Supporting Homes, Enriching Lives: The Vital Role of Domestic Helpers

Second group of newly recruited Filipino domestic helpers arrives - Kuwait  TimesDomestic helpers or domestic workers are people who are employed to take care of households, perform daily duties or provide care for dependents such as children, the elderly and people with disabilities. Unfortunately, domestic helper have long been marginalized and treated poorly by their employers or the society they live in. They are often exploited, abused, and not accorded the basic rights and benefits afforded to other employees. As such, it is crucial to empower domestic helpers, respect their dignity and treat them with the same level of respect we accord to other workers. 

Acknowledge the value of their service: Domestic helpers play a critical role in our homes and society as a whole. They offer necessary services that free up our time, allowing us to focus on other aspects of our lives. As such, it’s essential to acknowledge their hard work and contribution.

 However, many employers fail to do so, often treating domestic helpers like tools rather than human beings. You can start by offering them a warm greeting every morning and acknowledging their contributions. It’s a simple gesture that can make a world of difference. You can also show appreciation by offering them a tip, a treat, or a bonus once in a while.

Provide them with a supportive environment: Being a domestic helper can be a challenging job, especially when they are not accorded the same rights and benefits as other workers. As an employer, you can create a supportive environment by offering them the necessary tools, resources, and information to execute their duties.

For instance, you can provide them with training opportunities to improve their skills, offer a fair wage, provide safe working conditions, and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect. Taking such steps can help improve their living conditions, boost their morale, and ultimately create a supportive working environment.

Develop a symbiotic relationship: When it comes to hiring domestic helpers, employers often perceive them as hired help and overlook the fact that they are human beings with needs, emotions, and desires. Employers can build a symbiotic relationship with their domestic helpers by getting to know them better, including their families, interests, and aspirations.

Employers can also ensure that domestic helpers have access to medical facilities, internet, and phone services to keep in touch with their families and maintain their social networks. Such steps can help build a relationship of mutual respect and dignity between the employer and the domestic helper.

Support their growth: Domestic helpers can only grow when they are accorded the same opportunities afforded to other workers. As an employer, you can support their growth by providing them with room to advance and grow. You can offer promotions, increased responsibilities, or encourage them to take more significant roles in the household.

Employers can also offer recommendations and referrals to other households, giving them exposure to other opportunities. Such steps can help empower domestic helpers, improve their finances, and ultimately lead to better living standards.

Respect their dignity: At the core of empowering domestic helpers is treating them with respect and dignity as human beings. Employers can achieve this by treating domestic helpers as equal members of the household that adds value to the family unit. It means valuing their contributions, opinions, and ideas and listening to their feedback.

Respecting their dignity also means offering them adequate time for rest and relaxation. Employers can allow them time to participate in religious, cultural or family activities as well as regular time to unwind or pursue their interests. Such steps can help improve their work-life balance, reduce stress, and ultimately ensure they enjoy a fulfilling life in their work environment.

In conclusion, empowering domestic helpers is essential in ensuring they enjoy a fulfilling life in their work environment. Employers can achieve this by acknowledging their contributions, providing them with a supportive environment, building a symbiotic relationship, supporting their growth, and respecting their dignity. In so doing, we can create a society that respects the rights of all workers, including domestic helpers, and promote a culture of equality and fairness.