Should maids be given a day off every week?

With most families being dual-income-with-kids, outsourcing home cleaning and home economics to domestic helpers is almost a way of life for Singaporeans. Come in and discuss issues pertaining to maids and home management.

Should maids be entitled to a Day off?

Yes, at least once a week
6
14%
Yes, at least once a month
12
29%
No.
24
57%
 
Total votes : 42

Should maids be given a day off every week?

Postby Guest » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:09 am

I do not have a maid at home and neither do I believe in having one, but I was very perturbed by this letter in The Straits Times today. In your opinion, do you think your maid deserves a day off every week? I personally think they do, what's your take?

My personal take of the following letter is that this employer is a bit too much.

The Straits Times
http://www.straitstimes.comPublished on Jun 22, 2011
CALL FOR WEEKLY DAY OFF
Who says domestic helpers are overworked?

IT IS true that maids should not be treated differently from other workers, and they need rest ('Consider law to give maids a day off every week: Halimah'; Monday). But do they really need one weekly day off for that? Do they not rest in the course of their work every day?

My current maid has a day off once a month. Every time she comes back from her outings, she appears even more tired and listless, and needs to recuperate from her outing. When she is not around, both my husband and I, who are teachers, have to juggle with the care of our toddlers (two and three years old), besides catching up with whatever work we have not completed in the week.

Singaporeans work very long hours too and while we do not work officially on weekends, many of us catch up with work on weekday evenings and weekends.

My maid has more than enough time to rest daily, when the kids are napping or when my older one is in kindergarten. My maid is the one who goes to bed by nine every night and my husband and I are the ones who are still up way beyond nine to tuck in our children and catch up with school work.

Are maids really that overworked? The many maids congregating and chatting away happily at my condominium on weekdays present a different picture.

My previous maid met her boyfriend on her day off and even while we were at work. I have also heard of other maids doing part-time work on their days off.

The slew of social problems that will result from a weekly day off is unthinkable.

And think of those taking care of old and disabled people. It will not be easy for someone else to take over their duties when they take their day off.

I urge the Government to consider carefully the many factors at play and the consequences of legislating a day off for maids.

Low Ai Choo (Madam)
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Re: Should maids be given a day off every week?

Postby bigsnoopy » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:21 am

I don't mind giving off day if the govt remove all fines regarding the maid like pregnant, run away. Oh and employer should not be liable for outstanding loan if the maid dont want to work. Govt should make agent refund the money.

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Should Maid Be Given an Off Day

Postby Castle House » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:50 am

Hi..

MOM is reviewing whether maid should be given a day off..

What do you think?

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Re: Should maids be given a day off every week?

Postby Nebbermind » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:04 am

I'm equally disturbed after I read this letter.

If parents can't even spend 1 day/mth with their children, why do they even bother to have them??

I like that part abt letting the maid sleep at 9pm...like it's a very gracious act. Shd ask the principal to ask her to report to work at 6am and then go home only at 9pm everyday...and pay her only $300/mth!!

How can she compare her work with the maid's? If the maid is so indispensible, then they shd double or triple their pay!!

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Re: Should maids be given a day off every week?

Postby hquek » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:06 am

bigsnoopy wrote:I don't mind giving off day if the govt remove all fines regarding the maid like pregnant, run away. Oh and employer should not be liable for outstanding loan if the maid dont want to work. Govt should make agent refund the money.


I raise 2 hands (plus 2 feet) in agreement.

I like that govt say, "oh we've removed the part where employers are liable for the security bond. Now they only stand to lose HALF the security bond if the maid absconds and is not repatriated - but ONLY if they have made reasonable attempts to locate the maid."

okay...take the above example, if I were a teacher who has to spend the whole day teaching and preparing for lessons and taking care of kids and house. I should be so free as to scour the streets of geylang at midnight (afterall kids are sleeping right) to find the maid? I wonder what is reasonable attempt to locate. Walk around neighbourhood enough? or must show a pedometer to show that I've walked at least 50,000 steps? or make that 500,000?

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Re: Should maids be given a day off every week?

Postby hquek » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:17 am

In the letter posted, the author did mention that the maid rests by 9pm each day, and she/hubby takes care of their kids thereafter. I don't think she delegates all kids chores to the maid - though I'm fairly sure there are pp who do that. Her point was more that maids are not necessarily overworked even if they spend all their waking time 'working'.

I do see maids in some places where they will stand, chit chat for quite some time. I do hear of maids who sleep more than 12 hours a day - if they take naps during the day time, then it could well be 15 hours. Not all maids have to work 15 hours each day. There ARE pockets of time when there may not be anything to do - eg kids' nap/school time.

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Re: Should maids be given a day off every week?

Postby kayatoaster » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:32 am

once a month seems a bit too little. maybe once a fortnight if once weekly is too much?

anyway i rather the maid have a good one day off every week to rest rather than slacking and doing all the funny things during normal working days.

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Re: Should maids be given a day off every week?

Postby peapot » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:57 am

I don't mind giving maid more off days provided it's arranged privately between the maid and the employer. Which means if the employer works as property agent where viewings are mostly over weekends then maid can off on weekdays instead? Or if employer works retail hours on weekends then perhaps maid can go off when the employer is also off.

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Re: Should maids be given a day off every week?

Postby peapot » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:01 am

That way it will make more sense but I think most maids doesn't like to go off over weekdays because most of their friends will be off in the weekends. So in the end, maid may not be happy and it will probably end up becoming a prob for employers again.

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Re: Should maids be given a day off every week?

Postby autumnbronze » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:09 am

My maid does not have a day off. This is her 4th year with us.

But her chores mainly are to ensure that the flat is clean because DH, DS and I are prone to dust allergy, some kitchen work and babysit my DS when I can't. Generally, as a SAHM, I am the one taking care of my DS.

Even the marketing and cooking is done by me.

It is this, together with the no hp condition that I believe we have had some measure of peace of mind having a maid. Also, she is good natured, so thats a plus point.

We make it up by:
1) bringing her out with us

2) letting her to order what she wants to eat without being calculative

3) letting her to have time to herself when we bring DS out during the weekends

4) buying for her knickknacks like puzzle books, hair clips, chocolates etc ... to make her happy

5) taking her along with us when we go to Msia and giving her spending money

These are but just some examples.

I find that my maid get easily distracted when she is allowed to go out. The few times she requested to meet up with her friends during Hari Raya etc and we acquiesed, she would come back home looking preoccupied. That said, I still think an off day during certain public holidays is fine.

The funny thing is that because I am now taking care of my 2 week old baby and am in confinement, she has had to take on quite a bit more responsibilities, and she seems happy with the arrangement.

It is easy to say that they deserve a day off, but I personally feel that the repercussions outweigh the necessity. If the day off entails the maid to rest at home, then sure, why not. But if otherwise, even if the government relaxes some of the rules imposed upon the employers, I would not budge (of course this is only applicable if the day off is not made compulsory)

At the same time, I would like to qualify that this comes with the understanding that the maid should be treated well, not be overworked and that they should be given rest time.

JMHO :smile:
Last edited by autumnbronze on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

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