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Is your helper homesick and struggling during Covid-19 in Singapore?

Is your helper homesick and struggling during Covid-19 in Singapore?
PHOTO: Unsplash

Here are some challenges your helper might be facing in this time, and ways you can help her to overcome them.

With the pandemic continuing to limit social interaction and halting overseas travel, your helper might feel more alone than ever now.

We got in touch with Managing Director Eddy Lam of 121 Personnel to find out his expert opinion on potential problems your helper might be facing now, and what you can do to ensure she’s coping during this period.

Common challenges

With the Covid-19 safety measures in place leading to more people working from home, helpers have had to deal with a whole new set of changes and challenges.

Helpers might previously have been used to some “personal” time when their employers were at work and the children in their household were at school – that “personal” time is likely to be compromised now.


With their employers home more, it is likely that helpers might feel overwhelmed due to a probable increased workload.

Employers might unintentionally take out the stress they feel during the pandemic on workers by nitpicking or being more impatient with their helpers.

Lastly, it is important to note that the list is non-exhaustive and different helpers could face different problems during this period depending on their own personal circumstances and household environments.

Signs she may not be coping

Some helpers might not be as willing to speak up to their employers if they are facing any difficulties during this time.

Therefore, it is important as an employer to also be vigilant and look out for these tell-tale signs that indicate your helper might need some support.

  • Loss of efficiency and effectiveness when performing tasks
  • Inability to remember tasks she was assigned to do
  • Perpetual texting or usage of her mobile phone
  • Constant worried, sad or expressionless look on her face
  • Frequent disappearance into her room
    or the toilet

Ways to support her

An easy way to support your helper during Covid-19 is to simply check in on her regularly and have open conversations about how she is coping.

Employers may also allow their helpers to video-call their family and friends more frequently to relieve stress.

If you feel that your helper might be in need of more professional help, there is the option of recommending counselling services. Most local neighbourhoods in Singapore have Family Service Centres, which offer free counselling services.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) catalogues centres around you. Over-the-phone counselling services might also be more convenient especially due to the current Covid-19 situation.

The Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) helpline is open 24 hours, while the Association of Women for Action and Research’s (AWARE) helpline is open on weekdays from 10 a.m to 6 p.m.

HOME ’s hotline is mostly used for domestic workers in crisis, but it still can assist with referrals to the appropriate organisation or service.

Prefer Part-time Help?

Call on top-notch cleaning service Amahs On Wheels, which has been in business for more than 20 years, and recently implemented additional safety precautions – so you can feel comfortable, while your house is being made spotless.

This article was first published in The Finder.

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