Domestic Helpers - Discrimination



Search  
ORIGINAL POST
Posted by Sue&Safia 11 yrs ago
When I moved to our aparment block the building management agreed that our helper could use the swimming pool while she was accompanying my daughter. However they have changed the rule and banned all domestic helpers from using the pool at any time. I have challenged this rule for many reasons - one of which is I believe this it isdiscrimination. I don't know where to find information on this- can anybody help? They also discrminate on applying 'rules' to children of different nationalities in the pool. It's really disgraceful.

Please support our advertisers:
COMMENTS
myregrit 11 yrs ago
howdy Sue&Safia,

I'm so aware of such kind of incident if that's how it is supposed to be called since you can experience not only one time..One building management told me once that it is because the tenants are paying over the top rents.Meaning not all the tenants are in favor of letting domestic helpers have free access to swimming pool,tennis court,etc. Maybe just like the non executive employees of the hotel where in they're not allowed to use its amenities .something like that.Or it would be a groundbreaking if you try to convince all the tenants of your building to write an agreement letter allowing domestic helpers to such places to the management.It'll be hard work but its worth a try.Else,Oze-Kid's "family membership"would be a perfect solution making it officially real,that is.nice one!

Please support our advertisers:
MLC 11 yrs ago
Sue & Safia - At our old building we had the same rule enforced by management. I agree with you it is discrimination. I pursued it then and had no luck - in the end I simply asked our helper to join us for a swim when we went swimming and everyone was too afraid to question me for fear of my wrath. Now at our new residence I was furious to hear that our helpers son whilst visiting us was not allowed to use the pool - as a guest in our home? I'd be intersted to see if they don't allow my folks to have a swim while visiting.

Please support our advertisers:
dandy 11 yrs ago
IMHO, it is nothing to do with "discrimination". A club within an estate is run for the benefits and welfare of the owners/tenants. Its committee for running the club - private in nature, is free to set rules and regulations applicable to its members. Such rules and regulations can be changed from time to time. Such committee usually delegates management of the club to a company responsible for running the club and its facilities.


The management of such club is bound to follow all those resolutions of the committee. In principle, the club facilities are supposed to be enjoyed by the owners/tenants, not for their domestic helpers working them unless the latter are accompanied by their employers (owner/tenant).


Would suggest those who complain vociferously as a "discrimination" issue to take into account the primary purpose of such club.


Please support our advertisers:
evildeeds 11 yrs ago
""not for their domestic helpers working them unless the latter are accompanied by their employers (owner/tenant)""


Well in the broadest sense the DH is a tenant as she also lives there. Some clever person may say her name is not on the rental agreement and you know what they would be right. But nor would the spouses, children, etc. This is where management committees are so far up their own..... Wannabe Hitlers with no personality at all.


Yes it is racism, pure and simple. There was a thread a long time ago about the same issue and some of the racist / imbecile comments were at the least the product of a simple mind and at their worst just blatant "we are the better domineering race".

Please support our advertisers:
BumpyDog 11 yrs ago
Discimination against domestic helpers is rife in Hong Kong.


I recall reading an article in the SCMP around a month ago about a new highrise development that stated in its promotional material for purchasers that it had a separate lift for domestic helpers.





Please support our advertisers:
ceeh 11 yrs ago
One of the apartment block on Old Peak Road encourages Helpers to use the Service lift and it seems everypne accepts that rule without question. I find it amazing that no one has quesitoned it.

Please support our advertisers:
sicn 11 yrs ago
Domestic helper is just like hotel maid who lives inside the hotel dorm facility. Do you think it is discrimination that they are recommended to use service lift and not to use the hotel facility at all time. Ain’t they the service people? So you people are so non-discriminative, shall we complain about that they don’t get to eat at the same table with you guys and can’t have the remote control and watch TV next to you on the sofa? Look inside your apartment, how come their rooms are so much smaller and always at the worst corner? Give me a break.

Please support our advertisers:
sicn 11 yrs ago
Why would you want to know what race I m. Do I have to belong to certain race to make certain judgement? I don't see anywhere I said earlier have anything to do with race and frankly the race matter didn't even come to my mind. The appartment management just simply not allow domestic helpers and their relatives to use the appartment facilities. There are no mentioned of anything about certain race not allowed. So who actually put the certain race next to domestic helpers? It really sounds like a case of being too eagerly self-righteous.

Please support our advertisers:
sicn 11 yrs ago
downtoearth

I can't helping laughing when I read your last scentence. I guess it is a virtue that you treat your DH as family member that you want to fight for her right to use the pool. Does it imply that people treat their DH as professional servicer are racist? So why you bring up the race of your neighbor who don't have problem that their DH not use the pool. Who actually see and speak colors here?

Please support our advertisers:
sicn 11 yrs ago
Downtoearth,

OK, your English is better. :)

My point is I don't see any discrimination in the decision of your appartment management. However the way you treat your DH, is your business. It has nothing to do with how the management make their decisions. Maybe in their minds, if they allow DH, who they do not consider them as their tenents' family members but service people instead, to use the appartment facilities, then they have to allow the other service personals, like the electricians, plumbers, handimen... to jump into the pool as well so that they won't be accused of discrimnation? Not all tenents have DH, You expect that everybody else in your building will undwerstand the special type of relationsh between your DH and your family? At the end of the day, your DH is employed by you. Your house is their work place. It is not the norm for people who actually work in the building to consider swimming and laying under the sun is part of working.

Please support our advertisers:
FKKC 11 yrs ago
sputnik52 - you have some issue against the Chinese? You must be British - the locals under the British rule were treated like 2nd class citizens in their own land.

What do you have to say to this?

Please support our advertisers:
cookie09 11 yrs ago
just because the british did crap at some time doesn't mean we must repeat their mistakes ;-)


my personal view is that while the mgt company or whoever manages the pool certainly has the right to establish the rules whatever they want, the issue seems to be enforcement.

so assuming that the rules says that a DH cannot use the pool (regardless of the race of the DH), then:

- if a chinese DH can use the pool and a non-chinese DH cannot (because e.g. IDs are not checked), then there seems to be a discrimination based on race.

- if a white skinned guest of a tenant can use the pool, but the kid of the DH who stays with the family as their guest cannot, then there is discrimination based on race


i personally feel that the use of the pool or other facilities by people employed by tenants (DH, drivers, etc.) should be set at relatively free will. however i would also have an issue if such rules are enforced in a discriminatory way

Please support our advertisers:
sputnik52 11 yrs ago
FKKC, I am so glad you made this point. I have heard this said many times whilst living in Hong Kong and I myself have sympathy with your remark. I remember my relatives telling me many anecdotes about how they had been discriminated against by the colonial British - how they had been taken advantage of and even abused. And it is with this sad fact in mind that I find it even more frustrating that Hong Kong Chinese during this post colonial era can act just as poorly towards non-Chinese. The fact that on TV there are few non-Chinese actors, non-Chinese news readers, etc. That Chinese have little or no appreciation of the world politics or history. I once laughed out loud because I saw a young Chinese boy wearing a T-shirt imprinted with a swaztika. Of course we all remember Nan Jing but that's because this was genocide perpetrated against the Chinese. What does that prove - nothing, other than discrimination is born of ignorance.


As for the management ruling that started this thread I would be interested to know what reasons they gave for not allowing a DH to use the pool.

Please support our advertisers:
alaska2014 11 yrs ago
Double Standard = Racism

doesn't take that much of a brain or English skills to realize that, I assume???

Please support our advertisers:
zvika 11 yrs ago
Here's what you do: I assume that if you have a guest staying with you the guest could use the pool. (In some estates you may have to pay an entrance fee but then they can use the pool). Get together with another tenant in your building who feels like you do and also has a domestic helper (although that is not a prereqisite). Then your neighbor invites your DH to be their guest. You pay the fee (if there is one), and end of story. As your neighbor's "guest" the management needs to treat your DH like any other guest as it would be discrimination (against the law) to discriminate on the basis of job description.

Please support our advertisers:
dandy 11 yrs ago
Just it happens many DH are filipinos. Anyone who accuses racism, discrimination or the like should test by hiring White/Caucasian as DH and see what will happen.


