A former housekeeper to a senior Tory MP has claimed that she was treated “worse than a slave” after taking his wife to court for unpaid wages.
Hazel Settas was employed by the wife of Jonathan Djanogly, the former justice minister, but quit after two weeks because of the demands placed on her.
She told the Mirror that she “worked like a dog” and sometimes had to fulfil 16-hour days to complete all the tasks she was set.
They were laid out in a folder that even included detailed instructions on when to rotate avocados between a fruit bowl and the fridge.
She claimed that Mr Djangoly’s wife, Rebecca, used to “click her fingers”, whilst he looked down on her as “not even a human”.
The MP, who has represented Huntingdon, in Cambridgeshire, since 2001, is the son of textile manufacturer Sir Harry Djanogly, said to be worth £300 million.
Ms Settas responded to a Gumtree advert in 2020 for a £20,000 a year live-in housekeeper at the couple’s £7 million home in west London.
She was required to work from 7am until 7pm but sometimes ended up finishing at 11pm, as she would be “told off” if she left anything unfinished.
“There were pages and pages of tasks. I felt like I was working in a prison. I would break down in my room,” she said.
“You don’t expect an MP to have that treatment going on in his house.”
The 32-year-old said that on one occasion, Mr Djanogly’s wife told her that if she lost weight she would be “quicker” at completing her tasks.
She claimed another time she told Rebecca: “You can’t treat people like this. This is worse than a slave, this is worse than prison.
“It was slavery … especially when she used to click her fingers, that’s slavery right there. I’ve got a name, use my name,” she said.
“I just had to bow down to anything she said. I couldn’t speak up. The easiest way to describe it is how you think a slave would work.”
She also claimed that on another occasion, Rebecca told her: “My husband’s an MP, you’re worthless.”
Housekeeper wins £886 payout
Mr Djanogly refused to help after she wrote to him about her unpaid wages, she said.
She took his wife, who employed her under her maiden name of Silk, to court and won an £886 payout.
The Mirror reported that an unnamed second housekeeper who later worked for the couple also won a case against them.
She was awarded £3,148 in unauthorised wage deductions, overtime and annual leave by an employment judge, the paper said.
Mr Djanogly was contacted for comment.
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