A photo showing a domestic worker washing a car in public went viral in Singapore, sparking a heated online debate on whether cleaning a vehicle should be considered a domestic duty.
Reporters from Shin Min Daily News interviewed several employment agencies, who stressed that whether or not it is included in a worker’s job description should be mutually agreed on before a contract is signed.
An agency owner said washing cars was a grey area as it could be considered housework if it is a private vehicle rather than a commercial one.
Meanwhile, Yeo Guat Kwang, chairman of the Centre for Domestic Employees, said foreign domestic workers cannot be expected to perform all tasks well, and therefore some should be assigned to professionals, including washing cars.
Winnie Wang from the maid agency Advance Link International said washing cars was fine as long as the employer and worker had reached a mutual agreement and the task does not cut into the worker’s rest time.
In Singapore, it is generally considered an extra duty and the employer usually compensates with an extra payment.