Forum: Employers should abide by MOM meal guidelines for maids

We refer to the letter by Ms Poonam Bhandari (Maids: Some not being fed properly, Nov 19).

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has provided guidance to employers that they should provide an "adequate amount of food" for their foreign domestic workers (FDWs).

The suggested meal portion by MOM for lunch and dinner comprises one bowl of rice, three-quarter cup of cooked vegetables, palm-size amount of meat (fish/poultry/beef/lamb) and fruit.

The Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) urges employers to be mindful that FDWs are from a different country, where their dietary habits may differ from those of Singaporeans.

There is a need for employers to make an effort to understand the dietary needs and habits of their FDWs.

As the nature of domestic work can be physically demanding, employers need to demonstrate empathy and compassion to ensure that their FDWs are sufficiently provided for. This can be cultivated through regular engagements and constant communication between the employer and FDW to better understand each other's needs so that a harmonious relationship can be formed.

Employers and FDWs who need advice on this can contact CDE's 24-hour helpline at 1800-2255-233.

Shamsul Kamar

Executive Director

Centre for Domestic Employees