SINGAPORE: An administrator of a Facebook group for maids asked: “To my fellow helpers, will you accept a job offer with terms such as, ‘phone can only be used once a week?’ ”

In her post, the woman wrote that she saw job advertisements of employers looking to hire a Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW), but only wanted those willing to use their phones once a week. The woman wrote in her post: “I saw a job ads, looking for a MDW, but only those who are willing to accept terms, like, ‘phone can only use once a week’ should apply for the job offer. How important is phone to you? As a Migrant worker in a foreign land, alone and miles away from family, can you survive with just once a week phone usage?” She added: “Gone are the days where no phone and/or ‘no day off’ terms is a norm.Yes, we are here to work but I hope those employers out there who put up such terms will be more considerate about their helper’s mental health”.

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The woman added that there may be helpers who abuse the privilege of always having their phones with them, but she felt that only being allowed to use their phone once a week was draconian. One helper who commented said: “yeah still there is someone (sic) still agree with the condition in this (sic) days. So I wanted to say ” if there still have some people who will say I’m interested ma’am “. Then this rule will never gone. Because employer knew there will (sic) someone out there. I have seen a lot post like this cant blame one side”. Another commented: “Some helpers abused the privilege of having no phone restrictions so its understandable if some employers are hesitant to let helper use phone freely. I believe that giving restrictions, like, can only use phone on free time or after a day’s work should be fine but not once a week only”.

Earlier this year, another foreign domestic helper took to social media asking for sympathy towards maids. She said that most employers want helpers who are good and hardworking. They have many requirements for their helpers to follow, but they should also know their helpers’ requirements, she wrote in an anonymous post. The maid wrote that she was not allowed to use her phone during work hours. However, she added that she would only finish her work around 10 pm or 11 pm. “So what time contact with family” she asked. The woman added that all helpers know their duties and asked for sympathy towards maids as they too are human beings, she said. /TISG

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