SINGAPORE: A woman with elderly parents said she needed help when her maid went on home leave and asked about her options.

In an anonymous post to a support group for domestic helpers and employers alike, the woman said that she had a Burmese maid and wanted to know: “what’s the average salary in Myanmar if helper did not choose to work overseas But take up normal common jobs in their hometown?”

She said that she wanted to gauge what her helper earned when the latter came to Singapore to work. The woman also added that her helper had worked with her for nearly a year. She asked others for gift ideas to send to her helper’s parents or if cash might be better. “As I mentioned I want to know what’s the usual average salary in Myanmar in most jobs so I can gauge if my sgd 50-200 gift is like maybe perhaps their xx% of their salary in Myanmar . ( I know most will say any amount comes from the heart it’s the tot (sic) that matters). But still I want to know their earning salary in hometown”, the woman wrote.

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In her post, the woman also wanted to know what she should do for help when her helper went on leave. She said that assuming her maid wanted to renew her contract and return after her leave, the woman wrote that she had elderly at home and needed assistance. “I’m thinking is there such thing as getting a 3mth short term helper ( will apply permit etc etc). Will also make clear to her that it’s a short term ( perhaps 2m before helper home leave n 1m to continue once helper is back ( in case helper plays me out n didn’t return). What type of helpers will agree to such short term n how shd I get them. I’m referring to live in ( not those engaging from cleaning company)”, she asked netizens.

Netizens who commented on her post said that there was no such thing as short-term helpers and suggested that she hire someone from a cleaning company to assist with the chores. One netizen wrote: “MOM will approve WP for helpers 1 or 2 years only. No short term WPs. Do hire from those cleaning companies instead as they provide their cleaners on short term basis. Or You can hire LTVP holders or PR or local as your short term helpers but prepared to pay double or more. Agencies are not allowed to supply short terms helpers. We have to abide by MOM’s rules”.

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Another netizen commented: “If you don’t mind sending the elderly parent to a nursing home temporarily, you can apply for respite care . Helper will be away for 2 weeks: do your own housework and laundry, eat out or order in. Get cleaner from cleaning company for weekly cleaning”.