Should We Give Helpers The Day Off: The rights of Foreign Domestic Workers in Singapore

Do you support the #IGiveADayOff campaign and take responsibility for childcare on a Sunday?

With Labour Day coming up, we applaud the video campaign – Mums and Maids – and its efforts to draw attention to the plight of helpers in Singapore who do not receive a day off each week. We hope that the campaign (a partnership between Transient Workers’ Count Too and Ogilvy and Mather) goes viral and safeguards Sundays for more Foreign Domestic Workers. OK, it doesn’t address the complicity of Dads in this scenario and nor does it explain that MOM guidelines entitle Foreign Domestic Workers to a day off per week without having to justify it at all, but if it improves employer behaviour, then good.

Practically speaking, we all know what this means. No one wants to get up early on a Sunday, except small kids. Diametrically opposed to this, is that the people who most need to sleep in on a Sunday are the parents of those small kids. But you know what? We’ve just gotta suck it up. If we ever expected our helpers to never have a day off then we should have paused for thought at the moment of conception, not had that last drink the night before, and re-checked our upbringing where it said that our needs are somehow more important than those of the next person.

So, to care for those that help care for our kids, it’s time to roll out of bed on a Sunday, mainline the coffee, relax the TV rules a bit, and look forward to enjoying some quality time just being with the awesome and hilarious little people we’ve created.

Maybe it’s not unusual for some of us to request our helpers to work the odd Sunday (and be paid for it), if we’re sick, travelling or have a no-kids event (we’ve all heard the brunch story), but we think it is just plain wrong to expect it to be routine.

So here it is; the #IGiveADayOff campaign. What do you think? Let us know in the comments box below.