Labour Day | Making it work: family-friendly policies in the workplace

Labour Day | Making it work: family-friendly policies in the workplace

Labour Day | Making it work: family-friendly policies in the workplace 800 533 Hugill & Ip
Reading Time: 20 minutes

This year we celebrate Labour Day with a discussion on parental leave policies and challenges that Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) face with employers during pregnancy.

Alyson Hau (Presenter & Producer, RTHK) asks our Adam Hugill about legal protections afforded to individuals in case of discrimination in the workplace as well as the relatively recent legal changes to parental leave, while Alisha Fernando (Head of Diversity & Inclusion – APAC at Bloomberg LP) highlights the family-friendly policies that the company grants to its staff and the upsides of talent attraction and retention that should be at the core of every business.

Catherine Gurtin (CEO of PathFinders) talks about issues related to (mostly unplanned) pregnancy of MDWs and gives advice to employers on the importance to create an open channel of communication with domestic workers to help find ways to muddle through this delicate time in their lives. She also emphasizes the key role that MDWs play in women’s engagement in the workforce and their key contribution to Hong Kong as a society.

The interview is part of the #PathGuardiansHK campaign. From 4 April (Children’s Day) to 8 May 2022 (Mother’s Day) Hugill & Ip supports PathFinders’ cause. Together we can ensure that some of most vulnerable and unsupported children in Hong Kong are protected and respected, and their migrant mothers are empowered to find a path to a bright future. Every dollar counts!

For contributions and to receive a Deed of Guardianship by Hugill & Ip’s Estate Planning team of solicitors, you can access PathFinders’ “Donate” link.

Show Notes:
00:37 Pregnancy discrimination
03:10 MDW and pregnancy
07:55 Parental leave policy at Bloomberg LP
13:49 Having an open conversation about pregnancy planning
15:22 Talent attraction and retention
19:21 How has COVID-19 changed the landscape of employment?
21:02 Maternity leave legislation
25:20 MDW as core component of Hong Kong’s society

A transcript for the deaf or hard-of-hearing is available in the footnote

TRANSCRIPT

Alyson Hau  00:05

Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us as Labour Day is approaching soon and we’ve also got Mother’s Day to follow. So today we want to go into an inspiring discussion on how to make it work. How can employers support working moms to thrive in the dual roles? I’m Alyson Hau and today I am joined by three very inspiring guests. Please meet first of all, Adam Hugill, partner of Hugill & Ip, Catherine Gurtin CEO of PathFinders and working mom yourself. And finally, Alisha Fernando, Head of Diversity & Inclusion of Bloomberg APAC. Hello.

Alyson Hau  00:37

Hi, thank you so much for joining us today. First of all, I only just found out that one in five women in Hong Kong have encountered some kind of a workplace discrimination during pregnancy, during maternity leave, or within the first year after giving birth. I mean, coming from your observations, I’m gonna come to you first, Alisha, what have you seen? What have you witnessed? What have you heard of?

Alisha Fernando  00:59

You know, it’s an interesting topic to discuss, because I’ve seen a lot of progress. But I’ve also seen some horrible, horrible things that happen from when firms go through restructures, for example, and the female that’s on leave, gets cut, because she’s not there. So, she’s forgotten, or when a returning mother comes back into the workplace, her duties are downgraded or her role is downgraded because there is a sense that she’s no longer committed.

Alyson Hau  01:33

Right, exactly.

Alisha Fernando  01:35

So, there’s there are things like that, that I have seen of 10 plus years that I’ve been doing D&I work that I do think we’ve come a long way. I do also think there’s a lot more to do.

Alyson Hau  01:46

Yeah, you know, for these kinds of situations, Adam, I am going to come to you. Are they even legal?

Alyson Hau  01:50

Well, these are reported cases…

Adam Hugill  01:50

No, the anti-discrimination legislation against sex discrimination has been in place, since I think about 1995. And so it’s got 30 years of history behind it. And when we look at the EOC statistics, we see that about 80% of cases for breach of Sex Discrimination Ordinance are workplace-related, and of those half of them still relate to pregnancy. And so, of all the cases that get investigated each year, there are still hundreds of cases – and these are the reported cases – that the Equal Opportunities Commission investigates that relate to pregnancy-related discrimination, and then slightly on from pregnancy is the protection against Family Status Discrimination. So, caring for a child, and there are far fewer cases, but nearly all of those relate to employment-related discrimination.

