As the clock is ticking towards that time of the year when the Muslims the world over would be immersed themselves in religious activities, there is a distressed lot who feels that they are being overworked during this period.
According to Second Secretary and Consular Head of the Indonesian Embassy Mohammed Rifqi just before the start of Ramadan, the embassy’s shelter prepares itself for an increased flow of domestic workers.
“It has been so regular that we prepare for it annually,” he said adding that during the Holy Month, the phones go off the hook with workers complaining of unreasonable workload.
The number of cases and disputes pile up at the desk of the embassy’s consular department.
“Many housemaids choose to run away, for they say they cannot handle the increased workload,” said Mr. Rifqi.
He urged employers to make a clear agreement with their household workers before ordering them to do extra work.
Mr. Rifqi said that ideally a housemaid should need to work only for eight hours a day. And this working hours could be divided into parts by incorporating ample breaks in between.
“If the employers want their workers to do extra work, then some form of allowance should be given to them, and this should be done in consultation with the agent,” he said. Explaining further Mr. Rifqi said that on many occasions, the domestic workers were given more work sans prior communication.
“This leads to them running away which could have been prevented through simple communication and prior agreement,” he added.