When a Foreign Domestic Worker's (FDW) pregnancy is discovered or announced many employers lack sufficient and accurate information to guide them on how to support their pregnant FDW, while ensuring the best outcomes for their own family.
A lot of FDW employers juggle numerous roles and daily responsibilities at work and home, caring for children and elderly parents. This is likely why many hire FDWs.
Finding out their FDW is pregnant can create a unique challenge for employers. Both the FDW and their employer are likely experiencing an array of emotions about the future.
It can take a lot of bravery for a FDW to tell her employer she is pregnant. For those whose pregnancies were planned, it can be a joyous anticipation, But for others, love scams and a lack of reproductive health knowledge can lead to an unexpected pregnancy. When that happens, the FDW may feel confused or anxious.
Often an employer's initial reaction is one of shock, betrayal and confusion when they learn their FDW is pregnant. Their minds race with multiple questions and concerns. She came here to work, why did she get pregnant? My husband and I work full-time. Can she cope with caring for my young children when she is pregnant? How will we manage when she is on maternity leave? These are all very real concerns that without careful thought and planning can result in a FDW being terminated and ultimately her child falling into crisis.
Created in partnership with Helpwise, our practical Step-by-Step Guide Book seeks to support employers through their emotions and onto a path that gives them, their worker, and their household the solutions they need.
We are also working to influence systemic and policy change to overcome some of the key challenges faced employers when their FDW is preganant, like the legal requirement to live-in and a lack of affordable solutions for temporary cover during 10 weeks of maternity leave, particularly for those with young children and/or elderly parents who are particularly reliant on their FDW.