Responsive Ad Slot

Latest

Buhay Pinay

Features

People

Sports

Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

3 quarantined OFWs not given food by HK employers

14 June 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap
One of the workers spent her quarantine in Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui

At least three Filipina domestic workers who recently arrived in Hong Kong were not given any food by their employers while under quarantine in various hostels in Hong Kong.

This was according to a group that took on the task of feeding the three workers, who were reportedly too scared of losing their jobs that they asked that the Consulate or the Hong Kong Labour Department not be informed about their plight.

But according to Cynthia Tellez, general manager of the Mission for Migrant Workers, those who are faced with such a problem should not hesitate to ask for help, as the Hong Kong Labour Department has made it clear that employers should pay for all quarantine expenses.

Pindutin para sa detalye
Philippine Labour Attache Mel Dizon also issued a memorandum on Mar 17, reminding employment agencies to inform employers that: (1) they should allow their domestic workers to spend their home quarantine with them; or (2) if they choose to make them stay in another place, to provide for all their expenses.

“It could be that the employers did not know about their obligations, or were assured by their agencies that they need not provide for food as well,” said Tellez. “In any case, they should complain because what happened to them was not right.”

Tellez (left) with Carnay: All workers who are not treated right should complain
But in the three cases involved, it could also be that no agency was involved.

Janette Carnay of the Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrants who was among those who helped the workers, one had just come back from a vacation in the Philippines, while the two had just moved to new employers after finishing their previous contracts. 



In these cases, no agency intervention would have been necessary.

Carnay said the workers first sought help from the Filipino community group, Social Justice for Migrant Workers, whose founder, Marites Palma, relayed their request about their case not being reported to labor authorities, fearing that could lead to their termination.


Call us!

This was despite being advised by Palma's group that their employers were legally bound to pay for all their quarantine expenses, and to make sure they remained healthy.

As the workers were forbidden by quarantine regulations from leaving their rooms, the group ended up feeding the workers for the entire 14-day quarantine.
Palma's group fed the 3 workers who asked not to let authorities know about their plight 
The helpers are now reportedly with their respective employers, after returning negative results for their second Covid-19 tests just before ending their quarantine.

The worker she assisted, said Carnay, stayed at Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui. The worker was reportedly told by her employers to pack a lot of instant noodles, not realizing that was all she would have eaten if nobody came to help her.

All that the employer gave the worker was one lunch box, said Carnay.
Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.
“Takot na takot sila na baka bigla silang bitawan ng mga employer nila,” she said.
(They were so scared that their employers would let go them immediately <if they complained>)

A cursory reading of relevant advisories would, however, reveal that employers are strictly prohibited from terminating their domestic helpers during the quarantine period. More so, if they get sick of Covid-19.

The payment of salaries is another thing, however, as the HK Labour Department merely advised employers “to be considerate and show understanding” when a worker is quarantined, and does not contract any disease during the 14-day period.

Fortunately, this case of no food being provided to a quarantined domestic worker would appear to be the exception, rather than the rule.

A check with members of the online group, Domestic Workers Corner, showed that nearly all who had to undergo quarantine on their return to Hong Kong were allowed by their employers to return to their homes.

Most were paid their salaries during the quarantine period, even those who spent the entire time inside their rooms. In these cases, the employers themselves reportedly prepared the helpers’ meals.

With about 10,000 Filipino domestic workers set to take up employment in Hong Kong in the next few months, however, it remains to be seen whether such a pattern would continue.

Don't Miss