SINGAPORE: A discussion about mismatched expectations between employers and helpers brought up an issue where contractually, a maid got two Sundays off in the month with her being compensated for the remaining two Sundays she worked. However, the helper then asked what would happen if there were more than four weekends in the month.
In an anonymous post to a support group for domestic helpers and employers alike, a man said: “There seems to be numerous complaints between employee and employers regarding unmatched expectations, many of which are the complaints are the same issues and problems but from different employers or employees. I’ve attempted to compile a list of questions and expectations that a prospective employee should be aware of before accepting a new position. Hopefully, this will help address problems between the two parties before they become a serious issue”.
He asked other employers and helpers to suggest additions to the list.
Some of the issues the man raised are as follows:
“1. What will be the expected working hours, and how much rest time will I have apart from sleeping hours?
2. What type of food should I expect? Will I be allowed to eat the same food as my employer and their family members?
Last month, an employer whose helper wanted to travel overseas on her days off took to social media to ask whether she was legally allowed to and if he was liable to pay her medical fees. In a post to a Facebook support group for helpers and employers alike, the man wrote: “As employer, can anyone advise whether it us the legal rights of my helper to travel to Johore Bahru or Batam on her off day”.
He also asked if the employer would be liable to pay for province medical fees and other expenses should the helper meet with unforeseen accidents while she is overseas.