How To Support Your Foreign Domestic Worker During Phase 2
STORY: Priyanka Elhence
02 July 2020
We’ve all missed socialising with friends and family during the 2-month long circuit breaker, so imagine how your FDW must be feeling? Even now with Phase 2 in process, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) advises them to consider taking their rest days on weekdays instead of the usual Sunday to avoid crowded places.
Here are some practical ways to help support your FDW through these unique conditions:
1. Encourage her to plan her day off with friends
Like us, FDWs can also congregate in groups of 5, so encourage your helper to schedule a day off with other friends, instead of having to go out alone on her rest day. We all look forward to socialising in person, so why should it be any different for them? Socialising is important for mental health and to stay happy, both things which will ultimately benefit your family when she is working for you.
2. Allow extra time to make remittance payments if required
Be a little flexible and allow your helper an extra hour or two off if she needs some time to send money back home. Unlike normal times, FDWs seeking to remit money now need to make appointments with their remittance agents before meeting them if they are not able to remit electronically. After all, the less time she spends in crowded places during peak hours, the better off you and your family are.
3. Compensate her honestly
Even if your helper is spending her rest day at home, she is probably still helping out with the cooking and other light chores that day. It might not mean much to you, but paying your helper a little extra while she’s stuck indoors and doing more work than usual will go a long way in helping her feel appreciated and supported during these challenging times.
4. Encourage her to try new things
Imagine if you had to clean the house every day and cook and look after the family everyday all by yourself? Thank your lucky stars you have a great FDW to help you with all that. While things are still getting back to being largely normal, this might be a great time to let your helper try new initiatives that neither of you might have had time for before. Try new baking and cooking recipes perhaps? Or teach her a new skill like sewing or a fun DIY craft project that you both might enjoy doing together.
5. Be sensitive to her family conditions back home
Now more than ever, be conscious of what your helper’s family might be going through back home due to Covid-19. Some countries have been hit harder than Singapore, resulting in some very dire consequences for some families. If your helper is trusted and has been with you for several years, and you can financially afford to do it, consider paying her an advance of her salary during this time if doing so can help her family back home.