SINGAPORE: A maid took to social media stating that she would not accept any job if she had to share a room with children. Others stated that they would not accept a job from any employer who could not give them a private space to sleep in.
Helpers had various answers and responses to an employer who asked other helpers what they would do if they did not have their own room to sleep in. “How does your employer arrange your sleeping arrangements? What is your opinions on such arrangements. Especially if employer unable to afford a bigger house, thus no extra room but badly need help cuz have children?” the woman wrote.
She added that she was a single mother and thus did not have ample space. The employer also wrote that she had “come across many a times where helper mentions if cannot afford then dun hire us… I’m sure some of us would rather take care of our own kids. Unfortunately not everyone is lucky. Like those mentioned, if not happy just avoid politely”.
Most maids who responded to the woman’s post wrote that they were happy to share the room with an elderly family member, child, or even sleep in the living room. Some helpers however, insisted that they have their own space.
Here’s what they said:
Employers who responded to the question wrote that the woman should not hire a maid who demanded a room to herself especially where this was not feasible.
According to the Manpower Ministry, employers “must ensure that your MDW’s accommodation meets the following requirements:
- Adequate shelter: the accommodation must adequately protect your MDW from environmental elements such as sun, rain or strong winds.
- Basic amenities: you must minimally provide your MDW with a mattress, pillow, blanket, bathroom amenities and toiletries. Examples of toiletries include soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
- Sufficient ventilation: your MDW’s accommodation must be sufficiently ventilated. Mechanical ventilation (e.g. electrical fan) must be provided if natural ventilation is inadequate.
- Safety: your MDW must not sleep near any dangerous equipment or structure that could potentially cause harm or hurt to her.
- Modesty: your MDW must not sleep in the same room as a male adult or teenager. If you install video recording devices at home, you must inform your MDW of the devices and where they are placed. You must not install them in areas that will compromise her privacy or modesty, e.g. where she sleeps, change clothes, or the bathroom area.
- Space and privacy: you should provide your MDW with a separate room. If that is not possible, you must ensure that her accommodation has adequate space and privacy”
Last year, a foreign domestic worker took to social media to ask her friends for help when the family she was working for did not give her sufficient rest or privacy.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Apr 27), a netizen who went by the name Khriz Omandac Alabado wrote that she was sharing a problem her friend faced.
Ms Alabado shared her post to the Facebook group FDW in Singapore (working conditions forum), where she wrote that her friend had been with her employer for four months.
Having to share a room with her employer’s daughter, the domestic helper wrote that the daughter would often come back home very late and switch on the room lights. The daughter would also listen to music or talk on the phone until 2 am or 3 am sometimes, Ms Alabado wrote. As a result, the domestic worker would often be without sufficient sleep or rest.
Asking for advice, the domestic helper said to Ms Alabado that she was afraid to inform her agency lest her employers send her back home.
Maid forced to share room with employer’s daughter, but daughter leaves lights on, listens to music & chats on phone till 3am
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