The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be implementing a mandatory rest day at the end of 2022 for migrant domestic workers, Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang announced on May 22.
Gan made the announcement as part of a May Day event organised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Singapore and the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE).
Gan had mentioned the move in July 2021.
Monthly mandatory rest day cannot be compensated away
Gan said employers would be required to provide the migrant domestic workers with at least one rest day a month, which cannot be compensated away.
Gan said this allows the domestic workers to form a network of support outside the household and rest and recharge from work.
In addition, MOM will work with the CDE and other community partners to introduce more programmes and activities to help migrant workers spend their rest days meaningfully.
Currently, domestic workers are provided with a minimum of one rest day per week.
However, domestic helpers can choose not to take up in exchange for additional compensation of at least one day's salary, provided that both employer and helper agree.
There is also currently no limit on the number of rest days that can be exchanged.
24/7 helpline has also been established to help domestic workers
As for other measures that have already been implemented to help domestic workers, Gan added that this included MOM partnering with CDE to check in on all domestic workers within the first few months of employment to ensure they are settling well into their new working and living environment.
This measure also helps foster a "harmonious" relationship between the domestic worker and her employer, Gan added.
In addition, Gan also pointed to the 24/7 helpline, which allows domestic workers to seek advice promptly in their native languages.
CDE also has a network of ambassadors which Gan says has helped to befriend and share important information with domestic workers.
"Our migrant domestic workers make important contributions to our society. They keep our households in order and help...