Domestic workers gather in Central, Hong Kong, on a Sunday. Photo: Asia Times
Domestic workers gather on their rest day in Central, Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Times

An employer who posted on social media that she had forbidden her Filipino maid from talking directly to the man of the house – the employer’s husband – has provoked heated discussion among netizens.

The woman said she had set the house rule from the first day, Sky Post reported, adding that she was the middle person for all communication between “Sir” and the domestic worker.

She went on that the maid had violated the rule at the beginning and had been scolded, after which violation of the “don’t talk to Sir” rule was not repeated.

A friend argued with her, saying she had infringed on her domestic worker’s rights, and the woman was upset by this comment. But she insisted she was the boss and so she could set whatever house rules she liked.

Netizens slammed her as an arrogant employer who treated her maid like a slave.

However, Joan Tsui Hiu-tung, convener of the Support Group for Hong Kong Employers, agreed with the one-decision-maker arrangement as it could avoid the issuance of conflicting instructions for the maid.

Tsui said she had heard from male employers who said they didn’t know how to handle situations when their domestic workers complained or made tearful requests.

Hong Kong Union of Employment Agencies chairman Thomas Chan said some female employers worried that their husbands would have affairs with their maids, and therefore they would set some harsh house rules.

Chan said this type of employer usually changed maids very often.

He also reminded domestic workers that they should keep their female employers as well informed as possible to avoid any jealousy.

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