Do You Allow Your Maid To Keep Her Handphone?
While Mobile Phones help many helpers to keep connected to our families and loved ones, the misuse of it can be worrying. From over-usage to taking photos and videos within employer’s residential premise, here are 6 possible ways to deal with the issue at hand: mobile phone usage.
1. Mutually agree on a reasonable time for phone usage
Some helpers may need to call their families daily, for example if they do have young kids back in their home country. Other helpers are perfectly fine with an arrangement to call their families just once a month.
Prior to your helper’s arrival in Singapore, fix a frequency and length of time for your helper to use her mobile phone and keep to that schedule.
2. Provide a work timetable
To stick to a reasonable timeframe for phone usage, a daily work routine has to be developed so that your maid knows her time for phone usage is secured.
This also helps your helper to focus and know that she is able to concentrate on her work when it is not yet time to use her phone. A good window for phone usage would typically be after her work for the day has been completed.
3. Discuss and agree on possible options if she does not stick to the stipulated phone usage timing.
This could include a one-time forfeiture of phone usage or reduced cell phone time for the time-being until she can better manage her time on a consistent basis.
Employers are NOT allowed to: Cancel off-days that have been mutually discussed with your helper, confiscate her phone or deduct your helper’s salary.
4. Manage the WIFI password.
Set a password to the wifi that only you and your family members are aware of. Let your helper know she can come to you during the stipulated phone usage timing where you will enter the wifi password for her mobile phone data usage. You may want to change the wifi password from time to time.
5. Consider a Work-only Phone.
Provide your maid with a basic plan for her mobile phone usage (call and SMS only phone). For data, some employers choose for their helpers to buy their own data plan. So the more a helper uses her data, the more she pays for her phone usage. In this sense, it is helping a helper to control her mobile phone usage and let her keep to her work and rest timings.
6. Communication is Key.
Set the precedence right from the start. Before your helper begins work, you might want to inform your helper that taking pictures and videos within your house is not permissible, unless permission is specially granted for an occasion etc. Re-iterate to your helper that this is also for her own safety as your helper’s actions could also potentially attract scammers, who may potentially use these data to scam her. Remind your helper that a household’s safety and privacy is of utmost importance.
Remember, if you have any concerns with regards to your maid’s phone usage, do talk about it with your helper, and come to a common understanding with your helper on phone usage. Inform them how important it is to limit their own phone usage to a reasonable timeframe so that they have a good habit of resting well.’
If you need help communicating your house rules on handphone usage, you can approach your Maid Agency for assistance. They will be able to put it across to your helper in a very direct and objective way that will assist you in maintaining a cordial relationship between all parties.
Let your helper know that you care.