SINGAPORE: When it came to boundaries set for helpers, one employer felt that maids should not stand around and eavesdrop on conversations, especially when guests were around. In an anonymous post to a support group for domestic helpers and employers alike, one employer asked others: “what are some boundaries we need to set for helper?”
To this, several netizens responded. One said: “When guests are in the home, do not stand around and eavesdrop on conversations. It’s rude and makes guests feel uncomfortable”. Another commented: “Don’t posts PHOTO/VEDEO ANY MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY in social Media. Knocking and Seek Permission before enter the room. Respect Personal Belonging. helper’s consent before sharing employers personal information, such as photos or details about their personal life, with others”. Others wrote that since it was the employer’s house, it was up to them to decide.
Earlier this year, a foreign domestic helper took to social media to justify that as long as she did not reveal her employer’s address or personal details in her photos or videos, she should be allowed to post the images. Following a number of online discussions, one employer took to a social media group asking domestic helpers for their thoughts on taking videos in their employer’s house and posting them online. The woman wrote in an anonymous post: “Dear Helpers, I’d like to seek your point of view. I’ve noticed on other pages conflicts between helpers and employers about taking videos to post on social media”.
She added that the videos were taken in the employer’s house without permission. She then asked helpers in the group: “For those who do take videos in the employer’s residence to post on social media, what’s your thoughts on this? I’d like to seek views from everyone who both do this and don’t this, just to understand everyone’s thoughts and position on this topic”.
One helper who commented on the post had strong views: “For example I’m in my room at night, after work, I take photos of myself, of course, behind me is my employer’s wall. Am I compromising their privacy and safety by doing so? If the employer is so strict about their doors or walls or ceiling popping up as the background of my selfie after work, I don’t think I can work from them. What is scary is when we take photos and videos outside the employer’s house showing the blk, house number, or in the hallway showing a clear description of their location.. I know my boundaries, I know what to post and what not to”.