A Filipino domestic helper was arrested on Monday after she was accused of bathing her employer’s six-month-old daughter with shower gel mixed with bleach.
The 39-year-old maid, who was set to leave her job on Tuesday after she resigned, was charged with “ill-treatment or neglect by those in charge of a child or young person”, Apple Daily reports.
According to a source, the maid had worked for the family for one and half years but had had a mediocre relationship with the employer.
At around noon on Monday, the 35-year-old mother, while bathing her baby girl, saw little red spots on the infant’s skin at her home in Lok Ha Square in Fo Tan.
After noticing that the shower cream also gave her hands a stinging sensation, the mother questioned the maid, who then admitted that she had put bleach in the container and used the mixed solution to clean the toilet.
The mother flew into a rage and immediately called the police, who came and arrested the maid.
During interrogation, the maid told the police that the bottle of “shower gel with bleach” was only intended for cleaning the toilet, a source said.
But since the bottle was placed among other bathroom products, police are now trying to determine whether the maid put the bleach in the body wash bottle on purpose or it was a mistake.
It was not clear if the incident was the first of its kind involving the maid.
Dr. Louis Shih Tai-cho, a specialist in dermatology, said people should not clean their skin with any solution mixed with bleach, especially in high concentration, as doing so can cause swelling or even peeling of the skin.
Betty Yung Ma Shan-yee, chairperson of the Hong Kong Employers of Domestic Helpers Association, said in case of early termination of an employment contract, especially if it is due to the maid’s unsatisfactory work performance or a lack of harmonious relationship between employer and the maid, the employer should immediately terminate the contract and pay the maid one-month salary in lieu of a notice in order to avoid any untoward incident.
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