To those who consider DH as their family members. Make sure you are not out of "condencension"! ^-^

Please support our advertisers:
carmanchix 11 yrs ago
sputnik52

swatika is a buddhist religious symbol used from 500 BC,thats before Jesus's time.

And i dont think buddhists will stop using 'swastica' just because nazi party used that symbol.


Please support our advertisers:
zapzain 11 yrs ago
Religion aside, I think people in Hong Kong are racist. Having recently moved to HK, the sight of DMs sitting on the street on cardboard boxes is disturbing. I completely agree with downtoearth60, respect your DH! In fact, I would like to see a white/caucasion DH. The rich Saudi Arabians do it, so why can't we?

Please support our advertisers:
cookie09 11 yrs ago
can i hire you zapzain?

Please support our advertisers:
Sarge501hk 11 yrs ago
I believe in KARMA. Whatever you do will come back to you. If you dont treat people right, you will pay for it. There is alaways a payback time, it may take a day, a week, a month or even years but one day something will happen and just think of those times that you were enjoying doing your evildeeds....you will pay, it is just a matter of time.

Please support our advertisers:
carmanchix 11 yrs ago
Flokhk,

Hong Kong gives employment to some 300,000 domestic helpers from philipine,i think thats enough of good karma.i dont think anyone comes here because they love hong kong people,they come here on their own for their own need.

If boss dont want you to use his swimming pool or his ferrari car,i dont think thats discrimination.

Please support our advertisers:
evildeeds 11 yrs ago
Quote FKKC - "sputnik52 - you have some issue against the Chinese? You must be British - the locals under the British rule were treated like 2nd class citizens in their own land. What do you have to say to this?"


Firstly to apply that anyone who may have issues against Chinese is immediately British is a pretty racist comment in itself. Locals have been rated like 2nd class citizens for years whoever has been in rule. The saying Chinese life is the least precious of all to other Chinese is one of the most truthful. I think the most tyrannic rules leading to the loss of the most human life in history, that of Mao was testament to that. Refer to Russell Peters for a more humorous but true take on the realities of racism in Asia.


For 2 examples of extremes, please feel free to comment, with excuses if you like!


No.1, US guy married to Filipina woman, kids - moves to a nice location and on her first trip down to use the building facilities she is told she is not allowed to. When asked why they mentioned that the facilities cannot be used by DH and her kids. When she stated she lived here with husband and kids the management got abusive and threatened to call police. Husband get's back, goes wild at management. Management committee will not issue apology so he see's lawyer and not only issues a civil suit against the committee but also against each individual member on the committee who consist of locals and expats.


No 2. Just a few weeks back in Tung Chung. UK guy with Filipina wife, couple of kids 5 and 2. Wife out with maid and kids and down feeding birds along with other local families. FEHD come along and start to shout at them for littering. When the wife pointed out other families doing the same the FEHD called the police. Police turn up. FEHD issue fixed penalty notices to both the wife AND the maid who was not participating in any of this. Wife calls husband who gets head officer on phone and says he is on his way and head officer tells husband unless sorted immediately he will arrest them all including children. I mean a 2 year old feeding birds. What does that tell him about racism here. As it happens there is a lot going on in the background on this one and I can see a few police officers and FEHD will be on welfare pretty shortly, which they simply deserve.


That is what is happening in HK in 2009. This is not the past.

Please support our advertisers:
Renoexperthk 11 yrs ago
I'm Chinese and I don't read English well, nor speak so hopefully, you guys won't mind that I share my opinion.


I grown up in HK where it was ruled by the British and there WAS discrimination, it's a fact, just like water boils when you heat it up, just a fact. I won't fight or argue why the water boils because it's nature and discrimination is human nature, where are the humans, there are problems. This is another fact.


My job brings me lots of contacts to different races. There are all kinds of people, some very educated and gentle Indians, Filipinos....Some reallysh*thead gweilos and some Chinese who make me feel shame as being one of the same race. I don't give a damn, I do my part well and that's all i can do. This is a fact again.


This arguement won't stop, maybe this is what make life 'interesting'. Is it a fact?


Please support our advertisers:
foxmulder 11 yrs ago
There are, of course, always two sides to an argument. Of course, tenants and owners who contribute to the running costs of the facilities want to ensure that not too many people use them. All perfectly understandable. But what of their helpers? As has been pointed out, they are employees and, although in so many cases "part of the family", they are not. I can see how hurtful it is to helpers to be told they can't use the facilities, and I can quite understand the frustration of the employers that some of their "family members" are excluded. But I do not believe that this is direct discrimination. It just so happens that the vast majority of helpers are from The Phillipines so it might look like race discrimination (has indirect discrimsanation yet hit the statute books in HK? If so, here we may have an entirely different ballgame). But we all discriminate all the time in one way or another (Some guys won't date fat girls; some girls won't date men shorter than them; certain ethinic or religious groupings prefer "their own kind") This doesn't mean that the discrimination is wrong or unlawful. Maybe the answer is that helpers should be allowed to use the facilities if the are accompanied by their employers (just like any guest in a private club) or, at the very least, if accompanying an employer's child in their care.

Please support our advertisers:
Sarge501hk 11 yrs ago
Does this also mean that if the employer's car is being driven by his driver, they would not let him park?? Does he have to be accompanied by the employer for him to park? Cmon, no matter what you say this is discrimination. The chinese people have to be careful, people from other country might start discrimintaing against them. The chinese seem to forget that there are also a lot of them all over the world seeking employment or relocating overseas.

Please support our advertisers:
sputnik52 11 yrs ago
carmanchix and FuckED I know where the Swastika originated from and I also know that if you look carefully the Nzi Swastika is actually a mirror of the original form. I also noted the symbol on the t-shirt was at a 45 degree angle and surrounded by a red circle. Need I say more.


Let's face it folks, this issue isn't about protecting exclusivity or consumer rights, it's about restricting the freedoms of certain people in Hong Kong based upon their skin colour.



Please support our advertisers:
gotham212 11 yrs ago
Not letting DH's use the pool or a clubhouse computer or limiting them to use certain elevators is plain racist. Considering that most DH's are either Indonesian, Filipino or Indian, this policy is geared towards stopping dark skinned Asians from playing with their lighter skinned cousins. Not cool.


However, this syndrome is not isolated to HK. I believe in every country in the world, you will find this second class citizen problem. Just last month (July 2009) in Pennsylvania (United States) black and hispanic kids were kicked out of a predominately white swim club. So in the US, you could have a black president but not have black kids swim in some private"white only" swimming pool. Sounds familiar? Here's a link to the article


http://timesherald.com/articles/2009/07/10/news/doc4a56c6448ab32219342336.txt





Please support our advertisers:
cookie09 11 yrs ago
sorry gotham you got this wrong:


if the management committee/company established a rule that only tenants or only tenants and their guests (but not employees) can use the pool, then that is not racist but their good right as owners of the place.


the issue is implementation of this rule (as i have pointed out above). if you establish such a rule but then refuse access for a Filippino tenant (like evildeeds has given an example), or Filipino guest (like MLC has given an example), or allow access to a Chinese DH, THAT is racist discrimination.

Please support our advertisers:
gotham212 11 yrs ago
cookie09, I appreciate the point you are trying to make. The problem I have is that you are accepting the no employee rule at face value. Do you see any hints of subtle racism?


Since most DH's are Filipino, Indonesian or Indian the "no employee" rule is seemingly intent on reducing those ethnicities from using the clubhouse facilities. This causes a problem of racial profiling. Why do you think in evildeeds' example a Filipino tenant is refused access or in MLC's example a guest is refused entry? Yes, the no employee rule perpetuates racism by allowing racial profiling to occur. This slowly strips the dignity and self worth of South Asians.


In another example from evildeeds, a Filipina wife and DH in Tung Chung were unfairly targeted by the police for littering. Why did this occur? Because they were Filipino. Racial profiling = Racism. Rules like this slowly take the power away from South Asians and makes it easier for others to commit racist acts against them. The no employee rule is quite subtle but a very hurtful and racist rule. It's wolf in sheep's clothing.



Please support our advertisers:
cookie09 11 yrs ago
i see your basic point gotham and i agree with you that sometimes a rule could look innocent but actually be based on racial profiling.


i just think that in this particular situation, the rule could be justified. in fact when i lived in the philippines in a condo place, they had the same rule (although owners and helpers were all the same race).


i personally have much more of an issue with e.g. a residential building that has separate lifts for DHs because that indeed does not make sense and seems to be based on racial profiling (contrary to office buildings for example).

