SINGAPORE: A maid hired to look after a newborn refused to care for or wash the child’s items in a relative’s house.

In an anonymous post to an online support group for domestic helpers and employers, one woman wrote that she hired her helper a month ago. She wrote that she had a 6-month-old baby who attended an infant care centre. The maid was mainly hired to care for her child, the employer wrote. She added that on weekends, when she had to go to work, she would leave her baby and helper at her in-laws’ house. Her maid did not have to do any work at her in-laws’ house as they had their own helper.

However, the maid expressed that she was unhappy with this arrangement and refused to care for her employer’s baby in a different household. She said that while they were in a different household, the duties there would be for the other helper to handle. The employer wrote: “her 3rd weekend last week she told me she is not happy with this setting. She does not want to shower my baby there or milk and wash bottles because that is not her duty in that household? She insists that even washing baby bottles should go to the helper there cause its within that household”.

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In her post, the employer asked other netizens: “Is this wrong?

And also because my baby is in school she basically has the whole day to herself. Yet she complains she is tired( She is home alone office hours). We live in a hdb in the east and has offered her weekly off but she says it to expensive to go out? ( to us we think its near to central such as payalebar/ orchard)”.
A netizen who commented wrote: “Firstly u r not wrong for her to wash baby things. Can confirm with MOM with this. Her job is to take care of the baby. Which means whatever that comes with it. She needs to wash up after the baby. If the other maid does it then she is doing extra work. U r not wrong. Ask her to go check with MOM if she insist. If I were u, I’ll let her go. Blacklist her. Or inform MOM the next employer will have to speak to u before hiring her”.
Another netizen added: “Maybe you should have chosen experience helper instead of fresh as taking care of NB is not an easy task for fresh helper without guidance. Nway, if she’s at your in law house. It’s still her duty to wash your baby stuff in that house. As a fresh helper she can be this calculative. Something must have happened between her and the helper at your in law house that’s why she’s finding fault on these nitty gritty stuff. I would suggest you get the agency involved as you have paid them for such service. They have to be the peace maker to resolve this issue”.  /TISG