Ogilvy & Mather Singapore and TWC2 ask all employers to commit to giving domestic workers a day off so they can bond with their families

Mums & Maids.jpgIn the run up to International Worker's Day, or Labour Day, on May 1, Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving conditions for low-wage migrant workers, has partnered with Ogilvy & Mather Singaporevto launch a film and behavior change campaign created by the agency that calls attention to the plight of domestic workers or 'maids' that work for months or years on end with no rest days. The latest figures from the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) estimate that approximately 40 percent of Singapore's 222,500 domestic workers do not have a weekly day off, despite a law coming into effect in January 2013 making it mandatory.

"The West sees domestic workers as a luxury, but in many cases in Asia and the emerging world, hiring domestic help is the only solution that allows both parents to work outside the home to support their families. This communication is ultimately intended for anyone that employs domestic workers," said Eugene Cheong, Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific.

Mums 2.jpgOne in five households in Singapore today employ a domestic worker, primarily those with children or elderly parents. A problem arises when employers do not allow their domestic workers to take a rest day each week or informally 'buy out' their legally required day off by promising them payment in-lieu. With the majority of Singapore's domestic workers being far away from their families in the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar, working endlessly with no breaks for personal time or rest often leads to homesickness and mental health problems such as depression.

This campaign centers around the idea that what may help parents to bond with their children is also a fundamental worker's right: a weekly day off! To communicate this message, O&M created a short film called "Mums & Maids" that shows both women being quizzed on the habits and thoughts of the young children in the family, before the children answer the questions themselves. The film shows the domestic workers answering the questions correctly while the mums fumble for answers, demonstrating the importance of spending quality time with children. The film seeks to convince employers to give domestic workers their day off by shifting perceptions amongst families so that they view the domestic worker's absence as an opportunity to bond with their children, rather than as an inconvenience.

Mums 3.jpg"O&M has made a provocative video that will arouse debate. We at TWC2 hope it will contribute to a constructive re-examination of employers' relationship with their domestic workers," said Noorashikin Abdul Rahman, President of TWC2.

O&M AP CCO Eugene Cheong added, "The film is deliberately confronting because we need it to be effective. It must actually change behavior. So we focused the creative strategy on tapping into modern parents' fear of missing out. By showing how parents are losing out on their relationship with their children by always requiring their domestic worker to be around, we reposition their day off as an opportunity to enhance family bonding."

The film has launched on a dedicated campaign website which invites employers to pledge their commitment to giving their domestic worker their day off. The film will also be seeded online in social media to provoke a discussion about the issues.


Ah Meng said:

Yes give our maid the day off because otherwise she will be more loved than you are.

Majapahit said:

Another insightful yet reflective piece by Chief Creative Officer and his merry men. Keep up the good work!

Hug your maid, not a vending machine. said:

Make them work on weekends.
A drone will delivery a can of coke to cheer them up.

Sigh said:

What a load of horse

AdloverAsia said:

'You don't give your domestic helper a day off because she's closer to your child than you. You give her a day off because it's her right!'


Wheres My Award said:

Now the blardy buffoon will defend it by saying we did it to start a conversation with Singapore.

Muppet said:

Coco the clown would prefer an announcement from MOM highlighting the details of the law. Brilliant. That'll trend it's arse off I bet.

Maid said:

Were the 'maid' paid equally as per the 'mom' for the video?

@Maid said:

The hours they spent on the shoot will be deducted fm their salary or they have to work it off on their off day.

Ogilvy again said:

This is as bad as the Coke drone.

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