SINGAPORE: A foreign domestic helper took to social media anonymously to ask if her employer should be the one to provide her with toiletries.
Other helpers who commented on the post wrote that it was usually stated in the contract that employers should be the ones to provide toiletries. However, others also stated that not all employers were willing to provide maids with toiletries and necessities, some expect the helpers to buy them with their own money.
Here’s what they said:
According to the Manpower Ministry (MOM) 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 alleging that when her employers went on a 5-day holiday, they did not leave her any food or money.
In the helper’s post on Facebook page FDW in Singapore (working conditions forum), the maid shared a photo of the additional list of chores her employer had given her. She wrote that in addition to her usual tasks, her employer had given her “so much task (sic) to do”.
She had to water the plants on alternate days, brush and wash the balcony walls, clean her employer’s child’s toys, slide and bicycle, clean all the kitchen cabinets, both bathrooms and tiles, clean the kitchen windows and change all the sofa cushion covers, bedsheets, and floor mats.
The list she was given was titled “apart from everyday chores” and looked to be attached to the fridge with a magnet.
The maid then revealed that her employer had also told her to take extra 2 days off during their 5-day holiday. Because of this, she is not to take the next two consecutive Sundays off.
“Is it right?” the maid asked in her post.
In the comments section, the helper shared that because her employers would eat rice and lentils practically every day, she would buy her own food. She also wrote that she would pay for her own toiletries as well.
Netizens who commented on the helper’s post wrote that her employers were abusive.
Others however said that if her employers did indeed have rice, lentils, and vegetables in the house, then the helper did indeed have food. If she wanted anything in addition to that, she should pay it for herself, they added.
Maid says her employer didn’t give her any food or money when they went on holiday, gave her additional chores with no off days for 2 consecutive Sundays
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