Coronavirus: Foreign domestic workers must stay home on rest days, says MOM

Foreign domestic workers should not loiter or gather in any public spaces.
Foreign domestic workers should not loiter or gather in any public spaces.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) must stay home on their rest days, said the Ministry of Manpower on Saturday (April 11).

If they need to go out to buy meals or run essential errands, they can do so but should return home immediately after that and should not loiter or gather in any public spaces, added the ministry.

The ministry said in a statement: "Should FDWs go out on their rest day, employers will be accountable for their FDWs' whereabouts, and ensure that they return home upon completion of their errands. FDWs should wear a mask when making essential trips."

MOM had issued advisories on Mar 26 and Apr 2 on measures to discourage these workers from congregating.

It said that the ministry's inspections over the last few weeks found that crowds at common congregation areas have reduced significantly, but there remain small crowds in certain areas which pose transmission risks.

With the circuit breaker measures in place till May 4, the general public has been asked to stay home and avoid interactions with anyone other than those living in the same household.

“It is similarly critical for FDWs to play their part by remaining home on their rest day,” said MOM.

Previously, the ministry only advised FDWs to stay home on their rest day. If they were to go out, they would have to practise social distancing.

The ministry said on Saturday that employers should help their FDWs understand the measures during this time.

It will continue to conduct inspections on the ground and FDWs who do not cooperate could risk having their work passes revoked.

MOM also reminded employers that if they come to a mutual agreement with their FDWs to forgo their rest day, the employers must provide compensation in lieu of the rest day. Otherwise, the FDWs should not be assigned work when at home on their rest day.