Domestic workers in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Times

Hong Kong’s consumer watchdog received 182 complaints against domestic worker employment agencies in the first 11 months of the year.

The Consumer Council reported a list of problems, including unreasonable service fees, false resumes and refunds, Sky Post reported.

In one case, an employer recruited a domestic worker to take care of her two children but she resigned after three days.

The employment agency then refused to refund the employer, who was forced to spend an additional HK$70,000 (US$8,960) for a stand-in child minder before rehiring another domestic worker.

Another case involved a maid, who after passing her medical check-up, was unable to perform her duties because she was pregnant.

“It is very difficult for employers to verify the accuracy of the information that agencies provide, like qualifications and experience or even medical reports,” Chan Kam-fa, a spokesperson for a domestic helper employer rights group, told HK01.com.

But the biggest concern was when domestic workers hide health problems from their employers, she stressed.

Chan pointed out that the group received between five to six complaints every year about domestic workers diagnosed with tuberculosis after having overseas medical check-ups.

One employer even revealed that she found her maid had been diagnosed with syphilis.

Chan criticized the government for failing to support employers during the recruitment process and advised them to carefully select employment agencies.

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