6th December 2022 – (Hong Kong) A pregnant employer posted on social media recently, sharing the experience of hiring a foreign domestic helper who ‘sent her to hell’ but she was unable to dismiss her as she was pregnant and maternity leave had to be provided under the law.
The woman shared a post on a Facebook group for employers of foreign domestic helpers and said that her foreign domestic helper from Indonesia was hired to take care of her newborn baby after her previous contract ended in January 2021. The work performance during the first month is acceptable, but during the second month, the foreign domestic helper started to wear earphones while working and she would not wash anything unless she was told to do so and if the employer scolded her, she would defy her. The helper also had to take nap everyday and she allegedly fried food with fresh cooking oil for herself first before using the same oil to cook for the employer’s family.
After working for 15 months, the employer decided to dismiss her, but because the employer was 7 or 8 months pregnant at the time, she planned to hire a new foreign domestic helper before dismissing her. To her surprise, her foreign domestic helper also claimed at the time that she was pregnant but planned to have an abortion, and needed to borrow money from her and her husband. The couple refused to lend her money because her foreign domestic helper is 42 years old, and she has a husband and two daughters in Indonesia. Hence, they did not expect her to be pregnant, and did not know that she had been with a Thai boyfriend for over 3 years.
The employer continued to point out that after medical examination, it was confirmed that the helper had been pregnant for more than 10 weeks, hence, abortion could not be carried out at The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong. The helper then tried to borrow the money to go for private abortion. She then said that if she had to give birth to the baby, the baby would be abandoned and sent to the Social Welfare Department. The couple then discussed with her as they planned to give her all the salaries so that she could return to Indonesia but she refused. She insisted to finish her contract before looking for another job in Hong Kong. She said her family should not know that she was pregnant.
The couple later discussed with her again but the foreign helper told them, “I didn’t want a baby since beginning, it’s not what I want, I have no responsibility over the baby, what I want to do is to give birth at your place and I will find another job when our contract is over.” The employer pointed out she was traumatised for a week after the helper said that ‘she has no responsibility’. She was concerned that the baby would be born and abandoned.
The employer added that the foreign domestic helper must stay at her home during the contract period in Hong Kong. She also pointed out that when the other party was pregnant, maternity checkup was required, but the other party often notified her only two days in advance. As a result, the employer’s work was disrupted because of her. After the foreign domestic helper gave birth to the child, she called the employer’s husband and said that she wanted to bring the baby to live in their home, but they refused.
One month later, the foreign domestic helper finally brought the baby back to Indonesia and handed the baby over to her younger sister to take care and she also took 2 months off. She subsequently returned to Hong Kong and asked for leave again to take contraceptive injection. The employer couldn’t help but said, “It’s only two months since she gave birth and she wanted to take contraceptive injection again.”
In addition, the employer later found out that the foreign domestic helper had secretly worn her underwear, but the other party denied it. Meanwhile, the employer said that the maternity leave of the foreign domestic helper will end in early January 2023 and her contract will complete on the 21st of the same month. During her maternity leave, the employer is unable dismiss her even if she knew that she has found a new employer to take care of the elderly.