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Pay helper when she is on vacation

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maralg
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Pay helper when she is on vacation

Postby maralg » Thu, 18 Jul 2013 8:56 pm

Need advise,

We were recently back home in Europe for three weeks. And during that period I offered our helper to go home. But she said no and sayed in Singapore.

However when we came back this week she says she needs to go and wants four weeks off. This is very inconvenient for us as we have two young kids that need help. But I gave her 3 weeks off and will need to find help elsewhere for these weeks.

Should I pay her during these three weeks? Considering she didn´t go when I offered and therefore need to hire someone else during this period.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 18 Jul 2013 9:08 pm

One would have to wonder if she shacked up with her bangla boyfriend in your house while you were gone. Maybe that's the reason she didn't want to go then. But now that you are back, she cannot shack up with him, so wants a vacation now. Good thing she isn't my maid, cause she wouldn't be for long.

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ecureilx
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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:29 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:One would have to wonder if she shacked up with her bangla boyfriend in your house while you were gone. Maybe that's the reason she didn't want to go then. But now that you are back, she cannot shack up with him, so wants a vacation now. Good thing she isn't my maid, cause she wouldn't be for long.


:( :( not fair SMS .. bangla. . not fair ..

well, I would have said "Nepali BF"

Yes, if you have a choice, cancel her pass and get a transfer maid .... yes, it sounds unfair but you seem to have been a nicer boss than how she returned your favour ..

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:44 am

So sorry. But I guess like most, we tend to stereotype and it seems that, well, most of the romances seem to happen between the maids and the estate workers/construction workers, so it was a logical guess. Most of the Nepalese I've met here are in the service industries, aren't they?

Anyway, you is already married! :P

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ecureilx
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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 19 Jul 2013 11:04 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:So sorry. But I guess like most, we tend to stereotype and it seems that, well, most of the romances seem to happen between the maids and the estate workers/construction workers, so it was a logical guess. Most of the Nepalese I've met here are in the service industries, aren't they?

Anyway, you is already married! :P


:P Kill joy !!!!!!!!!!

maybe off thread.. but .. apparently there is great demand for Nepalis, those cooped up near Mount Vernon .. :) young, healthy and fit.. what more could they ask ?

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Postby katbh » Fri, 19 Jul 2013 11:08 am

It does seem that she is taking advantage of you. Unfortunately, a lot of helpers take advantage of 'soft hearted' westerners. In your situation I would have insisted that she take her yearly holidays while you were away. You can book her airfare and send her off. If she decided not to, then she is taking advantage when she then asks for holidays - especially as she has just had a holiday in Singapore while you were away. Unless it is a family emergency (of which many helpers seem to have a lot) I would deny her. She is, after all, an employee. Regardless of what others say, she is NOT a member of your family. Sometimes we need to be reminded of this.
It sounds all very cushy and cosy to say ' .... ohhhh, Mary...she is just like a member of the family'. Well she is not and she is very likely to laugh at you for thinking so. For her it is also a job - sometimes with fringe benefits if she can get a job with a kind ang moh. Her loyalty ultimately is with her OWN family and her pay packet - they are the same loyalties that you have with your family and your employer.
As long as you look after her, pay her a FAIR wage, pay her health care and be kind, she only has the rights of a usual employee. I know of very few expat and no locals here who can ask for 6 weeks holiday a year.
If she does not like it, there are other employers out there for her and other helpers for you.
If you decide to still employ her, I believe that the law says you must pay her wage while she is on holiday. But I am not sure if this is the case if she choses a lengthy holiday in her home country but also in Singapore. I would suggest a good reference for her and ask her to contact her agent about a new job. Part time maids are not cheap

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 19 Jul 2013 11:54 am

katbh wrote: ...


Well technically, her 3 weeks in Singapore isn't a holiday, per-se, as she was at her employer's place .. so it cannot be a vacation.. she can say she needs a vacation back home .. then again, if that is not in the contract, I, if am the employer, would end the contract.

Simple ..

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Postby simosx5 » Fri, 19 Jul 2013 1:34 pm

firstly, this happens very often when you have a domestic helper.

I would firstly work out what is your own family value about the issue. For me personally, I would sit with her and tell her that holidays will be during the same time you are away (if that is your bottom line) and that each year she is allowed to have the 4 weeks off (if that's what it is) and those will be taken at the same time as you.

The other idea is she spends the first 2 weeks whilst you are away getting the house in order and tidy etc then when you get back she can go for a certain amount of time. I always found it useful when we went away that a big spring clean could be done then my helper would go away when we got back. I don't see when an employer goes away that the helper is on a break, they should still be cleaning out the house as per normal, things should still be done.

However, I would make it clear that if she choose not to take the holidays at that time you have suggested then she will not be given them at other times that are not convenient for you.

I personally would not give 4 weeks at once if you need her, at the end of the day, she is your employee and should not be demanding when she can go home. I would not be paying for a 4 week break if she already said no to going home. If you decide to send her i would suggest its without pay unless its her normal annual leave that you would normally give her. But if it is on top, then no I would not pay it.

It is about respect both ways but you need to provide the bottom line as to what you will and not accept.

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Postby katbh » Fri, 19 Jul 2013 1:46 pm

I do not think that there would be a helper out there that would NOT know what she has asked for is too much. Most helpers only get 1 day off a week and no holiday until the end of a two year contract. I find this for too harsh, but it is normal.
So if you chose to give over and above this, it is important that you set out how you will differ from the norm. She would have been told by her agent what to expect - 1 day a week and holiday at end of contract - and to assume anything else is wrong.
Having said that, for the short period that I had a live in helper, we agreed that she would have one month off a year - unpaid. I paid for her airfares. This later stretched to 6 weeks, but she always made sure that we were looked after.
It is a two way street. Be careful not to let it become one way!

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Postby Grumpy77 » Fri, 19 Jul 2013 3:00 pm

I'm going to take a very different tack here. Apologies in advance if I ruffle your feathers but this is the truth as I see it.

Since you agreed to her request to not take her holidays while you were gone, it is a bit unfair to now blame her for your 'lapse' in management judgement.

Take it as a learning experience and be more firm of a manager in the future. An employee will always try for as much as they can. If you allow and enable it, then the fault resides almost completely with you.

Getting angry at her after the fact isn't going to change that you allowed the situation to develop. Going forward, if you change your style and the maid feels that your new management rules are too tight, then ditch her as she is unable to fulfill your expectations. But respectfully, I think you need to assess your own role before firing her for doing what you allowed her to do in the past...

You were a kindly, soft-hearted push-over - accept it, change it, and move on.


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