SINGAPORE: A foreign domestic helper turned the tables on an employer and suggested that the latter try not to use her phone at all at the office and only contact her family at night.

In an anonymous post to a support group on social media for domestic helpers and employers alike, one woman complained that she had to repeatedly tell her maid not to use the phone during work hours. She said she allowed her maid to use her phone at night but added that the helper did not abide by the rule. The employer wrote: “What do you do as a employer if you have repeatedly tell your helper no phone during work. Applies too when mdm, sir and children goes out. I have repeatedly tell her no phone during work. She can use at night. I do not keep her phone. Pls help as this is simple rule and she can’t keep to it, I really feel like changing her”.

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In response, a helper asked the woman to try the same: not use her phone while in the office and only contact her family at night. She wrote: “U also try madam… DONT use ur phone for personal matter when ur in ur ofis (sic) ..then tell us what is the feeling…B4 we come here in singapore to work, we are mother, daughter, sister also… we need a contact to our life outside our work too… who do u think we talk with “AT NIGHT” wen our family is resting/sleep already b4 she hold her phone”.

Another employer commented on the post: “Helpers nowadays are not like last time. Era has changed. Management style gotta change also. As an employer, I give my helper space as long as she does her work properly and with quality. She uses HP 24/7. But you can lay down the rules. If HP is proven to affect her quality of work and compromise the safety of family members, gather all evidences and show her. If she is still not able to manage herself and Work but still remains strong headed, then Change”.

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Similarly, another netizen wrote: “You’re the boss you call the shots. We also have to listen to our employer at work right? Just change a helper and set rules firmly during the interview. If helper don’t agree then don’t hire. Only hire when she agree to all these terms and rules during interview. Can always source for another one. I believe there will always be one helper out there that is serious about coming to Singapore to work not to be addicted to phone”.  /TISG