Singapore – In March 2019, a foreign domestic worker (FDW), who goes by the name “Rosa,” went on Facebook page FDW In Singapore (working conditions forum) to rant about being mistreated by her employer.
It was only after the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) intervened that the truth, which was the complete opposite of Rosa’s post, was revealed.
Read Rosa’s post, below.
Good day to all I just want to ask all FDW and Employers..
Did your employer give you this kind of lunch..? (sic)
Do you give your FDW this kind of lunch.?
3 spoons of rice and a little bit of meat..
My sir says I don’t deserve to be treated well coz I made mistakes also say im lazy when I even carry upside the mattress and the bed so I can clean the floor underneath the bed which is so heavy and I clean it 2 times a week and its 3 beds even I have a breast cyst operation before he knows it just doesn’t care.. (sic)
I just want to know coz I feel like going crazy im laughing and crying at the same time in my day off he don’t let me go out just stay here in condo and when I got sick he make it as my day off so he said I owe him 5 days.. (sic)
She included a photo of her meagre meal serving.
According to a May 4 report by Lianhe Wanbao, the 25-year-old’s claims turned out to be false. Rosa’s employer, Mrs Lin, 40, was surprised when MOM gave her a call regarding the allegations.
Rosa, who was hired in June 2018 to take care of Ms Lin’s five-year-old son and cancer-stricken father-in-law, was treated like family. Nine months into her employment, Ms Lin was highly pleased with Rosa’s performance, noted Wanbao.
It was only when she received a call on March 14, from MOM who asked to speak to Rosa, did Ms Lin discover that her helper had other opinions about her working conditions.
“I didn’t know what was happening then, it was only afterwards that I found out that my helper had posted online, accusing me of abusing her,” said Ms Lin.
Rosa quickly removed her Facebook post after the intervention, but news outlets had already picked up her story.
Ms Lin was perplexed about Rosa’s intentions and mentioned how much she provided for Rosa.
“She [Rosa] said during the interview that she had already recovered from her illness, and we never overexerted her with manual labour, I cannot comprehend why she would go on the internet to accuse me, I am very disappointed and upset.”
Rosa has also been on overseas trips to Penang and Thailand and was given a mobile phone on her birthday. Ms Lin said that she never restricted Rosa’s time on her mobile phone and ensured that Rosa had sufficient food and clothing.
Rosa’s employer even bought toys for her to send home to the Philippines and sponsored a Christmas meal for them.
Ms Lin also bought many Filipino snacks and sauces for Rosa to ease her transition in a different country.
“I later found that the helper had been checking up her contract online, trying to find out if plane tickets should be paid for by the employer or herself. Perhaps she wanted to go home, and thus came up with such a scheme,” Ms Lin told Wanbao.
MOM’s investigation officer T Karikalan, who proceeded with the case after seeing Rosa’s post, said that their interview with the FDW was different from what she had posted online.
“The helper clarified that her employer treated her very well, and said that she wanted more food but didn’t know how to ask for it, so she decided to ‘seek advice’ from other helpers online,” said Karikalan.
He added that MOM wanted to find out the whole picture in employer-helper cases to obtain a resolution.
Rosa who has since apologized to Ms Lin is currently back in the Philippines and is prohibited from seeking employment in Singapore.
“The helper lied and misled the public, causing hurt to her employer, and has thus been prohibited from working in Singapore,” said Karikalan.
“We recommend that employers keep an eye on their helpers for any problems they might face, as well as establish an avenue for communication to avoid misunderstandings,” he added.
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