Domestic workers

Compulsory day off, 24/7 hotline among measures to help domestic workers: Gan Siow Huang

SINGAPORE – A mandatory rest day to be in place by the end of the year, along with a 24/7 helpline and check-in interviews are among the measures to help the welfare of migrant domestic workers here, said Minister of State for Manpower said Gan Siow Huang on Sunday May 22.

Ms. Gan was speaking at the 2022 NTUC May Day celebration, which was held virtually this year.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in July last year that employers would be required to give their domestic workers one compulsory day off each month which cannot be compensated in cash, and that the new rule would come into effect by the end of 2022. .

On Sunday, Ms Gan said the day off would allow domestic workers to form a support network outside the household, as well as rest from work and recharge.

She added that MOM will work with the Center for Domestic Employees (CDE) and other community partners to introduce more programs and activities that allow domestic workers to spend their days off in a meaningful way.

In addition to this, MOM has partnered with CDE to vet all newly arrived migrant domestic workers within the first few months of employment, and CDE Ambassadors have also helped to befriend domestic workers.

The CDE also has a 24/7 helpline that allows domestic workers to seek help quickly in their native language, Gan said.

Thanking domestic workers for continuing to care for and support their employers’ households despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms. Gan added, “Let’s work together to build a culture of mutual respect and care for our workers. migrant servants”.

Sunday’s celebration included games and performances by domestic workers.

One of the interpreters was Mrs. Graziel Bheth Timtim, a 38-year-old Filipina who has worked here as a housemaid for 10 years.

She sang a song accompanied on guitar by her employer’s daughter, 18-year-old student Jayne Peh – whom Ms Graziel had taught to play the instrument.

Calling the event a fun break from her usual Sunday routine, Ms Graziel pointed out on a darker note that there had been recent media reports of domestic helpers being abused by their employers and vice versa.

“I hope this event will remind employers to consider the positive traits of their assistants and to consider them as individuals as well,” she told the Straits Times.