A Filipina maid is suing her British boss for more than 16 million pesos (£236,170), claiming she was paid below the UK minimum wage.
Elvira Macato, from Carmen, Agusan Del Norte, was a live-in maid for wealthy financier Francis Menassa for 11-and-a-half years at his home in the wealthy commuter town of Oxshott, Surrey.
The MailOnline reported that her duties included cleaning, cooking, ironing and looking after his three children. She said she regularly worked 18 hour days, including at weekends, and had only about 70 days of holiday since 2004.
In a case lodged at the High Court, her lawyers claim that over the past four-and-a-half years she was paid £24,740 — the equivalent of about £100 a week.
Her lawyers say this was not enough, and she is now owed £236,170 in back pay.
Ms Macato, who now lives in Edgware, London, says she even looked after his children if they woke in the night and was responsible for feeding, comforting and changing the youngest when he was a baby.
She also detailed how she prepare and serve food and drinks when her employer was entertaining, and was not allowed to sleep until everything had been cleaned up after the event.
Mr Menassa’s defence is not yet available, however he strongly denied her claim in a separate employment tribunal case.
At a previous hearing in that case, Mr Menassa said Ms Macato worked only eight hours a day and was “treated like a family member”.
He also told the tribunal the proceedings were causing “huge anxiety and stress” to him and his wife, Sotiria.
Julian Milford, Ms Macato’s lawyer, stated in the more recent writ: “The defendant failed to pay the claimant for her work at a rate equating to the national minimum wage and the claimant has suffered loss and damage accordingly.
“Ms Macato was responsible for looking after the defendant’s three children when they were not at school or nursery; cleaning, tidying and carrying out general housework in the defendant’s family home, preparing and cooking meals for the defendant and his family, clearing up after meals, doing the family’s laundry and carrying out any other domestic tasks that might be required by the defendant or his wife.
“She was responsible for caring for the defendant’s children if they awoke a night, including feeding, comforting and changing the defendant’s youngest son. She often slept with the defendant’s children in order to do so.
“She was responsible for assisting the defendant’s family when they entertained, by variously caring for the defendant’s children, waiting on guests, preparing food and drink as required, and cleaning. She was not permitted to sleep until clearing up after the event was complete.
“She was expected to work during the weekend as during the week. At weekends she would be expected to carry out the same household tasks but would have further childcare duties as a result of the children not attending school or nursery.
“Save for a break of two months and 10 days that she took to return to the Philippines in 2009, and two other days off, she did not receive annual leave during the 11 years and 263 days that she worked for the defendant and his family.”