Adam Hugill  01:56

These are these are the reported cases, I’m sorry, the cases that are reported to the Equal Opportunities Commission for investigation. And it’s very brave for an individual to report to the EOC. It feels like a quasi-legal process, it’s quite intimidating, it’s long winded: fighting, your employer is never going to be fun. So if this is what we see reported, then it’s the tip of the iceberg.

Alyson Hau  02:59

Absolutely. And that drives me to speak to Catherine. Catherine, tell us about your observations, particularly with foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, what are their situations like?

Catherine Gurtin  03:10

It’s quite dire for a migrant domestic worker when she becomes pregnant in Hong Kong. I mean, many of the pregnancies that we see are unplanned. So, there’s a level of fear and anxiety associated with the pregnancy anyway, about what family members will think, particularly if the child is born out of wedlock. But if you’re employed as a migrant domestic worker and you fall pregnant, you are entitled to the same legal protection as all working women in Hong Kong. Often, we find that people don’t know that the worker themselves or the employers. And so often these women either resign because they don’t know what else to do, or their employer asks them to terminate the contract and return home. And it becomes a dire situation, particularly if they’re scared of going home.

Alyson Hau  03:56

I think not knowing whether this is what’s supposed to happen or not, is what’s really what we want to bring out.

Adam Hugill  04:03

We were talking just before we started, that you’ve seen cases where helpers, domestic workers are asked to sign contracts before they start, promising that they won’t get pregnant, and then believe that this is a contractual document that’s somehow binding on them.

Catherine Gurtin  04:17

Yeah. And of course, you know, if I was being interviewed for a job, you know, you would be absolutely horrified if an employer asked you what your intentions were in terms of pregnancy. And you know, these women are entitled to have families, many of them have kind of made huge sacrifices to help us raise our families in Hong Kong. And they do have that right, but because of that fear, often they don’t report that they’re pregnant. They may go down the route of doing an abortion illegally not realizing that there are legal options or covering their pregnancy and then suddenly going into labour and the employee knows nothing about it. That’s kind of it’s the complete shock and surprise, at one of our more recent cases, Merce, she had worked for her employer for 20 years. With Charlie and Fannie, they have an amazing relationship. Actually, she’s been a second mother to their two children, including the youngest who has autism. But when she was pregnant with her, when she went home, was pregnant with her husband and then came back, she was so scared to tell them. And it wasn’t until she went into labour that they suddenly realize, because she was just fearful, even though they had a good relationship that she would be terminated.

Adam Hugill  05:35

Were in that case they ultimately supportive?

Catherine Gurtin  05:36

They were incredibly supportive. So, she had the child there. She’s just returned to Indonesia after a few years of the child being in Hong Kong, with the family. And they’re continuing to support her in her country with schooling. But actually, it’s very difficult for many employers to be able to do that. And that’s certainly not the expectation for an employer.

Alyson Hau  05:58

Sure.

Catherine Gurtin  05:59

But you certainly have a duty of care and a responsibility to your employee when they become pregnant.

Alyson Hau  06:06

Absolutely, yes.

Catherine Gurtin  06:07

If they, you know, when they become sick, you know, you know, we expect our employers to look after us – well, as an employer of a migrant domestic worker, you have the same duty of care to your employee.

Alisha Fernando  06:19

I actually think if I can jump in, that you have a higher duty of care as an employer of a migrant domestic worker, because it’s almost a one-to-one relationship. Whereas as an employer, you have a team, we have, we have resources, we have, you know, a large amount of people behind the mechanics of everything. So, I do think, personally, there is a higher expectation I would expect of employees of migrant domestic work,

Catherine Gurtin  06:53

I absolutely think you’re right: the challenge is that there’s a higher expectation, but then there’s less support or resources available for individual employers. And then we’ll go on to talk about some of the fantastic policies that are in place at an organization like Bloomberg. But as a working mom, myself, I’m heavily reliant on a migrant domestic worker, to help me with my seven- and eight-year-old so I can I can have a job. But what do I do if she becomes pregnant? You know, there’s a financial stress, I’d be paying 4/5th of her salary, the initial 10 weeks, and then the government does subsidize for four weeks. I’d need to pay for a temporary worker, but there isn’t really a temporary solution.

Alyson Hau  07:36

Particularly during COVID.

