Foreign workers in Hong Kong, especially domestic workers, which comprise 5% of the country’s population, are subject to labour laws and conditions specified in their employment contracts.
Failure to comply with the terms specified in the contract or the law in Hong Kong, could cost someone their job and have their right to stay in the country revoked. However, in situations which do not necessarily fall under any of the terms stated in the contract, it would be considered illegal and unfair for the employer to impose penalties on the worker in the event that they commit a mistake at work, especially when the accusations are unfounded.
Hong Kong Woman Slammed by Netizens for Wanting Cleaning Fee from Erring Domestic Worker
This has been the issue picked on by netizens when a Hong Kong woman posted online that she had wanted her domestic worker to pay a cleaning fee because she found bed bugs on the worker’s bed, as shared in a report by the Asia Times.
The employer shared her dilemma on a Facebook group to seek advice on whether she could deduct money from the worker’s salary as punishment because she had suspected that the worker brought bed bugs into their family’s home.
In her post on the Facebook group, the employer shared that after her family suffered from bedbug bites she discovered that there were bugs in the worker’s bed, as well.
According to the Hong Kong woman, the worker had a lot of clothes that were gathered from friends or relatives, and she suspected that the bed bugs were from clothes that had not been thoroughly washed. She also added that she had already disposed the worker’s bed board and mattress, and had sent all her clothes for dry cleaning.
The woman emphasized that she got angry because the worker denied that she had brought the bed bugs into their home and had shown no remorse over the incident.
She also said that she had been thinking of issuing a warning letter to her employee, adding that she also wanted the worker to pay for the dry cleaning costs by having money deducted from her salary.
However, her reaction and suggestions have been criticized by online commentators noting that her accusations were unfair because she did not know whether the bugs indeed came from the worker’s belongings. Instead, they advised her to hire pest control services to deal with the matter.
The report did not mention the domestic worker’s nationality and final recourse on the matter.