Please support our advertisers:
zapzain 11 yrs ago
I agree with sputnik52.

People in Hong Kong are discriminated based upon their skin colour. The darker the Asian skin colour, the worse it is. A friend of mine who is a Filipina visited me from Singapore. Upon going through HK customs, she was stopped and asked for her DH papers. She was extremely insulted as she was judged on the colour of her skin. The customs officer ate his words when he saw my friend's NUS professor name card.


Please support our advertisers:
sicn 11 yrs ago
First, let’s discuss whether this rule in fact is racist. In mainland, same rules of not allowing anybody except tenants and their relatives to use the pool exists in most of the high-end apartment complexes. Then how can you make a case of discrimination of racist out of that since most people live there are the same race. So how come the same rule or way of managing properties is treated differently in HK? Does the management have the obligation to be racially sensitive considering most of the DHs are Filipinos? So if the same management company is managing properties both in Mainland and HK, have they applied “double standard” unless they have to allow DHs to use all their properties both in mainland or HK or the rest of the world? If we follow this logic, do they have to allow the rest of the people who work in their properties to use the pool in order to not be non-discriminated base on job descriptions?

Next, is it racist the way some property apply the rule by not allowing certain race into the pool? Yes. Of course it is. But you have to be very careful about whether it is the fault of individual or the fault of the policy. Like some posters earlier suggested how to “break” the management rule by exchanging each other s’ DHs as family members. So don’t you think the guards of the pool have learned their lessons that some tenants’ family members might indeed be other tenants’ DHs? If the tenants and the DHs have not broken the rules, do you think it will be more believable when a Filipino woman with her kids claims she is the new tenants?

Last about the separate elevators for DHs. Whether it is discrimination, it depends. If in your building, there are special VIP elevators only for the tenants in the penthouses, do you think that is discrimination towards the regular tenants? I want to know your thoughts.


Please support our advertisers:
Sue&Safia 11 yrs ago
Wow- I amazed at the response this has provoked. It's been interesting reading all the different views on this but they have helped.


I agree that it is the role of the management of the building to determine the operating policy for our facilities. However, I feel the rule is imposed on a racial basis not any other reason.


My daughter's father is Jamaican but grew up in the UK and has a British passport. When he came to visit us in HK he was held in a room at immigration and questionned for 1.5 hours before they let him through. I can't see any reason for this other than him being black.


In the UK 'indirect' discrimination is illegal and the difficulty is identifying the hidden or disguised behaviours.


As I said before my helper lives as one of my family (not just eats with us). I pay for my family and anybody living with me to use the facilities so why shouldn't she.





Please support our advertisers:
sicn 11 yrs ago
Sue&Safia

We have to draw a line; your DH is NOT your family member, period.

You may have trusted her or treated her like one, but you can also fire her if she or he has done things wrong, which you can’t do that to your family member. If you believe the management’s rule is reasonable, you shall follow the rule, not finding ways to break it because certain way you feel about your DH.

“Indirect” discrimination happens all over the world. I personally have a female friend was almost denied entering UK because, out of dignity, she refused to answer the immigration lady’s question of whether she has any intention of marrying the UK friend she was visiting. (She was holding a Chinese passport with visitor visa not engagement visa)

Another one is after 911, an old Chinese lady was going to visit her family in US through Canada, ( she had all the valid visas and paper) and she was put in a dark room alone, separated from her son, for 45 min. They only allowed her son to translate through microphone since that poor lady does not speak English…

The list goes on.

I don’t know what part of the world you are from. But I don’t make such assumption that you are racist just because they are.


Please support our advertisers:
totomom 11 yrs ago
im sorry to say, but do mind if i my child must swim with his and her nanny... i dont know how clean they are, and i do mind if i know one of neighbor maids swim in the same pool as we do. i put my son and daughter to a swimming class, so its more safe!

Please support our advertisers:
cookie09 11 yrs ago
totomom, i am also sorry to say but i think you are plain irrational

Please support our advertisers:
Sue&Safia 11 yrs ago
Sicn - actually I don't have to draw the line. I am entitled to my views just as everybody who has replied is.

Please support our advertisers:
gotham212 11 yrs ago
sicn, a RESPONSIBLE management company has the obligation to be racially sensitive. It does not matter if we are referring to the no employee rule or not. Also, a good international management company adjusts it management style to the country in which it is doing business in. It's not a double standard, it is about being a socially responsible company.



The OP is talking about HK, so I would say in HK the no employee rule is racist. When 99% of of DH's in HK are of South Asian descent and come from a lower economic background and you have an exclusionary rule such as a no DH rule in effect, it will encourage racial discrimination. Like I said in my previous post, it perpetuates racism through racial profiling. The collateral damage is high if racial profiling is allowed to exist.


totomom, I respect your honesty. At least you are brave enough to say this rather than just hide behind rules. Let me get this clear, it's not that you don't want your kids to mix with "employees" but you just think that these "employees" are just too dirty. Personally, I think racism and classism is wrong on so many levels.


Please support our advertisers:
Sue&Safia 11 yrs ago
gotham212, the points you've made succinctly express how I see and feel about this situation.


Thanks. Hope you don't mind if I use this to try to pursuade the management to change the 'rules'!

Please support our advertisers:
Sarge501hk 11 yrs ago
It is funny how some people react to the "part of the family" thing. Please look around before you comment on this. Can't you see how many chinese people treat their dogs like human beings? They dress them like kids, take them to restaurants ( which should not be allowed), cuddle them even while they are eating and sometimes even feed them with the same food they are eating! Don't tell me that they do not call these dogs as "part of their family." When we talk about domestic helpers, we talk about human beings here. The people who take care of your dogs, kids, and do a lot of things for you beacuse you can not even do them yourself. They do not sh*t and wee anywhere like your stupid dogs do. They are human beings so regardless of race, color, sex, they should be treated as one. I wonder what the chinese would feel if they are treated like this in other countries? Sometimes it is best that way, experience it and you will understand.

Please support our advertisers:
Sue&Safia 11 yrs ago
Flokhk: I have 2 issues:

One is that I think the helpers should be allowed to use the pool and the way the management have used a 'rule' discriminates.


Secondly, which is a separate point from discrimination, I pay for the use of the facilities as a resident and for the people living with me, which my helper does.



Please support our advertisers:
sicn 11 yrs ago
gotham212, if the international (or inter regional) management firm acts as responsible as you suggested, only allowing DH in HK using the pool on base of racial sensitivity, do you think that they have exposed themselves to play racial favor to certain race and would that be in turn racist? Why the Filipinos DH has more right than the Chinese ones? You might suggest that maybe the Chinese DH did not fight for their right to use the pool and that is their fault. Then I will ask on what base you think the Chinese DH shall fight for the right to use the pool? Or the matter is how do you know the Chinese DH has the desire to use the pool? Do you think your view of being responsible is in fact one-sided and not responsible?

Sue&Sofia, If you put your own personal feelings above others (not all other tenants treat DH as family member) and you have not presented us with any fact to support your suspicion towards the intention of the rule. You’d better hold your view as personal and you have no ground to challenge the rule

And for those only enjoy making comments like Hong kongese or Chinese are racist, what can I say? You already make up your mind and you are just looking for any slightest bits and pieces to prove your point and making accusation without going through cross-examination and learning the fact and history of your subject. You are just as much racist as those you claim they are.


Please support our advertisers:
christian_moore 11 yrs ago
If my maid wanted to use the clubhouse facilities no onefrom the management comany is going to tell me she can't


Who are they to tell me what priveleges the people living in my house have.


