The chairwoman of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Anna Wu Hung-yuk, yesterday called on the government to reverse its pay cut for maids, warning it might breach the United Nations women's covenant. The government's $9,600 levy on employers for every two-year contract with a foreign domestic helper comes into effect on October 1. It corresponds with a $400 cut to the maids' minimum wage, effective from April 1. Ms Wu said: 'Insofar as my own view is concerned, I would not like to encourage a levy on a target group directly or indirectly because it is levying against a vulnerable group. 'Almost all are women . . . I would think that in terms of the spirit of the covenant we should refrain from that kind of proposal.' Ms Wu was referring to the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). A government spokeswoman said its proposal was 'not discriminatory as the levy applies to all employers [who comprise both men and women] of foreign domestic helpers'.