SINGAPORE: An employer took to social media asking what the acceptable practice was when it came to a helper’s day off. In an anonymous post to a support group on social media for domestic helpers and employers alike, the employer wrote that she had a new maid of 6 weeks. She explained that she gave her maid a weekly day off, as well as one Sunday a month.
The woman also wrote that she paid her maid’s salary in advance because the helper had no money. “However she never keeps to our deal. Always late. Last time was 3 hours late. Now 1 hour. It is getting on my nerves”, the employer wrote. She asked netizens in the comments section for advice on the matter.
In the comments section, other employers and helpers who commented urged that she speak to her helper once again. One netizen and admin of the group said: “As per MOM, off day is minimum 8 hours. Communication is important. Have a good talk with your helper. Tell her about your unhappiness, lay your house rules. If she keeps pushing the boundaries and doesn’t respect your house rules, then show her the door. Employers hire helper to make their life easier, not to have someone to ‘babysit’”.
Another helper commented: “Ma’am, with all due respect, Rest day for helper is supposed to be 24 hours, because you are not going to pay her that day. Our rest day is not together with our salary, that’s why we should not have a curfew hours. Helper’s should not work on their off day because employers not going to pay the helper on her off day. But it doesn’t mean that helper will come home very very late, 9pm is enough time for the whole day. But still need to work when reach home but never complain at all. As for me, I only go out once a month but my employer ask me to work before go out and after I come back home at 8pm. Even though I am tired but I never complain at all”.
A few employers asked if the helper would check in with the employer if she was going to be late.
Earlier this year, an employer was unhappy that her helper would only return after 10 pm on her days off, but other maids felt that this was unreasonable and said, “Remember it’s not time off, It’s day off”.
In an anonymous post to a Facebook group for domestic helpers and employers alike, the woman wrote: “In general, does a helper normally went out on their rest days (Sunday) and return late 10pm onwards or more later”. She added that her maid would not even inform her that she would be back late. “we’ve a baby we’re already worrying and this helper adds up to that”, the employer wrote.
Most helpers who commented on the post felt that returning at 10 pm was fair. They also said that if the helper had to work in the morning before going out, she should even get to come back later.