SINGAPORE: A maid revealed on social media that her employer has been verbally abusing her, calling her names like “idiot” and “animal.”

In an anonymous post to the Facebook Group, ‘Singapore transfer helpers (maids) direct hire’, the maid sought advice from her fellow domestic helpers and other employers, stating: “my employer was told me idiot and animal .i am so stressed ..what to do …i ask them to transfer me but they say iwait after 1 month…🙏,” the maid wrote on Wednesday (Jan 17).

In the comments section, many have advised her to be brave and wait for one month, as her employers had promised her.

One netizen also gave her tips on handling the situation: First, she gently reminded her that her employers are also humans and that we often talk nonsense without even realizing it when we get angry.

The netizen then added that she should not allow herself to be verbally abused or called derogatory names simply because she made a mistake and must be courageous and stand up to her employers.

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She was told that once she does this, there’s a chance that her employers might realize their mistake. However, if none of these resolve the issue, the netizen suggests that she should ask them politely to return her to the agency or send her home.

Another netizen also added that she should do what she can for the remainder of the month, and after that, her employers will either transfer her to a new employer or send her back to her hometown.

Penalties for verbal abuse on domestic helpers

Verbal abuse and being overworked are the most common complaints made by domestic workers in Singapore, as reported by the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME).

According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), complaints regarding any kind of abuse or ill-treatment against domestic helpers that are proven to be true will be dealt with.

“Employers will face severe penalties if they are convicted of abusing a foreign domestic worker (FDW). We take allegations of abuse and ill-treatment of an FDW seriously, especially if they concern physical or s*xual abuse,” as stated on their website.

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If found guilty, employers may be subject to harsh legal penalties and a permanent ban by MOM from hiring any more FDWs.

Those who suspect that a domestic helper is being abused or ill-treated are also advised to report the matter to the police. They can also speak with a MOM officer or report the incident by calling the FDW Helpline (1800 339 5505).