Catherine Gurtin  07:36

And so, you’d be hiring a local migrant domestic worker. So that’s HK$130 an hour, eight hours a day, five days a week for 14 weeks. So, the financial challenges for an individual employer are enormous. And then there’s this lack of clarity over the live-in role, you know, does the worker have to live with you while she’s on leave? Maternity leave, sick leave, annual leave… and that lack of clarity often sees employers saying to the worker, you have to be in my home, but they have no obligation to a child. And, you know, those early moments between the mother and child are so fundamental for nurturing care and to set that child up for success to survive and thrive. The system doesn’t work to help the employer do the right thing by the mother and fundamentally, to give that child a fair start.

Alyson Hau  07:55

You gently mentioned that at Bloomberg, for example, there are good policies out there that are supportive, that are helping mothers or maybe early mothers going into first time motherhood, to thrive at the workplace, not only to not having to worry about whether I’m going to still have a job or not. But tell me about what Bloomberg does.

Alisha Fernando  08:47

Well, I’m very lucky, in a lucky position to be able to share this. But we are not just focused on the mother, we actually focus on the whole family and the line manager. So, for example, pre-, so before someone goes on parental leave, we offer coaching, one on one coaching for the person going on leave, but also their line manager so that the line manager is setting themselves up for success as well, because oftentimes, I’m sorry, but men may not know what is good to do and what not to do. What can they ask, what can’t they ask. And so having someone that can coach them through that and set them up for success also ultimately helps the female that’s going on parental leave, but some of the policies that we have, and I’m really proud to say this, we were one of the first organizations in Asia to offer six months fully paid parental leave. So, whatever the person’s full time salary is, we pay that for the six months that they’re on leave. So that’s the first thing that we did, and we did this quite some time ago. The other things that we have done is we’ve made sure that the policies and the benefits that cover our employees covers all of our employees. So, the coaching is also available for their partner. It covers single-sex partnerships, it covers single mothers. It covers all the things that may happen. So, surrogacy or adoption. And we’re also cognizant that not all pregnancies go well and so for miscarriages, we don’t have a blanket policy, actually, we have a person-by-person approach. So, whatever the female needs, is what we will work towards, because some people want to return early, some people want to spend some time on and recover. So, we take that person-by-person approach when it comes to that, but everything else is available for all.

Alyson Hau  10:47

Wow!

Adam Hugill  10:48

I think it’s excellent what you say about training line managers, because I think a lot of problems, and to certain extent these problems lead into discrimination and negative perceptions go for people not knowing what they can do and say, and so they don’t say anything. And then they end up stumbling over their own feet and getting things wrong. And it just becomes a spiral, which ends up negative for everybody. And so, training line managers what they can do, are you allowed to make contact with somebody, if there’s a change to the team, can you phone somebody up during the maternity leave period and discuss it with them. Because often they won’t and then the person who’s on maternity leave will feel that she’s been isolated. And then the whole thing just becomes out of hand.

Alisha Fernando  11:26

To that point, we ask line managers to have a conversation before someone goes on leave to ask about frequency of communication, what type of communication, what channel. So, for example, does someone want a monthly update via WhatsApp for example, or an email or a phone call? So, we try to make those agreements knowing that some of our females are really gung ho and think “I want to know everything I want to know now”. And then they have the baby and think “oh, actually, I don’t want to know anything. I don’t want it now”. So, we make sure that we touch base, and we update that as it goes along throughout the six months. So, I think the communication is really important.

Adam Hugill  12:07

And before we started, well, you said that, at Bloomberg people actually come to Bloomberg and talk to you when at the recruitment stage about what are your policies about maternity and leave, etc. Sort of not too far back in the past, and for certain organizations, people would be terrified: a woman in her 20s or 30s, talking to a new employer about maternity leave, because it would fear that, oh, she’s going to leave, she’s got to have children’s and she won’t be dedicated to the job. And so, it’s inspiring that your organization’s got a sort of reputation where people feel happy to say that at the recruitment stage.

Alisha Fernando  12:40

We really, really hope that we can attract more female talent, and retain more female talent by being really overt about these policies that we have these benefits that we offer. Because we don’t think that the workplace should only be for some of us, we really want the workplace to be for all of us.

Alyson Hau  12:58

So that’s really important because it used to be such a taboo, like Adam mentioned that you don’t talk about it, particularly during your first couple of interviews, you don’t mention that you have life plans or family planning, because you’re worried that might become something that would not get you the job, basically. And now with a great policy at workplace, for pregnancies for supporting working moms, it becomes an attraction for potential employees

Alisha Fernando  13:22

It makes business sense. If you think about it, if you know, in advance, then you can plan ahead, instead of like Catherine shared, if you suddenly, if your employee suddenly springs it on you, it’s very hard to maneuver. So, for a business, to be able to have a business continuity plan or business plans, it makes absolutely sense. And it’s really good for the business. So, it’s not just for the employee, but it’s really make sense for the business as well.

