World

Restricting air-con to HK maids 'inhumane'

HONG KONG: Calls to restrict air-conditioning for Hong Kong's domestic maids amid sweltering summer temperatures were dubbed inhumane by rights groups yesterday, after a politician suggested that helpers should get "used to the hot weather".

Maids are required by law to live with their employers, which rights campaigners say makes it hard for them to escape mistreatment.

One employer's Facebook post went viral this week after she expressed outrage that her helper had switched on the air-con in her room at night without permission, as temperatures topped 30 deg C with high humidity.

"I'm very angry," the woman - identified only as Ms Wong - said, according to a screenshot of the now deleted post on a closed group for Hong Kong employers of foreign helpers, published by Apple Daily newspaper.

She described her maid as "audacious to the extreme" and said that she would remove the air-con switch.

While she was widely criticised by some residents, others supported her. - AFP

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