Maids advised to spend rest day at home: MOM

Foreign domestic workers who have errands to attend to are encouraged to take their rest day on a weekday, when public spaces are less crowded.
Foreign domestic workers who have errands to attend to are encouraged to take their rest day on a weekday, when public spaces are less crowded.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are advised to spend their rest day at home during this period of the coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday. If they still go out on their rest day, they should practise social distancing, the ministry added.

It said: "FDWs who have errands to attend to are encouraged to take their rest day on a weekday, when public spaces are less crowded.

"If FDWs agree to spend their rest day at home, employers should not assign work to them on their rest day. For FDWs who come to a mutual agreement with their employers to forgo their rest day, employers must provide compensation in lieu of the rest day."

The Ministry of Health announced on Friday that Singapore will implement stricter safe distancing measures to reduce the risk of further local transmission of Covid-19. These measures serve to limit close contact and large gatherings of people in close proximity over a prolonged duration.

They include suspending all events and gatherings with 250 or more participants until June 30.

Meanwhile, events with fewer than 250 people and operators of venues accessible to the public, such as restaurants and cinemas, are also required to implement measures to ensure separation of at least 1m between patrons.

"FDWs are similarly expected to adhere to safe distancing practices during their rest days," MOM said.

It said that if FDWs still choose to spend their rest day outside, they should avoid gathering in large groups or minimise time spent at places such as Lucky Plaza, City Plaza and Peninsula Plaza.

They should also observe good personal hygiene, minimise physical contact by not shaking hands, and maintain a safe distance from one another, while avoiding the sharing of food, drinks and other personal items.

 
 

"FDWs should also practise social responsibility by monitoring their own health condition. They should see the doctor if they are feeling unwell. They should not go out to prevent spreading the illness to others," MOM said.

It added that employers should remind their FDWs of the measures to be taken before they leave the house on their rest days.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 22, 2020, with the headline 'Maids advised to spend rest day at home: MOM'. Subscribe