April 27, 2005
Who'll draft the contracts, anyway?
The Philippine government is considering a bill to improve the lot of domestic servants. The new bill requires that they be called "household members" instead of "houseboy" and "housemaid"; requires written contracts; and sets minimum wages. The sponsor calls it the "Magna Carta of Household Helpers." At least one commentator isn't impressed with the idea of written contracts:
As for the employer-employee relationship fixed by a contract, the big question really is, who will benefit from such a contract, especially one drawn and written in fine print that those of us who can read wouldn't even bother to read… how much more for those who do not know how to read or write? There lies the problem, as employers may just put in the fine print something the uneducated servant may not understand.
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