SINGAPORE: A foreign domestic helper took to social media asking if she could still have 15 days of paid leave even after her employers sent her on a two-month holiday.

In an anonymous post to a support group on social media for domestic helpers and employers alike, a maid asked for advice. She said that a month ago her employer went on holiday for almost two months, and they bought her a ticket so she could also go home. However, they did not clarify anything about that holiday.

She explained that in the next month, she was due to finish her contract with them, and they asked her to renew her contract.

However, she asked: “my question is…if I renew…did I still entitled the 15days paid home leave after if I renew my contract? Because I’m planning to spend Christmas with my family…this is my 9th Christmas if ever here in SG…for 9 yrs I haven’t spent Christmas with my family”.

There were mixed reactions in the comments section, but netizens urged her to speak to her employers nonetheless. Some said that the two-month holiday was considered her paid leave.

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Another netizen said: “When employer go holiday they bought you ticket home… did you go home then? So when renew, pls ask employer if you still entitled for air ticket home with 2 week paid leave .. If no, then you decide if you still want to continue or find new employer… If you are happy with this employer, suggest you to continue even if there’s no more ticket n home leave since you had use then employer when for holiday then… after all it’s not easy to find an employer that you feel comfortable n happy with”.

An administrator in the group suggested: “To the OP, Your concern is pretty easy to solve. U only need to talk to employer for clarification. In your case, u took an early homeleave. If the employer paid for it, then by right u, are not entitled to a paid homeleave anymore after renewing your contract. But who knows? U might be lucky enough to have a generous employer who will be giving u another homeleave in short span of time. But just in case employer will not allow u to go homeleave in Dec or will let u go but will ask u to shoulder the expenses, then that’s just fair. Communication is important. Learn to communicate clearly with employer, to avoid misunderstanding and unhappiness. May this serve as a lesson for u as well. Next time employer want to give u early homeleave, ask them if it’s a treat or it’s your homeleave entitlement given in advance”.

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However, yet another administrator of the group disagreed and said that the helper was still entitled to 15 days of paid leave: “The question is, are U entitled for the 15 days paid home leave. My answer is yes. All MDW are entitled to go for atleast 15 days home leave. Which means. You still get your full salary on that month. Even if U go for home leave. Don’t get confused about t that 15 days as an extra payment. You will still get Ur full salary. That’s for sure. Hope it helps. Anything arrangements, kindly make a discussion with your employer”.

Earlier this year, another maid wanted to know if she could lie to her employer about going on holiday because she wants to find another employer.

In an anonymous post, the maid’s friend posted her scenario to a Facebook group, asking other helpers and employers for advice. The friend wrote that the helper planned to go back to the Philippines in December without telling her employer that she wouldn’t be returning after her home leave. Subsequently, she wanted to find another employer. The maid wanted to know if there was any chance that her employer would blocklist her for not coming back.

Maid says she wants to pretend to go on leave to secretly find new employer