SINGAPORE: An employer took to social media to ask others about their maid’s schedules and compare them to that of her helper.
In an anonymous post to a support group on social media for domestic helpers and employers alike, the woman wrote: “Can I ask if it is normal for helpers to wake up at 7 every morning? finishes work before 9pm”. She added that her helper had a lot of breaks through the day and had her mobile phone with her. She also wrote that the maid “uses handphone from morning to night”.
Others who commented on the post shared: “Yes, my helper wakes at 6am and stops work at 8pm. Can use her phone anytime and my house wifi. Afternoons are quite free and she cooks lunch and dinner most days. No cooking on weekends. As long as she does her work, i have no complaints what time she rests. Just to add, i am grateful she is very responsible and does her.job without being told. She puts down the phone the moment my kids ask for her help”.
Another netizen commented: “From your side, if you give proper time for breakfast , lunch, dinner, toileting time and rest time, can ready. Ask her not to use phone in during working time but should allow after finish her work. If you give proper rest time and sleeping time, you can ask her to wake up the time you want. However all the work finish by 9 pm, if still need to take care of the baby means that she haven’t got rest time. FDWs not only need sleeping time but also need personal rest time for their mental health and physical health”.
Earlier this year, the newest of three helpers working in a 3-storey landed property took to social media because of how tiring her daily routine was. In an anonymous post, the maid wrote that this was her first month working in the house, whereas the other two helpers had already been there for 6 to 8 months. She said that she had to wake up at 5 am daily and she must shower and eat breakfast.
The maid said: “This (sic) are very important bcoz if you skip this, you can no longer do it even in some spare time, not allowed to do your personal stuffs even in vacant hours for a reason”. Her work would start at 6.30 am and finish by 11.30 pm but they would only get a 5-minute break for lunch at 2.30 pm or 3 pm, with dinner being at 11.30 pm after they finish their work. However, the maid added that sometimes after work, “we’re already out of appetite instead we just spend few minutes to our families before we sleep”. /TISG