Domestic helpers play an integral role in many households, especially in Asia. They take care of the family’s daily living activities, manage the household affairs, and assist the parents in taking care of the children. However, this type of work can sometimes be viewed as less valuable because of its nature. In some cases, domestic helpers are also treated less respectfully than they should be. In this blog post, we will discuss how we can empower foreign domestic helper(外傭) to navigate their roles with respect and dignity. We will tackle the different ways, approaches, and practices that we could employ to help create a nurturing work environment, and how respect and dignity could improve the overall quality of work and life for both the domestic helper and employer.
Acknowledge their roles
Being a domestic helper is not an easy job, and can sometimes be physically and emotionally draining. It is essential to acknowledge their roles and the work they put in to ensure that the household runs smoothly. It would help if you showed appreciation for the domestic helper’s hard work, and recognize that her value is not determined by the type of job she does. You can start by creating a work schedule that respects the domestic helper’s time, not overworking them, and providing proper rest periods during the day.
Respect their privacy
Every individual, regardless of their job title, has the right to privacy. While the domestic helper is working inside the household, they must be provided the same respect for privacy, just like any member of the family. This includes providing them with a separate room or living space, and allowing them to have their personal time after working hours. Additionally, it would be best to maintain open communication practices, ensuring that you explain to them any household rules or schedules that they need to adhere to fully.
Create a positive working environment
The household environment can play an essential role in the domestic helper’s well-being. Employers must ensure that they create a safe and nurturing workplace, free from any harassment, intimidation, or degrading behavior. The domestic helper must feel comfortable while working within the household, and feel that they are part of the family. Employers should also be aware that domestic helpers can suffer from burnout due to their work nature. It is necessary to provide them with opportunities for growth and personal development, such as participating in education and training programs or allowing them to take up new hobbies or interests.
Pay them fairly
Domestic helpers should be compensated fairly for their hard work. Their pay should be based on a reasonable hourly or monthly rate, and must not be less than what is expected in the current market. Employers should ensure that the domestic helper’s salary is paid on time and that they are provided with fair overtime pay when needed. It is also essential that employers provide health and medical benefits, as well as support in times of emergencies or family needs.
Respect their dignity
All individuals are entitled to dignity, regardless of race, gender, or job title. Employers must ensure that they respect the domestic helpers’ dignity and not subject them to any dehumanizing treatment. Domestic helpers must be treated with respect, kindness, and empathy just like any other member of the family.
Empowering domestic helpers is not only a form of respect but is also a way of creating a nurturing and positive working environment. Employers should acknowledge their importance and value, respect their privacy, create a positive working environment, pay them fair wages, and always treat them with dignity. By doing these things, employers contribute to building a supportive and respectful household culture, and domestic helpers could work efficiently and productively in their roles. It is up to us to ensure that we create a healthy and safe environment for domestic helpers and make their work environment favorable. In the end, it leads to a better quality of life for them, their families, and the household they serve.