They have told my maid she can not use the pool but I told her to go ahead, I will look forward to the argument with the management company. I will stop paying them until they provide me something in writing explaining to me why maids are not allowed to use the facilities. My wife and I never use the facilities that we pay for so I encourage the maid to use them so someone benefits



Please support our advertisers:
Sarge501hk 11 yrs ago
sicn, are you chinese? If yes, then lucky you. Lucky beacuse you never experience the humilitaion that the darker people experience in this country. You were never kept in the immigration office at the airport for hours for no reason but just for the immigration officers to stare at you, You have never been searched and asked to remove your shirt on the sidewalk just because your dark skin makes you look suspicious , You have never been denied entry to establishments just beacuse you have a darker skin, Your relatives have never been asked at the airport immigration if the relative in HK is a DH because the HK immigration always presume that if you are dark skinned then you are a DH, You have never been denied to use the facilities in the tower block where you are living. These are just few of the stupid examples that question the humanity of this country. There is enough anger, terrorism, chaos in this world. Why do you want to create more hatred among us?

Please support our advertisers:
sicn 11 yrs ago
Christian Moore, Please read your tenant agreement carefully. You do have the right to make the rule. But only as much as 1/total number of tenants. And the management is not acting against your will, they are just acting according to ALL of tenants' will. Acting certain way doesn't entitle you have the right to do that. That's all.

To flokhk, about what nationality I am, I don't think it is relavent to my views. We are just talking about who has the right to use a privately owned pool. If you are mad at something else, find other channels to solve it.

Please support our advertisers:
gotham212 11 yrs ago
sicn, first some of your thoughts go all over the place. If you want to look at this on an international level, I do not favor South Asian DH's to have more rights than Chinese DH, White DH, Black DH, etc... My point is that an international manangement company needs to adjust to its country environment in order to be successful and socially responsible. Sometimes it is harder to be racist in a country that is homogeneous + less international country + no importation of international lower wage workers because it has a built in lower wage base. The issue of race comes up less. In more diverse societies, rules need to be adjusted to fit the landscape.


Though Hong Kong is made up mostly of ethnic Chinese, it has a significant internationalized expat community, tourist industry and DH labor force. When 99% of the DH labor force in HK is made up of South Asians and there are no employee rules to exclude them, then that rule can cause great harm. As mentioned in a previous post, it increases the potential for racial profiling.


A management company less experienced with diversity or less up to date with cultural understanding/sensitivity could make some serious mistakes. For example, mixing dairy and meat for a kosher wedding or a real estate agent trying to sell apartment 444, on the 4th floor in Tower 4 to a Chinese person, etc... Let's just understand there are differences in every country and to be sucessful we need to be flexible and approach things from a sensible perspective. In the OP's post, we are talking about HK and what is happening with the no employee rule here is just racist.


sue&safia, good luck in your discussions with management.


flockhk, easy with your anger with the Chinese. For every bad Chinese there are 1000 good Chinese and that's probably true of every race.

Please support our advertisers:
FKKC 11 yrs ago
A very fair quote from gotham212 - "flockhk, easy with your anger with the Chinese. For every bad Chinese there are 1000 good Chinese and that's probably true of every race"


Ages ago when there were only amahs (local Chinese) and before FDH was introduced to HK, a lot of apartments that have service lifts, they were also expected to use those and in older buildings where were no lifts but back staircases, they were also expected to use them. Guess they called it class distinction. No, I don't agree with that so don't attack me as I am only stating the fact. The amahs then would never thought of going into the pool if there were any around - don't ask me why either. Nowadays, whenever certain rules come up, people immediately term it as discrimination.


In those days, local staff working in certain Foreign firms have separate toilets from their bosses and nobody complained as it seemed to be the rule. Guess they took it as class, not discrimination or maybe they don't bother or care to fight for it at all.

One particular country had signs written "no dog and Chinese" in their parks. So you see flokhk, to ease your anger, the Chinese have their own suffering and humiliation too - even in their own land, meaning HK. Hope you wouldn't feel too bitter as sometimes it's bad individuals that are inconsiderate and not necessarily just Chinese.


Please support our advertisers:
steinkings 11 yrs ago
"For every bad Chinese there are 1000 good Chinese and that's probably true of every race." I'm mixed race and ethnic in my appearance (my ethnicity is immaterial) and my experience seems to indicate that ratio to be much lower in HK although I generally agree with the sentiment. I have been surprised during my (relatively) short time in HK to find myself on the short end of racial discrimination although often in subtle ways. I've never been denied anything or held up at immigration (maybe due to a US passport) or anything overt by Government officials.


As a guest at some private country clubs I never felt any discrimination either but heard terrible stories of a Thai wife of a wealthy and influential expat being denied access to the pool while a European au pair DH happily swam amongst members, many of whom knew she was a DH.


We can agree. There is rather blatant discrimination in HK when considering DH and those who my look like they are helpers. No question. Basically a private entity like a management company and property owners governing organization can do as they wish and just because they can does not mean that it isn't discrimination. It still is and the only difference is that it is allowed and those people are jerks regardless of whether they worked hard for their position or not. Treating people fairly, humanely and with sensitivity is not exclusive of effective property management operation. If you don't want DHs in your pool, require the mgmt co to checkIDs - fair and non racist.

Please support our advertisers:
christian_moore 11 yrs ago
I don't have a tenancy agreement to read.

Please support our advertisers:
cookie09 11 yrs ago
christian, i think what he is trying to say is that not the management company but the incorporated owners decide about such rules based on the 1 flat = 1 vote principle


so if you live in a apartment complex with multiple flats, then you might get outvoted by other owners.

Please support our advertisers:
christian_moore 11 yrs ago
I understand what you are saying


If certain people like to treat her DH badly that is up to them, I however don't and while she is a living in my home she deserves to be treated by the management staff with the same respect they would show me. Her role in my home is not their business. If I hired a white english nanny to walk my kid around the complex and swim with him I am sure they would say nothing


Please support our advertisers:
cookie09 11 yrs ago
christian, while i understand your point (and partially can agree with it), i just want to point out that based on hk law you might stand a weak ground if you violate the rules laid down by the incorporated owners - not that this necessarily prevents you from doing any of the mentioned

Please support our advertisers:
carmanchix 11 yrs ago
Some say domestic helper is their family member, you have full right to consider your domestic helper,your plumber and your milkman as family member but in the eye of management and law they are not your family member.

Every region has its law,and its time we learn to respect it rather than change it to suit our way.If you are in Chinese city,you respect its law and way of life,if you are in muslim country,you respect their law and way of life..same goes with all other countries.

Please support our advertisers:
christian_moore 11 yrs ago
Cookie09


If the incorporated owners decided it was ok to ban other people just because of their race from living in the complex would their collective voice make it ok !!!


Please support our advertisers:
cookie09 11 yrs ago
Christian,


I am not commenting on whether i agree or disagree with the HK law.


What i am saying is that under the current HK law, the incorporated owners most likely can indeed decide to prohibit DHs (whatever nationality they might be) from using the club house facilities. If you then violate this rule, I am pretty sure the incorporated owners can do something to you (e.g. give you a fine, penalties, etc.).


I am sure you follow the discussions on the proposed discrimination law. As far as I understand there is so far no provision to outlaw the above decisions by incorporated owners - again whether we agree or not.


This is of course different if a ban is based on skin color or nationality rather than job profile. Such discriminations are already outlawed today as far as I know.


Of course you could argue that a law against DH in effect is a law against SE-Asians (as Gotham has argued above). You just might succeed with such an argument if you go through all the courts of Hong Kong, but my sense is telling me that the HK society and court system is not ready to follow such an argumentation.


Would be interesting to see though the result of such a court case though.

Please support our advertisers:
Sue&Safia 11 yrs ago
Can anybody tell me anything about Hong Kong law on the subject.


sicn: one of the definitions of indirect discrimination in the UK is: "includes practices which might look fair but which have discriminatory side effects. It applies when an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice disadvantages members of a specified group relative to others"


An it is my "opinion" that this is what's happening.


Please support our advertisers:
dcameron 11 yrs ago
Just a question to all those who say DH are part of the family....

when you guys go back 'home' do you always take your DH with you? and then do they socialize with your family - parents, grandparents /lunches etc just the way you do? and infact right here in HKG, when invited to friends homes for dinner do they visit with you? - your visiting family surely would.

If you treat them with respect, I dont think it means they are family - but that you are merely being a decent human being, for, everyone - regardless of race or socio economic background has the right to be and must be treated well.

Discrimination as sicn right points out is what we see all over the world at airports at immigration points.

By the way, countries like australia dont even allow DH into the system. Racist?



