International Asia Overworked and underpaid! The plight of Filipino and Indonesian maids in Hong...

Overworked and underpaid! The plight of Filipino and Indonesian maids in Hong Kong

13 hour days for Filipino and Indonesian domestic helpers are common with the lines often blurred due to their living situation




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A survey from a Chinese University’s Research Centre on Migration and Mobility conducted in 2017 recently revealed the plight of more than 380,000 foreign domestic helpers in the city.

The study showed that the working conditions for foreign domestic helpers were pathetic.

Around 70.6% of the two thousand respondents work for more than 13 hours per day and 34.6% still work on their day-off.

Also, “5.9% have no day-off in a week” and “23.7% do not have a day-off for all statutory holidays,” said the summary of the study provided by the university’s communications and public relations office.

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Professor Raees Begum Baig, one of the researchers of the study, said that it is hard to define work hours because of the live-in set up the employers are in.

“It is very hard to define what is formal work and what is not,” Baig said.

Other statistics are as follows: “28.6% feel discriminated against, 3.9% are physically abused by their employer, 7.3% have never received their wage on time, 8% are earning less than the statutory monthly required salary, 51.3% still have to pay their home agency and 46% still have to pay a local agency.”

The summary also said that these domestic workers are in poor health due to their inhumane working conditions.

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