Catherine Gurtin  13:49

But it’s interesting, a lot of what you guys are saying I can draw parallels to in terms of the employee-employer relationship for migrant domestic workers, because it does come down to clear, open communication. Absolutely. And building that relationship and that trust and that understanding and that respect for the person that’s working for you. And to your point, yeah, having a plan. In many of the pregnancies that we support are unplanned. But if the worker had the confidence to have an early conversation with their employer, you know, there’s a good six months to plan for a temporary relief or to have those sorts of conversations, but because of the fear and anxiety of losing their jobs, when more often than not, they’re supporting multiple family members back in their home country. They don’t, they conceal their pregnancy. And so, we just want to really encourage the sense of good communication, of good relationships with your worker, so that you can navigate some of these issues, particularly when it comes to bringing a child into the world.

Alyson Hau  14:56

Yeah, you know, it’s really important because I’m really happy to hear that you have a six month fully paid maternity leave. That is unheard of for a lot of companies, even in Hong Kong. From your observation, you’ve been doing this for some time now. What kind of benefits does it bring to give somebody that security for six months? Because it goes into like what they say the fourth trimester, right after the baby’s born. What kind of benefits does it bring to the family?

Alisha Fernando  15:22

Well, as I said, talent attraction and retention. I think, even if we didn’t talk overtly about it, it’s through word of mouth, people will hear about “oh, Bloomberg does this, I want to work for Bloomberg”. Yeah. And it’s not just females – as males and females, because we actually celebrate the fact that many of our male colleagues have taken the six-month leave. And that should be celebrated, right, to share the load, but…

Adam Hugill  15:48

It’s six months parental leave, male and female. Yeah. For adoption, surrogacy, that’s fantastic.

Alyson Hau  15:55

Don’t you want to join a company like that?

Alisha Fernando  16:00

The retention side is strong. So, when we’re not seeing females leave and not come back, they want to come back. And the goodwill, I’m going to say, is there. So, when they do come back, they really want to do their absolutely best, right, for the firm that has extended that little bit of grace and that little bit more support. So, I do think the benefits are both ways, we’re getting an employee that’s coming back to us, but we’re also getting a dedicated and highly productive employee, because they want to be here, and they want to do the best for us.

Catherine Gurtin  16:36

And actually, we are a much smaller organization, so we can’t sort of offer the same.

Alyson Hau  16:40

SMEs, for example, may not be able to do that.

Alyson Hau  16:43

We can’t, but I think there’s still things that you can do. You know, we very much have a family-first policy at PathFinders. And actually, since I’ve been doing this role, I think at any one time, we’ve had at least one of the team off on maternity leave, obviously, that’s a financial struggle for us. We can’t afford on tight resources to bring in covers. So we tend to share the load across the team to keep the work going. But, you know, we do talk to the employee as well about, you know, what’s your plan in terms of coming back. Do you want to come back full time to start with? Do you want to take a few months of extra unpaid leave, again, because these early moments for the child are so precious, and so important to set them up for success. Now we operate our services around the nurturing care framework that shows that, you know, there are five core components. And that sense of safety and security is one of those: that sense of, you know, really having that mother’s love and that connection. And that’s just that’s critical for a child’s early development.

Alyson Hau  17:45

Particularly, I appreciate the flexibility that you have for individual employees, particularly the ladies, because every body is different, every child is different, every family structure is different. So having that constant communication, from pre-birth to post-birth, things could change when you were pregnant versus when the baby is finally here and you realize “oh, this is not what I dreamed of, or what I imagined it would be”. Having that flexibility is absolutely crucial.

Catherine Gurtin  18:14

Well, it makes you feel very valued as an employee, I mean, I’m a working mom, I don’t have a typical and that sort of 9 till 6 day, I found it quite difficult when I first came to Hong Kong, this sense of presenteeism sort of needing to be in the office from 9 until 6 but because I can take that flexibility with my life and my work life to integrate it in a way that works for me, and we encourage our team to do the same. I probably give 150% because I value that opportunity to continue to grow myself professionally. While also personally being there for my kids when they need me. And you know, kids get set. You know, we’re very fortunate in Hong Kong to have migrant domestic workers but you know, you want your mom when you’re not well, so just I think the more that we can create an environment where women can have both and celebrate motherhood, particularly at times when you see sort of, you know, the fertility rate, plummeting, we should be celebrating mothers, we should be making it easier for them to work and raise our next generation.