Please support our advertisers:
aniermeier 11 yrs ago
Just had a somewhat similar experience this afternoon! My daughter had swimming lesson today at the clubhouse. While my helper was home busy cleaning the apartment, I took both my 3yr old and my 4 months old down to the swimming pool. There were 5 other helpers with 5 other children at the pool. Some helpers

were on the phone while some were giving their full attention to their employer's child. I was particularly impressed with one of the helpers who took very good care of the child before the swimming coach showed up. She played with the kid all along and obviously had a good relationship with the kid. She was dressed in T-shirt, shorts and sandals. Anyway, all of a sudden, she jumped into the water to play with the child. The management staff at our apartment immediately came and asked her to put on swimming suit and paid for swimming or else she had to leave right away. I had mixed feeling about this! I really hope my helper had the same affection to my children; however, I wasn't comfortable knowing that she didn't have swimming suit on (personal hygiene!?). At the same time, I felt terrible when the management staff asked her to leave because she said she has never had swim suit =( It's really sad! Sigh..

Please support our advertisers:
carmanchix 11 yrs ago
Sue&saifa,

racism anywhere in the world is EVIL and not acceptable.


But let's not be a rebel without a cause!

Please support our advertisers:
Sue&Safia 11 yrs ago
carmanchix


Yes - it is evil. I'd hardly say that challenging a rule is being rebellious and there certainly is a cause.

Please support our advertisers:
JinHK 11 yrs ago
dcameron, I don't know why you say that "countries like australia dont even allow DH into the system. Racist?" We grew up with two helpers in my parents house. They were paid according to the appropriate wage system at the time and treated like family, in fact when one of the helpers was married my father 'gave her away'.


This of course was some years ago but I know of some families who still have live in helpers in Aust.


Our helpers were Australian so in that fact you are correct if you infer that the Aust Govt does not allow foreign helpers - unless it is a special case, i.e. the helper was employed by the family whilst living overseas and is a specialised helper.

Please support our advertisers:
jozepc 11 yrs ago
i think sputnik52 is a filipino.. by the word sputnik itself, its a name of some street gangs in the philippines..


well.. regarding the no use of swimming pool thing, I've been in hk each year, base on what i observed thru the years, i think those tenants who opposed dh and their relatives using the pool just don't want things get out of hand later on.. imagine this every weekend, dh will have their own pool party in your "tenant exclusive" swimming pool, dancing and eating around and mind you this is also the weekend you looking forward to spend some quality time together with your family.. i saw dh in central, Victoria park.. it's normal for them to dance, eat, laugh out loud, sing or whatever.. but that kind of stuff just doesn't mess well with the local, maybe they just want to avoid that later on, i don't think its about what race can swim and what can't .. if majority of tenants agree with you on what you believe in, i don't see any problem with that, just open it up during home owner meeting and vote about it, but if you're belong to the minority block, i think you have to respect the decision of the majority


my 2 cents ;)

Please support our advertisers:
Barraclough 11 yrs ago
I think we can agree there are pretty nasty examples of racism from all around the world. The Chinese certainly have faced discrimination in Hong Kong and in other parts of the world – Britain, Malaysia and Indonesia come to mind.


That cannot possibly justify the way that Filipinos and Indonesians get treated in Hong Kong. The government takes the lead here in institutionalising prejudice against these people as they are eg excluded from a possible minimum wage, time spent in HK doesn't count towards gaining residence. The government is basically sending a message that these people are only here for one thing – to do the dirty jobs no one else wants to do. Perhaps that's why those notorious signs about picking up dog poop were originally only written in Tagalog and English and NOT Chinese?


When the government makes people legally second class is it any wonder that citizens feel they can treat Filipinos and Indonesians as second class? To be from one of those countries and live here is to live under a constant cloud of suspicion. I lived in Tung Chung for a while and saw many examples of Southeast Asian women being discriminated against by estate staff blindly following prejudice and/or prejudiced rules.


I don't think HK is exceptional in this regard sadly. I am a Brit married to an Indonesian and have basically given up on the idea of taking my wife and step-daughters back to Britain to visit my parents as the visa application process is so intrusively racist. This means my two other kids – British passport holders – re effectively denied access to Britain as well! I am sure that this intrusive process equally applies to Chinese people wanting to visit Britain.


The posters here who cannot see how this is a race issue need to make a leap of the imagination to see how it would definitely come across that way to the helpers denied access to the pool.


(Re: Australia. The Australian consulate in HK discourages domestic helpers from even trying to apply for a tourist visa to visit the country, so they are denied access to the system in that respect.)

Please support our advertisers:
carmanchix 11 yrs ago
No point in discussing further.

Please support our advertisers:
ayuchan 11 yrs ago
I think when people say their DH is like family that means they treat their helpers with respect. Respect that not all DH get from their employers or others. My kids love my DH and we treat her like family too meaning she eats with us goes on out with us and so forth. I don't treat her like a servant that she has to eat out left over food a lone. She has a room the same size as my children with her own TV and yes she watches TV with us. Although we treat her like family ( meaning we respect her and care for her! ) yes she wash our clothes and cooks for us and so forth but i don't treat her like a servant.


I do agree with Barraclough that it's the governments fault that it makes such laws.

Please support our advertisers:
zapzain 11 yrs ago
Respect is all good but it has to be a 2 way street as well. You can't treat your DH like rubbish and expect her to love you. On the otherhand, she's got to know her place too. You are the employer, she is the employee. She can't go round making demands.


And I agree with an earlier comment someone made, some DHs are cleaner than their employer!!!

Please support our advertisers:
jozepc 11 yrs ago
i agree with mr Barraclough that just because you're being discriminated, it doesn't justify that you can do it to the other race, kudos to that :)


regarding the treatment of southeast asian getting discriminate around, there's a deeper problem about that, not only in hk but all around the world as well, i was born in hk and raise in philippines, im a philippine passport holder, we don't enjoy privileges like a british, us or a japanese passport holder, just like last month when i visit taipei, i need to secure a visa and submit my bank statement, billing address, tons of papers before i can enter taiwan, which only apply to only southeast asian travellers, not to mention america or england which need more scrutinization, im not surprise because we broke virtually every available immigration laws in other countries, you just can't blame them.. i even have a friend who got 2 passports with different names, over staying in other countries and work as black market laborer are very common here.. maybe its the reputation that we got that's why we being treated more "carefully" by other nations


about the exclusion from a possible minimum wage, i dont think its unfair, i got a cousin in hk, because she wants to work so she hired a dh, the salary is around 3.3k or 3.4k hkd right?! ok.. but that's just only the tip of the iceberg, the contract of a dh is 2 years, you have to pay for their roundtrip ticket, some government taxes and include her in your daily expenses like additional food, water and electricity consumption.. all in all you need 5k or more to maintain a dh in your home, my cousin is just an ordinary employee making 10k a month, she's spending half of her salary for her dh.. what if the government set to include them in the minimum wages? then i think my cousin have to hand over her whole salary for a dh or thousand of dh will lose their jobs.


actually what a dh is making in hk is equivalent to what a bank manager is making here, sound amazing? that's the truth.. and maintaining a flat in hk is peanut compare maintaining a house here :) an average businessman can own houses like 400-500 square meter (not square foot in hk), 2 story house here with garden to maintain, yet we pay 1800 pesos for a helper here equivalent to 300hkd .. life is hard here, and the low income wager here found a paradise in hk.. or should we say other countries


is it a race issue? hmmm i dont think so.. what there's some culture in this world that when you give them your finger, they will chunk off your whole arm..

Please support our advertisers:
backdoorman 11 yrs ago
I really don't know why everyone is wasting their time calling "racism" and death to all building management companies that ban helpers from using the pool. How many of the posters on this thread would actually give their DH the time off to actually go to the pool and enjoy a swim. Maybe you should all ask yourselves this question: "If your DH asked for time (let's say 2 hours a night) to go to the pool for some exercise, would you give her permission?" (assuming that the management didn't have a no DH policy in place). You all talk but I bet that most of you bleeding hearts wouldn't give your DH the time off.

Please support our advertisers:
punter 11 yrs ago
Funny comment by backdoorman. If you're at the office, can you ask your boss to have two hour break in the pool? Of course not!


If the helper asks to use the pool in her day off, what's the problem?

