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'Should be paid at least $1,000': Singaporeans say maids here don't get paid enough

'Should be paid at least $1,000': Singaporeans say maids here don't get paid enough
PHOTO: Screengrab from TikTok/Asianbossmedia

Are foreign domestic workers in Singapore paid enough? Not quite, according to some Singaporeans polled.

In a street interview conducted by media outlet Asianbossmedia and posted to TikTok on Feb 6, some people were asked if they know how much maids earn in Singapore.

"Not a lot," one teenager answered, while another man estimated their salary to be in the range of $600 to $700.

When told that their salary averages between $500 and $600 and asked if it's enough, the man replied, "definitely not".

Others too, concurred that the amount was insufficient.

Said one respondent: "I think if you were to offer any Singaporean that same amount of money, I don't think anyone would be willing to take up that job."

Another woman expressed her opinion?on how foreign domestic workers should get a minimum wage, reasoning that "when the wage is so low, people don't appreciate their work."

When asked how much domestic workers should be paid, she replied: "I would say at least double... at least $1,000.

"We shouldn't be taking advantage of the fact that this money is worth a lot more back in their hometown."

[embed]https://www.tiktok.com/@asianbossmedia/video/7332427323901332738[/embed]

Several commenters on the video agreed that the average salary stated is "too little", with one indicating how they'd thought helpers in Singapore would be paid "$1,500 to $2,000".

Others, however, expressed that the amount is sufficient because "they get free housing and free food".

According to the Ministry of Manpower, there's currently no minimum wage prescribed?for all workers in Singapore, including foreign domestic workers.?

In a separate video published by Asianbossmedia on Feb 2, Singaporeans were also asked how common it is to have a live-in helper?in Singapore.

"Most people around me seem to have one, and some of my friends grew up with domestic helpers," said one woman.

Another estimated that "one in five" families have domestic helpers, while someone else stated that families with two children or more would "definitely have helpers".

As to why helpers are required, one posited that it's because Singaporeans spend "more time in their workplace than they do at home", hence there's "a gap" that needs to be filled.

Another concurred, attributing Singaporeans' work schedule?to the high cost of living in Singapore. She added: "Your time is, unfortunately, better spent earning money than caring for your kids or your old, sick parents."

Wrote one commenter who agreed that having a maid is common in Singapore: "Definitely, as both parents have to work, coupled with [those in] the sandwiched generation. Also, part-time helper options are limited and very expensive."

ALSO READ:?'She was the mother we never had': Singaporean sisters bring helper of 20 years on vacation to Seoul

candicecai@asiaone.com

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