SINGAPORE: A woman who trains new maids to care for the elderly wrote that she came across an inhumane employer who would allow her helper to use her phone only once a month.
In a post on reddit’s r/singapore, the woman wrote: “Currently, I work for the elderly and sometimes train new helpers who were tasked to provide caregiving for the elderly. A week ago, I met and trained a new helper from Indonesia”. She added that the maid was informed that her phone would be confiscated and she might use it only once a month after payday to contact her family. “I thought this was inhumane and why implement such rules when we, ourselves wouldn’t be able to abide by it”, the woman wrote.
“I understand that there are issues concerning over usage of phones during working hours. I believe there are several ways that this issue may be tackled rather than entirely confiscating it. If we were to put ourselves in their shoes, being apart from their families and children, and tending to an immobile and uncommunicative elderly all day, it is normal to sought for some entertainment to alleviate stress and boredom”, she added.
The woman wrote that she discreetly lent her phone to the helper in the toilet to call her family. While she felt guilty for going behind the employer’s back, she said that she found the imposition “extremely inhumane”. The maid “was not even given the time and chance to inform her family and update her situation before the phone was confiscated”, she added.
Here’s what others who commented on the post said:
Earlier this year, an employer of a maid took to social media asking where he could transfer her because she “is not really a good worker”.
In an anonymous post to a Facebook group for domestic helpers and employers, the man wrote that his maid was found “Cutting corners, wakes up at 7 am and takes a 2 to 3 hour nap in the afternoon citing she is tired, but uses her phone till 1 to 2 am daily even though she retires in her room by 9pm. Last straw was when she overdosed my brother on medication, and her exvuse being it is easier to give him everything at one go as opposed to 3 times a day”.
Regarding the medication situation, the man added that social services and the police were also involved, and the maid was given a warning.
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