Please support our advertisers:
backdoorman 11 yrs ago
To add to my point, how do you justify paying domestic helpers ridiculously low wages for the job that they do? Come on people, is that not racism? Would you even offer someone from a western country the salary that helpers are on? I think not. Is this not racism? A 14 year old working part-time at Mcdonald's in Canada makes more in a month than any DH in Hong Kong, including those with really "generous" employers that pay 5000HKD per month. Give your heads a shake people!

Please support our advertisers:
backdoorman 11 yrs ago
Punter,

I don't have to ask my boss for a 2 hour lunch because I get to go home (i.e. leave work) after an 8 hour day. Don't you go home at the end of a workday and do as you please? Turn it around... What if your boss told you that you couldn't go home after work to be with your family or to go out with friends or to go for a swim for that matter. What if you were on call and had to stay in your office 6 days a week? Would you be ok with that? You give your helper 1 day a week for rest and relaxation. Why are helpers deprived of basic quality of life? Think.

Please support our advertisers:
evildeeds 11 yrs ago
Since when has HKSAR passport holder been required to get a visa for Schengen countries? Please check visa free access to countries on the HK Gov website before stating incorrect facts. My wife travels through these all the time with an HKSAR passport and no visa (albeit visa on arrival which is what Euro passport holders get in HK also)!

Please support our advertisers:
carmanchix 11 yrs ago
People come to hong kong and sermonise us.Lets look at brighter side,thousands of foreigner DH gets employment where as they could be unemployed and frustrated in their own country.

Please support our advertisers:
nikkie 11 yrs ago
Let's face it, discrimination & racism exist in all forms. I think probably the Asians were the first to use Phils / Indo domestic helpers, the reason for their being in Hong Kong is to help with the household chores and at a dirt cheap rate. I have a DH who helps with my 7 moggies, she sits with me for dinner and I was willing to pay the fee for her use of the pools but she rejected it. Well, my point truly is that the expats (non-Asian) never truly had the luxury of a DH at home (I meant for the less wealthy) until they were in this part of the world. I think they are overwhelmed with the help available and I believe they honestly appreciate that. However, I really doubt they were truly nice to their staff at work compared to their DH at home. At the end of the day, one who discriminates against another, in whatever form has no right to criticize or condemn others' action. Stop being a hypocrite!

Please support our advertisers:
sicn 11 yrs ago
I certainly did not claim who is racist or who is not. Like some one said earlier, it is more of a case of class separation and it happens everywhere in the world. Just in this case, something has blown out of proportion.It puzzles me: why it is portraited so much more evil than the rest of the world? Is it because in this case, the upper class people are Chinese or Hongkongese, not the rightreous white folks?

One more thing I don't understand is what is the difference of the employers treating their DH as family member or not? If I am a DH, I certainly will prefer my employer paying me more money setting limit on my working hour and respecting my privacy than claiming me as their family member and allowing me use the pool for exchanging my loving and caring them for free.

Please support our advertisers:
kriskk 11 yrs ago
Firstly why would "treating their DH as family member" necessarily mean that they would be paid any less than someone who does not treat them as a family member?


Secondly I have my helper and her friends come round to our pool to swim but ensure that I'm there (at least initially) with a mixed group of Chinese and European people all clad in proper swimming gear and all chatting together in that way the management can't select out/ discriminate who is and isn't allowed to use the pool. Have a try that way!

Additionally in our block there is a DH supervising a handicapped child and she has to entre the pool if she is to complete her child caring task properly.


Some people married to Filippinoes are equally entitled to invite ther friends( DH or otherwise) to use the pool not just Chinese and Westerners. My 2 pence worth.



Please support our advertisers:
paenme 11 yrs ago
I think most of us agree that discrimination based entirely on race is wrong. However class separation is not that easy to judge. It is an inevitable by-product of capitalism, a core system so admantly defended by the free world. Despite the recent economic turmoil it is probably still safe to conclude that capitalism, with its many flaws, remains a preferred system to the alternative - socialism, which has been demonstrated all over the cumminist world to be ineffective and regressive.


Those who can afford and are willing to pay a premium to live in a upscale neighborhood/apartment complex, do so for the exclusivity that comes in the use of these club facilities. I am not sure they would be willing to pay that kind of premium if the number of the users of the pool increases significantly and the nice and quiet facilities start to look like ground floor of HSBC on a Sunday afternoon.


Also as a general rule, the more people use the pool the more chances of infectious diseases spreading around, regardless the users are owners, tenants, DHs. I read in other threads that (not sure they are true) some DHs have weekend boyfriends, side jobs etc. Like others who respect their DH's privacy I never question mine what she does on the weekends, though I do notice her sporting clubbing wear upon leaving the house and coming back after the weekend. With two children who use the pool regularly I would prefer that fewer people have access, particularly if that means the additional people include those whose lifestyles we don't know about.



Please support our advertisers:
Dream_Catcher 11 yrs ago
Original Post by Sue&Safia


"When I moved to our aparment block the building management agreed that our helper could use the swimming pool while she was accompanying my daughter. However they have changed the rule and banned all domestic helpers from using the pool at any time."


Seems to me that there is a foul play here from the management they might just want you to sign the contract & move to their apartment then once moved they eat/deny everything they said that your DH can use the pool. DESCRIMINATION???? i think not. because this apply to "ALL" DH regardless of race, sex, age, religion and seems the management is just protecting their owners/tenant interest; Imagine if this swimming pool is full of DH and the people who is paying this facility cannot even swim or move how will you react as a tenant? But if this swimming pool is for general public use and they dont allow your DH then there is an arguements of racism.


"Lets not forget, not all mammals does belongs in one habitat" & i apreciate you treat your DH as a member of your family But i dont believe if you write here that you let your DH use your bathtub or sleep in your nice king size bed together.


And for the HK chinese, yes they are in-deed racist and this is what they inherit from the british mentality bcoz even mainland chinese which is their same kind they look down.... hahahahaha...:-P

Please support our advertisers:
evildeeds 11 yrs ago
qwer, not sure what your problem is. I explained that you had incorrectly stated that HKSAR passport holders require visa's before traveling to Schengen countries which is not the case. All Schengen coutries allows visa on arrival for HKSAR passport holders. Open speech indeed.


As for the US I don't care, I do not come from there so it is not a problem. But it is something you are perfectly entitled to take up with US immigration and you will of course be able to get a definitive answer. But if that really is your argument, and the only one you have then why can't we get visa on arrival in China? Is that racist too? Or will you not answer that?


Please support our advertisers:
FKKC 11 yrs ago
Let's review what the OP wrote....."when we moved to our apartment block, the building management agreed that our helper could use the swimming pool while she was accompaning my daughter" not an agreement that the DH herself can swim there as a guest, and when the 'rule' changes, the OP termed it in the name of 'discrimation' thus making unreasonable waves.

I find this as a selfish move to claim as the OP's intention was for the helper to look after the daughter while she swims, not justifying on fighting for any real discrimation causes.

Please support our advertisers:
cookie09 11 yrs ago
ed, i think this is overstepping the line...

Please support our advertisers:
evildeeds 11 yrs ago
It seems race touches a very, VERY raw nerve here. I have just had a flame message and the childishness of the written Chinese, yes it was in Chinese, was exactly the childishness shown in a previous post.


Simple thing here. Racism exists. Racism EXISTS in Hong Kong, whether you like it or not. Live with it people. When we see other posts that say it's the agreement of building management, well the same thing. Maybe it is not, maybe it is one single person in the building management who has made the decision. We know exactly how inefficient building management is here (same as government) and how most people on these committees suddenly have a power trip.....


You do have power against your building management if you really want as I mentioned in a previous post. Fight it, go all the way and go to individuals if you have to. A legal letter received by one person is a huge persuader!

Please support our advertisers:
notyou 11 yrs ago
Helpers are people too and on that, of course we all agree. This is a heated topic because many people have different views on what treating a helper humanely involves. As a Westerner who arrived many years ago, I was not actually +surprised to see helpers not using the pool, etc. because it was the same way in clubs I'd been to in other countries. I don't necessarily agree with it, but there is a long history of it which can't be easily changed. I'm also told the clubs would be too crowded if the helpers were in the pool, but I don't actually think so.

Personally, I wouldn't take on the builder manager, especially if I wasn't sure if my neighbors agreed with me. Do they? Find out either way and brainstorm about it..

