Actually there are two separate request from your maid.
Prayers wise, it's a right for the person to practice his/her religion, in Singapore we are religion tolerant. Where the demand on her salary and longer home leave are concern, these are negotiable matters. A price cannot be put on a religious belief, if you have to let your maid go, let the reason be that she is unreasonable in her salary demand and also the longer home leave request but not to lump it all together as the intention may be understood.
You can tell your maid, it fine for her to do her prayer but you can also put your foot down on the salary and home leave demand. If she choose to leave, then we know for sure her reason would not be on religious ground but monetary, simple as that and the rest are excuses.
1. Prayer times are spread over the day, the first prayer is at dawn followed by late afternoon usually between 12.45 pm to around 4 pm, the late afternoon prayer follows after that till about 7pm. Early evening prayers is between 7pm to 8.30 pm followed by night prayers after 8,30 pm till before dawn.
2. Some Muslims perform their prayer discreetly, like during their lunch hour or they excuse themselves giving toilet break or cigarette break as an excuse. All they need is a prayer mat and a secluded spot to perform their prayer without alarming their colleagues or anyone else.
3. The last reason is rather crude, without offending any Muslims.. not all Muslims are really Muslims, they do not perform their prayers, they do not abstain from alcohol nor do their eat halal food. This is what is term as a Muslim by name but not a practicing one. This is quite common in all religion, you term yourself as a believer of the faith but you practice none of what is required from you by the faith, you can be a Hindu, a Christian, a Jew or a Buddhist.
I can cite more reasons, but the main point put forward, if you are unsure of any one particular religion and their belief, it's best not to conclude if what they practice is an obligation or a compulsion.
Best to stop the topic or thread.
It may degenerate into a religious/racial bias thing.
What space or freedom you want to give your maid is between you and her.
How much more you want to pay her and how much she asks for, ($30 more a month is reasonable. It is really not a lot) It depends on how much you have been paying her in the first place. (is it too little?) And what work you demand of her day to day.
It is possible that she is influenced by others. Either back home when she returns to Indonesia or in Sing itself.
A sudden insistence on outward behavioural actions to emphasis one's religiosity (in any religion) by anyone is usually not a good sign. Especially when it is accompanied by escalating demands.
If you feel so uneasy, then change maids.
Last edited by ricohflex; 8th March 2010 at 10:56 PM.
Appears to me there are two issues.
On the prayer part, I think you can let her pray, & if her head scarf does not affect the work performance, I dont see how it could not be worn.
Other things like extra salary increase, extra home leave, not going out with the family unless going to special places, seems to me your domestic helper is trying to push the limits to see how far she can go.
Good domestic helpers are hard to find. I hope you can work something out amicably with her.
Racoon, remember to log out and delete your cache.
I think some of them are finding reasons to get fired instead of telling you nicely that they want to go back (permanently).
Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.
if it doesn't affect her work, fine.
new requests with regards to this, to me, might not necessarily be finding a bone to pick. it might be that she had a discussion with someone else and felt a sudden need to do something that she hasn't been doing. i'm sure you've been there before. just like picking up photography - you know nothing about it, you do nothing with regards to it, and then hey presto, suddenly you need to tot a camera around. probably not the best analogy, but i think you should get what i mean.
of course, whether it is nitpicking or not, only you can judge. she has been working for you for sometime, changes in behaviour, attitude, etc.. all that will tell whether this is a genuine honest request to adhere to religion/customs or something else altogether. humans are always so troublesome, not just maids.
Thanks everyone for your advice.
Just had a reply from MOM: based on mutual agreement between employers and employees. At least now I know that I'm not breaking any law or anything. Will talk to her to find out why she decided to do it before deciding.
The balls on your court now. Either you agreed and there is a chances more will come or just change a new maid. There are lots to go round with. Your place, your call.
I think your maid must understand that she is here to work, not here for holiday.
Mythbusters - the bigger the explosion, the better it is.