Adam Hugill  19:21

One of the things that should just be the answer. It’s one of the things that new parents would often ask for was the opportunity to work from home a couple of days a week. So not reduced their hours but not necessarily traveling to the office so they can spend more time, and historically that was always resisted because of the presenteeism atmosphere that exists in Hong Kong. I hope because of the two years of COVID and people’s experience of work from home there’s not a loss of productivity that employers will be more accommodating, at least to that little change, which shouldn’t cost anything. It shouldn’t lead to any lack of productivity, and I hope you’ll agree that really would help new mothers or new parents sort of spend more time to phase back into the workplace, etc.

Catherine Gurtin  20:07

Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, hopefully there is a silver lining. We like to look at the glass as half full. So hopefully, you know, one positive thing to come out of the current situation, as you say, is this sense of flexibility, but also accountability. Yeah, you know, when you employ someone, you employ them, because you believe that they will do a better job, and then their ability. So, if you know, as an employee, what is expected of you, it doesn’t matter in which way that you do it. As long as there’s sort of a key performance, you’re monitoring and all those other bits and pieces, but it’s the same as a migrant domestic worker: if you have a good relationship with your employer, and they’re very clear what their needs and expectations are of you, and you have that regular and open communication, the relationship will flourish.

Alyson Hau  20:55

Adam, could you please remind us what’s our protection at the moment? And is there anything legally that we’re trying to pursue in the future?

Adam Hugill  21:02

There’s protection that comes under two ordinances essentially. So, there’s the Employment Ordinance, which grants the right to pay maternity leave. And it was fairly recently, December 2020, that that was increased from 10 weeks to 14 weeks. It doesn’t apply to everybody. It only applies to people that are what we call continuous employment, the easiest way to look that would be people in full time employment. And so, it doesn’t apply to many part time workers, and so they don’t have any rights to paid maternity leave. Also, if you haven’t served a period of time with your employer, you’re not entitled to paid maternity leave, because you have to work for 40 weeks and not for a full year, before you’re entitled to these benefits. The key benefit that everybody’s aware of is the right not to be dismissed during maternity leave. And most employers are aware of that. It’s been on statute books for a long time, and it is usually pretty strictly adhered to. There are criminal penalties.

Adam Hugill  21:57

But once somebody’s returned from maternity leave, their protections would be under the anti-discrimination ordinances. And people aren’t as aware of their rights under those ordinances. People are less willing to fight for their rights under those ordinances, while the Equal Opportunities Commission exists, and we’ll take on as a conciliator and investigate cases, essentially, they come to a conclusion of we can’t make a final decision, then you have to go to the courts. And this is full wigs and gowns, two years of fighting courts, it’s not a simple Labour Tribunal process. And so, it’s an incredibly intimidating procedure for anyone to go through. And crazily intimidating if you’re a domestic worker, who probably finds himself out of work, but at times it gets to this stage, how do you support yourself in Hong Kong? It’s almost impossible to fight a case like this from overseas, even if you have legal support, pro-bono support and so the rules are there, but the ability to enforce the rules is incredibly difficult, which for many people means what’s the point and they will stop…

Alyson Hau  23:05

What can we do, then? There must be something we could do.

Catherine Gurtin  23:07

I mean, what we don’t want to, what we need to be clear is that in helping migrant domestic workers understand their maternity rights it’s not about encouraging migrant domestic workers to get pregnant. As I mentioned, most of the pregnancies we see are unplanned, whether it’s because these ideas come from communities where reproductive health knowledge in a Catholic country or Muslim country isn’t embedded within the education system, or because they come to Hong Kong and they feel very vulnerable. They’re lonely, and they feel quite quickly for sort of empty truths and myths and myths promises. But we don’t make it easy for a migrant domestic worker – 80% of who are women of childbearing age – to access the knowledge that they need to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. I mean, the Family Planning Association isn’t open on a Sunday: that’s the only day off for many migrant domestic workers. The information isn’t that accessible because it’s not necessarily in the language that they speak. So I think there’s just more that we could be doing at a systemic level to try and help and educate and do we do what we can as an NGO, we now have 177 migrant domestic workers who we’ve trained as Pathfinders Ambassadors, and they go out on our behalf to spread education and outreach and signpost our services when needed, but we just need to make this situation more accessible for all.