Please support our advertisers:
smallfry 11 yrs ago
There seem to be a lot of opinions on the morality of allowing helpers to use residential pools but little in the way of the legal advice requested by the OP. A pity, because it is an interesting question which I would like also to know the answer to. Are there any lawyers out there who would care to offer an opinion?


It seems to me the question primarily turns on the meaning of "resident". Is a DH a resident of the relevant building? If so, and how, can the management exclude certain classes of residents from enjoying the facilities?


The employment law requires all FDHs to "reside" with their employers so, on the face of it, it appears that they are residents of the building.


If management can exclude certain classes of residents from using the facilities (and i do not know if they can do this under the law - it may be discriminatory), the question arises whether they have done it properly (eg followed the correct procedures to adopt it as a bye-law) adn whether they enforce the provision properly.


So, there is a procedural question about how they have put the policy into place and how they implement it. If the correct procedure for adopting the policy as a rule hasn't been followed, the rule is invalid.


If the rule is valid, the question is then whether it is enforced legally. If, for example, the pool attendants ask everyone to show their residents cards before using the pool, there can be no complaint of discrimination. If, however, only those who "look" like they might be DHs are asked for proof or asked to leave, that could amount to discrimination.


I think, that if you want to take it further Sue&Safia, you should ask the management to provide you with a copy of the bye-laws which give it the authority it says it has to exclude certain classes of residents from using the pool. If it can produce this, you are likley to need legal advice to take it further.



Please support our advertisers:
cookie09 11 yrs ago
frankling, while i agree with the general thrust of your and smallfry's post, i would want to make two comments:


in most developments with club houses, one is not allowed to have a business/office in a residential building. many people still do it but that doesnt make it legal


secondly, i dont know what club regulations say, i.e. for residents to use or for owners to use. that could make a difference

Please support our advertisers:
paenme 11 yrs ago
It will be interesting to know the terms of these regulations - if owners (ie people who paid for these apartements) or tenants (again people who are paying rents for these apartments) and anyone that the MAJORITY of the owners/tenants vote/agree to have access to the club facilities, then there is likely to be no case.


Building management only carries out what the majority of the owners/tenants want for a place. Maintaining the exclusivity of these facilities also helps keeping up the real estate prices which may be another factor in the policy (but again the MAJORITY of the owners/tenants wound support such a policy in the first place).

Please support our advertisers:
zapzain 11 yrs ago
There's an article written on the treatment of domestic helpers http://hongkongmassacre.com/2009/08/treatment-of-domestic-helpers/


and someone responded "but in the end of the day, you are paying them for a service… not paying them so they can be part of your family."


I think this is somewhat true, you aren't paying a dh to be your surrogate daughter/wife...

Please support our advertisers:
smallfry 11 yrs ago
cactus rose,


As I see it, it is not a question of FDHs being "family" or even "employees". It is a question of them being "residents".


the employment law requires FDHs to "reside" with their employers - if they could live elsewhere it would be much easier to answer the question posed by the OP (and the FDHs could live near a public pool, if they chose, so the ethical question is also answered).


But FDHs have to live with their employers - hence the question whether the managment company can exclude some residents (ie FDHs) from using facilities which are available to "residents" - not families or owners or tenants. Your post does not address this issue.

Please support our advertisers:
Sue&Safia 11 yrs ago
aussieinla


THANK YOU! That's exactly the nature of information I was looking for.


FKKC: for the record, accompanying my daughter was the best I could negotiate for our helper who really enjoys swimming. My daughter is actually old enough to swim on her own.

Please support our advertisers:
FKKC 11 yrs ago
S&S: Fair enough - I understand you want to treat your helper in a nice way but there are so many different methods to show your appreciation with no pressure and unnecessary arguments like what you are trying to do now as your effort & time would definitely be wasted.


I am good & kind to my helper and she knows it. The only time I fought on her behalf was when her room's air-con broke down and our landlord promised to send someone to come around 6-7PM and when the hour turned to 9PM, I got so angry that I called and scolded the landlord (who is really a good friend of ours) saying that our helper is also human and she needed to rest and I called him names. He and the air-con man came immediately. That was justified to fight for.......if it was the living room's air-con, I wouldn't had mind even if we had to wait until 12 midnight as we are late night people.


Anyway, here's some recommendations for you to ponder on about the disputed use of the swimming pool:


1. All domestic helpers have employment contracts. Their identity is clearing 'employee' or 'employed and paid workers'. As such, they do not fit in any of the categories of users.


2. It is unethical to juggle with terms for the domestic helpers to find a niche in the rules to let them use the pool.


3. Rules are meant to achieve a reasonable usage of the pool for the majority of users, who are bona fide residents and bona fide guests. (guests is a much better term than friends in this context).


BTW, our club allows us to bring one guest per person and I did invite my helper as my guest but she shys away saying she can't swim....but she enjoys dining with us in the club's coffee shop and restaurant (not as a helper but as our guest).

Please support our advertisers:
smallfry 11 yrs ago
Cactus rose


FHDs are not legally permitted to live out - their terms of employment require them to reside with their employers.


As i understood the question, the Op was not asking about club membership but access to residential facilities by her resident FDH.


In our complex, for example, there is a club which both residents and non-residents can join and obviously only members can use those facilities. There are also "residents facilities" including a swimming pool and ALL residents, including residents who are not club members can use these facilities. So, my neighbour, who is not a member of the club, can't use club facilites but she can swim in the residents pool


It is a legal question whether management can exclude certain residents from using residential facilities. i do not see the relevance of your comment about Hk being the only asian country to "support" domestic helpers to this question.

Please support our advertisers:
smallfry 11 yrs ago
cactus rose


As you know, the vast majority of FDHs are required to live with their employers.


The exception you quote (of which I was aware) only affects (the very few) helpers of people who had obtained "live out permission" before 1 april 2003. It is irrelevant to this question and, I expect, also does not apply to the majority of FDHs in HK.


You could not apply for live out status for your FDH now (so it is incorrect to say, "you can let your maid live out").


I have no objection to being corrected or having someone else take a contrary view. You seem upset though...

Please support our advertisers:
Jams 11 yrs ago
Lodge a complain with the Equal opportunity commission. (EOC)


They have a new ordinance the Racial discrimination Ordinance.


You can refer to the EOC website.



I am based in Hong kong

Please support our advertisers:
lili luo 11 yrs ago
DHs should not use the club pools, what's wrong with it? No matter how much she is being treated as a family memeber, she is not a club member. (She is not a family member. Is her name on your tax forms?) If you would like to buy her a membership of the club, I think the management won't stop her using the pool. Our clubhouse has the same rule. DHs can go to the club to pick up their employers's kids, but they need to pay for using it. Otherwise, it is not fair to all the tenants who pay their rents and management fees.

Please support our advertisers:
evildeeds 11 yrs ago
"She is not a family member. Is her name on your tax forms?"


Nor are my kids names on my tax forms. So are they still family?


"she is not a club member"


Nor are most tenants. The membership goes with the tenancy, not by individual in places I own.


"it is not fair to all the tenants who pay their rents and management fees"


Tenants paying separate management fees are in the minority. Seems to be something done more Island side. It's not normal all over HK.





Please support our advertisers:
Gucci 11 yrs ago
My 2 cents: Racial disciimination certainly exists in HK as in most places. However, I believe this particular issue of pool usage is not so much about racial discrimination as it is about class discrimination, which has existed since forever everywhere. Several examples have been cited above about how your boss treats you with respect while still not inviting you to have lunch at her management table, seperate loos for executives and staff or calling one's DH one's family while at the same time having her serve you.

Add to that the very obvious point at play here that Asians are generally used to having hired help for generations and are comfortable treating them with respect but as employees. No doubt coz of the huge wealth gap, the general nationalities discussed here, the Filipinos, Indians and Indonesians, also have hired help back in their own homes. Westerners who live in HK generally get their first taste of hired help here and there is the guilt factor which makes them treat their DHs better than most, while tending to judge others here for not doing the same.

So the balance here would be to treat your DH as decently as you wish, but respect house rules as long as they are not discriminatory. When in Rome ...

