How much would it cost you if your domestic worker had a cup of coffee once in a while? Bella Yip, a Hong Kong columnist who writes for Sky Post on beauty issues, said she was puzzled when she heard an employer complain to friends in a restaurant that she was unhappy because she had spent around HK$5,000 (US$635) on coffee that her domestic worker had consumed during her employment, thinking the maid did not deserve having that much money spent on her.

But the maid in question had been working for that employer for 10 years.

Yip said she was not surprised that some people in Hong Kong with this kind of mentality – some people are mean, they are ungenerous, and they count every single cent they spend on other people, whether a domestic worker, a colleague or even a family member.

But Yip said she believed that if only you are nice to others, then most people will be nice to you in return.

Your domestic worker is the one who takes care of your children, keeps your house clean and tidies when you are busy at work, so she deserves to be treated well.

If a couple of bucks spent on coffee could make them feel good and full of energy, why does the employer need to be so stingy?

To give is always better than to take – it’s the win-win situation of a mutual relationship.

Yip advised employers not to expect domestic workers to treat them well unless they evaluate themselves to see whether they are generous enough to their maids.