Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Times
Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Times

A total of 70% of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong work more than 13 hours a day, according to a university survey.

The Research Centre on Migration and Mobility of the Department of Sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong released a survey result after distributing questionnaires to 2,017 Filipino and Indonesian domestic workers from May to September in 2017, the Oriental Daily reported.

Besides the long working hours, the survey results also found the domestic workers were less healthy than Hong Kong residents. The scores for workers’ physical and mental health were 47.1 and 44.7 in 2018, compared with the scores among Hong Kong adults of 51.8 and 55.5 respectively.

The survey result also showed that 44% of domestic workers had no individual room, 6% had no day-off in a week and 24% did not have a day-off on all statutory holidays. Meanwhile, about 29% feel discriminated against. As many as 7.3% had never received their wages, while 8% earned less than the statutory monthly wage. Worryingly, 3.9% were physically abused by their employers.

The results showed that the employment conditions for domestic workers in Hong Kong remained poor, Ming Pao Daily reported. Professor Raees Begum Baig said the live-in nature of the job made it difficult to define working hours. She urged the government to set standard working hours for domestic workers.

Joan Tsui Hiu-tung, convenor of the Support Group for Hong Kong Employers, said many Hong Kong people needed to work more than 13 hours a day. Meanwhile, not every local person has an individual room, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported.

Tsui said the group also received 50 requests for assistance from employers this year, as they claimed they were falsely accused by domestic workers of indecent assaults and abuse for compensation.

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