Changhua County government building. Photo: Google Maps

A Taiwanese woman has accused her county government of leaving her and her paraplegic husband in the lurch by taking away their foreign caregiver, who had accused the woman of abuse.

However, the Changhua County Department of Labor Affairs said it had acted properly, as the Filipino caregiver had been hired to look after the paraplegic only, but then was also made to care for the female employer, who suffers from post-polio muscle atrophy.

The 42-year-old Filipino began working for the couple last September, but soon complained to the county authorities that she could not cope with the repeated commands issued by the female employer, which were causing her huge work stress.

The maid left the couple’s employ in November at the county government’s behest. But the female employer complained to Changhua County Councillor Tsao Chia-hao that she had been “falsely” accused of abuse by her Filipino employee, who in fact was only suffering from homesickness, China Times reported.

The woman’s husband, now 62, was paralyzed in a work accident six years ago. She decided to hire a foreign caregiver for him as she herself had started to have difficulties due to muscle weakness arising from post-polio atrophy.

After taking the job, the Filipino caregiver kept complaining of headaches and feeling sick, and was seen crying in the middle of the night, suggesting she could be homesick, according to the employer.

However, after the abuse complaint, the maid was taken away on November 28 by the government for protection. The woman said she was left in desperate straits as there is a gap pending for approval for a new caregiver, and during that period she could not manage to care for her husband.

But the Labor Affairs Department said the maid was not taken away by force, but under an agreement signed by the employer during mediation meetings held to settle the matter.

The department added that the woman had been entitled to hire a new maid as early as December 16.

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