The impacts of Covid-19 on foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong

Mei Ling May WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

This paper is to inform the recent situations of work by the foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in Hong Kong through the lens of Covid-19. Through the interviews with seven informants — two employers and five FDWs, stories describing the changes in their working conditions, rights and entitlement, and the contextual environment related to the impacts of Covid-19 were collected. They were analysed through three theoretical tools — visibility/invisibility, mobility/immobility, and work boundary. The findings show that under the Covid-19 crisis, the FDWs experienced more hardships and struggles in both the home country and host country. The paradoxes of visibility/invisibility and mobility/immobility together with blurred work boundary were found in their experience of work, rights and entitlement, and the contextual environment. On one hand, the employers’ power of controlling FDWs has increased, but the agency to resist by the FDWs has decreased making them to turn to more passive means of resistance which could harm the FDWs’ physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-370
Number of pages14
JournalAsian Journal of Business Ethics
Volume10
Issue number2
Early online date17 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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Keywords

  • Foreign domestic workers
  • Visibility/invisibility
  • Mobility/immobility
  • Work boundary

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