Rest days and well-being for foreign domestic worker
As an employer, you are responsible for the health and well-being of your foreign domestic helper (FDW). You should provide for rest days, proper accommodation, adequate medical care and safe work conditions. A reliable maid agency in Singapore is fully aware of this guideline and will remind you to adhere to it.
To ensure that your foreign domestic worker gets enough mental and physical rest, you should allow her to have a regular rest day.
Your FDW is entitled to a weekly rest day if her Work Permit was issued or renewedafter 1 January 2013. This covers FDWs from approved source countries including Filipino, Indonesian, or Myanmar maids.
You and your FDW should mutually agree on which day of the week she should take the rest day. To avoid disputes, both of you could have this agreement in writing.
If your FDW agrees to work on her rest day, you should compensate her with one of the following:
At least 1 day’s salary.
A replacement rest day taken within the same month.
To find out more on the rest day requirement, see these resources:
A new FDW from a rural area may encounter some of these difficulties:
Understanding and communicating in your language.
Using modern household appliances.
Adjusting to living in high-rise buildings.
Having different practices in taking care of children.
She will need time to familiarise herself with your way of life. You can help by taking time to orientate and train her, especially in the early stages of her employment.
You need to ensure that your FDW's accommodation meets the following requirements:
Adequate shelter: the accommodation must adequately protect your FDW from environmental elements such as sun, rain or strong winds.
Basic amenities: you must minimally provide your FDW with a mattress, pillow and blanket.
Sufficient ventilation: your FDW’s accommodation must be sufficiently ventilated. Mechanical ventilation (e.g. electrical fan) should be provided if natural ventilation is inadequate.
Safety: your FDW should not sleep near any dangerous equipment or structure that could potentially cause harm or hurt to her.
Modesty: your FDW must not sleep in the same room as a male adult or teenager.
Space and privacy: you should provide your FDW with a separate room. If that is not possible, you should ensure that her accommodation has adequate space and privacy.
You must provide your FDW with 3 meals a day. Your FDW requires sufficient food to perform household chores.
An example of a day’s food intake for a female engaged in moderate activity is as follows:
Breakfast: 4 slices of bread with spread.
Lunch: 1 bowl of rice + three-quarter cup of cooked vegetables + palm-sized amount of meat (fish/poultry/beef/lamb) + fruit
Dinner: 1 bowl of rice + three-quarter cup of cooked vegetables + palm-sized amount of meat (fish/poultry/beef/lamb) + fruit
Be sensitive to your FDW’s needs when it comes to food. Do not force your FDW to eat food that she is not supposed to or is not comfortable with. For example, your FDW may not be able to eat certain food due to her religious beliefs, or she may not be accustomed to your family’s dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian food or porridge).
As an employer, you are responsible for your FDW’s medical needs.
You FDW may experience homesickness and loneliness. You can help her cope with those feelings by teaching her how she could contact her family and how she could send letters home.
You should try your best to integrate your FDW into your family. You can do that by being patient and tolerant and making an effort to understand her background.
Safe work conditions
You must ensure that the FDW works safely. She will have to follow the approved work practices stipulated in MOM’s training materials and courses (e.g. the Employers’ Orientation Programme). This is applicable to all foreign domestic workers irrespective of which country they came from.