Tuesday, September 17

Weekly Off Day For Maids

Since the beginning of this year, all foreign domestic helpers whose work permits are issued after 1 Jan 2013 will be entitled weekly off day. However, many employers of these FDH are forking out more money, on top of paying the basic wage and levy, to offer compensation in-lieu instead.

Many employers believed that weekly off days will create problems, such as their maids mixing around with bad companies, getting into relationships, having unprotected sex, getting knock up or worst, being slaughtered by some Bangla workers.

I have been hiring domestic helpers (maids, more commonly known) since 2007. How I look at it is - I am just an employer, not my helper's family or friend, so why should I be bothered about how she wants to lead/ruin her life. All I ask is for her to do her work properly, I don't ask any questions about her private life. If she doesn't want to share her life with me, that's fine, because everybody deserves some privacy.

Above: My helper, Suparni, on her first day of work with my family, and my daughter.

As an employee of a MNC, this is exactly what I would expect from my boss (direct manager) too. If I am incompetent, my boss can fire me, but my boss should not dictate how I live my life, regardless how much he/she is paying me, let alone deny me of off days.

I don't know about you, but I really don't wish to see my boss's face 24/7 (even though my boss is really awesome), so what's make you think your maid wants to see you 24/7, for up to two years!

And having said all that, do I give my helper weekly off? You might ask.

You bet. She gets to have a break from work (and us) every week and she chooses to take Saturday off. I am happy for her to be away, it gives an opportunity to bond with my children (and husband) and to show them that I am not only capable at work, I am also a fantastic domestic goddess!

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