SINGAPORE: A foreign domestic helper took to social media asking for advice after her employer decided to get three pets despite her saying that she was not keen on looking after them. In a post to a support group for domestic helpers and employers alike, the woman wrote: “… How will you react when your employer is buying pets one after another, despite saying during interview that you are not keen to look after pets and employer said, they don’t have plans of getting any”.

She explained that during her interview for the job with her employer, she expressed that she did not want to take care of pets. However, a month after she started working for her employer, the latter proceeded to buy a dog, a hamster and a cat. The maid added that she would often have to forgo her usual day off to look after the pets. “But just 1 month after joining in, employer bought a dog, then a hamster then a cat. Because of the pets, helper need to forgo her usual day off n can only take time off when family are away. Otherwise, the house will be a mess when the pets are left too long”, the maid wrote in her post.

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She asked others in the group for advice on whether she should leave or stay and take the situation as part of the job. Some helpers who commented said that it was a no for them. Others said that she should be a bit flexible but should not give up her days off.

One wrote: “I think taking care of pets isn’t the issue, it is the forgoing of the day off that is unacceptable. How can it be that having some pets prevents the helper from taking a day off? It makes no sense. Family circumstances change. One of my helpers joined when we had one child and by the time she left we had three”.

Another voiced similar sentiments: “I think it’s fair that you try to cope and be flexi with the additional job scope. It depends on how much you dislike the role of care giving towards pets. Just like at work, our boss will give additional task as we progress in our role. If it’s bearable and within limits i would give it a try. Hope you manage to find your answer. Most importantly, you do not dread doing it. Otherwise, give advance notice and move on”. /TISG