32 Emilyzen Ignacio and esenia Mejia
Respondents that worked more than 5 hours worked between 5 to 23 hours, or an average of 14.4 hours (n=24) without pay or an alternative rest day. Indonesian FDH respondents make up a majority of those in this category. Filipino FDHs reported in greater numbers to work less than 5 hours during their rest day without pay than their Indonesian counterparts. In interviews, two Filipino FDHs confirmed that they worked a few hours before leaving their employers home and upon their return on their day off explaining, “why not do it now when we’ll have to do it tomorrow?” Filipino and Indonesian FDH respondents who were paid for work during their rest day were generally compensated HK$ 100 to HK$ 200 for work spanning 2 to 16 hours. Although compensated FDHs expressed a great willingness to work for extra pay, Hong Kong labor legislation prohibits such arrangements. Notably, survey response trends revealed a lack of incentives to uphold such laws for FDHs fear early termination should they refuse to work on their statutory days off.
Other violations: Other forms of violations cited by FDH respondents included carrying out work not specified in the original standard employment contract. Moreover, some of FDHs reported experiencing physical and verbal abuse, which
eventually led to a contract termination. Table 5 summarizes violations experienced by Subgroup members who only had one Kong.
the frequency of contract in Hong
Table 5: Trends in contract violations
Working two households Working at employer's business Verbal Abuse Physical Abuse
Filipinos 3 ‐ 5 1
Indonesians 11 2 4 7
Note: No sample size is provided because question allowed for multiple responses.
Source: PAE-FDH Survey
6.7 Food, health and accommodations
Eating arrangements: The majority of FDHs surveyed confirmed that their meals are covered by their employers in accordance with local labor provisions. However, 21 respondents (or around 14 percent) reported to pay out-of-pocket for meals, their employer deducts the cost of food from their salary, or they supplement employer rations (see Table 6). Of the 133 that reported employers provide free meals, 33 percent said they were unsatisfied with their current eating arrangements citing insufficient food (83 percent) as the basis. Other reasons include dissatisfaction with employer food selection. As one Indonesian domestic helper retold, “my employer forced me to eat pork –but I don’t eat pork,” alluding to cultural and religious insensitivities by employers (Indonesian FDHs are predominantly of Muslim faith).