Alisha Fernando  24:38

Yeah, I like that you say for all because I think as much as an employer, we may think we know, what I’m seeing here listening to Adam and I didn’t know half the things you said. And so, I think it’s really important that we as a corporate community also do exactly what you’re doing today is share that information widely because our employees are employers. So, our employees need to know these things, because they need to then know what they can/can’t and should/shouldn’t be offering their migrant domestic workers who prop up our whole Hong Kong economy, let’s be honest. So, I think what we’re doing today and spreading that knowledge more widely is really, really important as well.

Catherine Gurtin  25:20

Because we have 300, and I think it’s now 330,000 migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong. More than 80% of these women are women of childbearing age, many of them are working moms who have left their children behind in their home country. We need 600,000 by 2047 to help care for an aging population. So, we’re relying on more and more women of childbearing age and more and more working mothers to come to Hong Kong. If we don’t start to put the right systems and processes in place now, we’re really setting ourselves up for disaster for the future. And where there are solutions that operate in the best interest of the employer and in the best interest of the worker, fundamentally, it’s the child’s that benefits because they get that first start, you know, we’d love as an organization at PathFinders to find ourselves in a situation where a migrant domestic worker can inform their employer early in their pregnancy of a planned pregnancy that they can work together to find a solution so that she can take her 14 weeks of maternity leave, so she can settle her child back in her home country with her extended family and choose to return to work because many of them do. They need the work and there is a way of making it work, if we just think about the needs and provide solutions for both parties, but fundamentally to protect those children.

Alyson Hau  26:46

Absolutely. And the communication starts from even the interviewing process, to meeting this person you’re welcoming to your home to become the mother figure when the working mom is in the workforce. How can we support each other is essentially the most important topic of all conversations.

Catherine Gurtin  27:03

It’s really interesting for migrant domestic workers and employers, obviously, the employment agency plays a very key role in some of the mediation that’s needed, particularly in very difficult circumstances, whether it be loans or debts or pregnancy. But many employment agencies aren’t really enabled to have that conversation. In fact, we often see them sort of on the employer side, almost encouraging in the sense of terminating the contract. Hopefully, it’s not because they would benefit from placing another worker, but you know, they have a key role. A key role to play as well to mediate and really create a successful relationship between the employer and the worker.

Alyson Hau  27:45

Absolutely. Well, I do want to show one last example that’s coming from my family. Our lovely Auntie Agnes, she’s been working with my husband’s family for over 20 years, she practically raised my husband. And they’ve got such a fantastic relationship, she had multiple siblings came to Hong Kong to work for our friends or other families or extended families, and now our own little families too. And not only giving her the chance to be home and grow a family herself, welcoming her back when she wants to, but having that relationship can happen, and it can be great for all parties, or the children benefit, they FaceTime each other, they have time to hang out. And it’s just the most beautiful thing when you can support women in that sense. And I think these are really important messages, whether you weren’t financially able to, whether you have the heart to… that’s always a great place to start. And that’s what conversations that what we had today is essentially important.

Catherine Gurtin  28:44

Just to sort of build on that they are, migrant domestic workers are part of the fabric of what makes Hong Kong tick. You know, Hong Kong Baptist University recently did some research, and I think, you know, the, the engagement rate of working mothers in the workforce would be something like 49% if it wasn’t for the fact that we have migrant domestic workers supporting many families, which increases workplace participation to 79%. So, they really enable many working mums to be able to work themselves to create an income for their families, and also the quality of time you have with your children, when you have a migrant domestic worker, you know, there’s lots of data from the same survey that suggests that you get more quality time, because you’re not doing sort of household duties. And that’s just important to recognize, and to recognize that many of the migrant domestic workers are working moms too. So, what more could we be doing as employers to give them those moments during the day to check in with their children, to have those heart-to-heart connections, so that even though they’re here trying to give their children a brighter future, they’re still performing as much of the opportunity as they can to be the mother that they want to be with their child back home as well.

Alyson Hau  30:02

Amazing message again, thank you so much for joining us today – Alisha, Catherine and Adam. Thank you.

Catherine Gurtin  30:07

Thank you. Thank you.

Catherine Gurtin  30:10

So enormous thanks to Hugill & Ip for this wonderful campaign to provide pro-bono deeds of guardianship in exchange for a donation to PathFinders of HK$2,888. Wishing you a wonderful Labour Day and a very Happy Mother’s Day to anyone that will be celebrating on Sunday, 8th May.

 


This video is for informational purposes only. Its contents do not constitute legal or professional advice.

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