S&S: attacking your management company may be an exercise in futility as it simply asks "How high?" when told to jump by the owner's committee, who hire it and renew its contract. As suggested above, you could garner as much support as possible in writing from your neighbours who form the committee, though I doubt too many tai tais, Asian or Western, would want their young trim DHs romping around the pool in wet swimsuits coz then husbands might suddenly get regular Sunday urges to hit the swimming pool as well ... ;-P

Please support our advertisers:
xeline25 11 yrs ago
Hi!!!! I was working as a domestic helper for a very warm hearted Chinese family in Hong kong for 4 years ago and just happen to have a heaven sent husband.


I would say that I might have felt discrimination on not only using the swimming pool but also on other stuff. Some people I think doesn´t like it. Because they thought they are of course the bosses and this swimming pool with all the other facilities are only made for them which on my opinion wrong. But I also can´t blame them. I don´t really care after awhile about the feeling although at first its really a pain in the ass.


But also as one of them before, I guess its really not fair to show this attitude. They are hmmnnnn....whatever.


Just try not to show much discrimination when your helper is inside the home, because it also affects their job and most importantly to their emotions.


ciao...


(Now in Hongkong,I am moving to Shanghai)

Please support our advertisers:
yon 9 yrs ago
It's one thing to treat your helper AS a part of your family. loving her giving her support and providing all the essentials. but to think that she IS part of your family..


you are totally fooling yourself! get off your high horse! and examine how you subtly treat your helper in comparison to your friends.


If you think your maid is your family member why pay her to work for you? You should be sending her to school pay for her expenses just like you would your children and make sure she goes out and have a successful life. LEAVING YOUR FAMILY. Are you adopting this person officially/unofficially? unconditionally giving to her, financially and emotionally? Do you take her out on lunches with your friends? Do you go luxury shopping with her? Do you lend her your fancy dress so she can burrow it for the Sunday and give it back to you so you can wear it again? Do you only seek her happiness? because what she really wants is to be with her REAL family back at home! not at your house!


You treat her like a part of your family BECAUSE she is living with you BECAUSE you want the luxury of HER SERVICE. and you are a nice person.


It's unfortunate that some countries are so poor. But people like us who employ them, we are very thankful for their services. I'm sure they are very happy to have the opportunity to work and earn money to send to their families. What HK is paying (the minimum sal) is more then five times what the maids make in Philippines.


Let me tell you even in Philippines, the condo management will NOT let the helpers swim in the pool. i don't think in philippines its a racism. but it's a southeast asia thing. or even latin amera too... or anywhere with cheap labor...


Please support our advertisers:
gaz_hayes 9 yrs ago
It is indeed racism and it's funny that it's coming from Chinese especially since Chinese take the victim mentality whenever possible - e.g. when all those Chinese kids in Canada had their cars confiscated for street racing it was "racist", yeah was nothing to do with reckless driving endangering innocent lives and going 80 over the speed limit, it was because they were Chinese, right.


Please support our advertisers:
lagrue 9 yrs ago
You treat her like a part of your family BECAUSE she is living with you BECAUSE you want the luxury of HER SERVICE. and you are a nice person.


I think yon has the most well reasoned argument. A helper is an employee, she is not a member of the family even though she may live within the confines of your family. If you are a good employer, you will treat your helper kindly within reason BUT you would never do as much for her or him as you would do for your children and your own parents (however there have been cases where the employer/helper have had a long standing mutually fulfilling relationship and the employer left everything to his helper...in Singapore recently from memory, a doctor left his earthly possessions to his helper...lovely tale)


The body corp is set up by the tenants for the tenants. If you don't agree with the rules then get on the board and change the rules though the proper mechanisms. Don't use the poorly paid management people, who are simply trying to get by in life (and lovely from my perspective) to grind your racist axe.


Please support our advertisers:
gaz_hayes 9 yrs ago
The argument that maids are not part of the family doesn't stand up logically. If you had a white or Chinese *friend* staying with you or living with you there would be no problem with them using the facilities.


What about if you had a white or Chinese flat mate who also does a bit of cleaning and you let them pay a little less rent? Would they be allowed to use the facilities?


What about if you sub-leased a room to one of your white or Chinese staff? Would they be prevented from using the facilities because they are your employee? You could argue that a maid is different because they don't pay rent - except that they DO pay rent as part of their package - would your maid still work for the same wages if you didn't give her a place to stay?


How about all the expats who get an apartment as part of their package and the place is actually owned or leased by their employer? Using the same logic, the expat shouldn't be allowed to use the facilities, they are in the employ of the company so only the majority shareholder of the company should be allowed to use the facilities not the expat or their family.


It is irrelevant how you justify this behaviour, it's still racial discrimination.


If it's fine for management to do this because it is 'just their job' then it was also fine for the staff at particular camps in Germany to gas jews - they were 'just doing their job' too. Just as stealing $100 or stealing $1000 are both stealing, the difference between management carrying out this racial discrimination and Hitler's soldiers carrying out their racial discrimination is only a difference of *degree*. I don't think German soldiers were paid all that much either.


You think the maids in HK don't have psychological issues after being treated like 2nd class humans for so long? I'm not surprised at all when I hear stories of maids stealing from employers etc, why would they have any loyalty at all if they are being treated like this?

Please support our advertisers:
souffleQueen 9 yrs ago
Are we allowed to name the clubs and residences here?


I am very much aware of the no-DH policy in some clubs and residence's pool area but from my experience, circa 1996-97 my boss who was a lawyer wrote to the management and add my name to those who lives in the unit specifically for "permit" to use the pool which was granted without a fuss.


It's close to a ladies club where I used to walked to return his rented films etc. so the Filipina on the front desk was aware that I was his helper. However, I dined there a few times as his guest together with his gf, his mom and sister. I did have a vivid recollection of him telling the manager "she's my guest" when we entered.



Please support our advertisers:
FKKC 9 yrs ago
From madtown - 'I would just deny that she is helper and say that she is my friend/guest/tenant etc'

Why lie to get something done which he could try to fight for openly?.....makes him look like a low character person.

Please support our advertisers:
songyu 9 yrs ago
banning helpers from using the club pools is in fact for the safety of the helpers but they aren't aware about it. they only think that swimming in the pool is fun. they don't know that accidents in pools are still happening. a helper who get drowned in the pool and then died, it's hell for the employers to organise autopsy, returning the body to their home countries, answering all the busybodies among their friends, not to say when their families start suing the employer for lots of money because the FDH cannot send them money anymore. I've been there and have enough of the hassles. Hence no more FDH for me. I'm now doing my own household chores. I become more creative and efficient with my time. at the same time my biceps and legs muscles become much better looking and I lose some pounds without having to go to gym. my character also gets stronger. this is my personal experience!

Please support our advertisers:
englishsuccess 9 yrs ago
songyu- That has to be the most ridiculous response I've ever seen to a valid topic. They stop DH's from going to swimming pools because there's a chance they might drown!? Actually, I think you must be having a laugh. Nobody could be that...

Please support our advertisers:
punter 9 yrs ago
Hahahaha @songyu! I'll stop swimming now as I may drown...


However you deserve our congratulations for being able to live without an FDH! Keep it up.

Please support our advertisers:
songyu 9 yrs ago
this is no joke. apparently my dh has often gone swimming in the pool without my knowledge. i didn't know if she's a good swimmer or not till one evening when i returned home from a business dinner, i got informed that my maid had been found dead drowned in the pool. then after that so many hassles followed, not to mention how much money that i must dig out of my pocket for extra payments, for all costs due to her negligence of going swimming without asking my approval. as I said, this is what my personal experience is. if you guys haven't gone through this experience, good for you!

Please support our advertisers:
punter 9 yrs ago
Your conclusion is still quite a stretch Songyu. Btw, can you post a link to a news item regarding the death of your helper?

Please support our advertisers:
songyu 9 yrs ago
as i wrote earlier good for you if you haven't been there yet. no need any assumption. it's personal. and personally i choose to see them using their skills and talents in their respective countries to build up their countries and to rally against their own respective governments that they are moved to improve the situations in their countries, to improved their education systems, economy and working conditions, instead of making people in hongkong become soft and depend on them just for cleaning the house and wipe their a**. these people must be given the opportunities to be more dignified and more than FDH but in their own countries

Please support our advertisers:

< Back to main category



Login now