should support and advocate training and hiring local workers over non-residents, but if we want to continue to excel as an international city in the future, we must be open to the practice of hiring the best worker for the role regardless of residential status. It is also vitally important that our city offers adequate time to prepare to exit our country post employment as well, and eight days is not enough.