SINGAPORE: A 24-year-old maid who was made to cut 10 kilograms of ingredients daily for her employer’s hawker stall took to social media asking if she should transfer out.
In an anonymous post to a support group for domestic helpers and employers alike, the maid said it was her first time working in Singapore. She added that she had been working here for about 7 months. She described her employers as an elderly couple who ran a food stall at a hawker centre. The maid continued: “all this time I’ve been cutting a lot of stuffs for them ( 10 kgs of fishcake ,chili ,onion leaves, onion ,garlic , ginger). I also make chili sauce. I do all of that every morning tho the onion cutting is thrice a week. We live in a 3 storey landed house. I clean it everyday also ( manually). I don’t use any vacuum”.
She added that her employer did not want her to use the mop or vacuum cleaner. Instead, she had to wipe the floors of the second and third storeys by hand. “For the past months I’ve been trying all my best to do everything and manage all the works that I need to do here but lately I’ve been thinking if I should just transfer to a new employer since I think my body couldn’t think the work anymore. I wake up as early as 4 am to cut stuffs and finish all the work at 9 pm. ( I don’t get breaks the whole day) I get two days off a month BUT take note before I go out I still have to do everything before I can go .I still cut and clean and when I come home I still need to wash the dishes they used the whole day”, the maid wrote.
In a comment below her post, the helper said she was misled during the interviews with her employer. She wrote: “During our interview my agent said I’ll just help ma’am with the cutting and it’s just a two storey house. So on my first week here I informed my agency in the Philippines that I cut a lot of stuff and the house is 3 storey but they just said ” You can do it , just manage your time” So I don’t wanna sound ungrateful and complain. Even on my employers I never said a single complain to them. About the food morning I get bread and coffee then lunch and dinner are mostly with rice”.
She added that she wanted to transfer to another employer but was afraid no one would want to hire her since she was new and had little experience. She also said that since they were her first employers, if she did not finish her contract, she worried other potential employers might think she was not a good helper.
Other netizens who commented on the post wrote: “Helping out for the food stall is not supposed to be part your job scope.. That’s illegal.. if you think you can’t cope then ask for transfer.. Wiping floor with cloth is considerable especially when the floor is parquet.. However you can also seek advice from your agent the daily routine which is they supposed to know that it is illegal to ask the helper to do stuffs like that becausein your work permit it is stated as household worker and not a stall helper.. I’m sure you get more advice from others here .. good luck..” /TISG