Parliamentary Question, 3 Sep 2019
Ms Anthea Ong asked the Minister for Manpower (a) in each year from 2013 to 2018, what is the number of male domestic workers; (b) what are the reasons cited by applicants to justify the hiring of male domestic workers; and © whether there are any plans to allow more men to work as domestic workers and, if so, what are the reasons.
Mrs Josephine Teo: In each of the five years from 2013 to 2018, there were about 50 male foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in Singapore. The main reason cited when applying to hire a male FDW is that a female FDW is not suitable for the family’s care-giving needs. Examples are where the family member to be cared for has a disability, is of heavy build and/or has a special medical condition.
The vast majority of employers prefer to hire female FDWs. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will continue to assess applications for male FDWs on a case-by-case basis and exercise flexibility in exceptional situations.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Anthea Ong is a Nominated Member of Parliament. (A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) is a Member of the Parliament of Singapore who is appointed by the President. They are not affiliated to any political party and do not represent any constituency. There are currently nine NMPs in Parliament.)
The multi-sector perspective that comes from her ground immersion of 12 years in different capacities helps her translate single-sector issues and ideas across boundaries without alienating any particular community/group. As an entrepreneur and with many years in business leadership, it is innate in her to discuss social issues with the intent of finding solutions, or at least of exploring possibilities. She champions mental health, diversity and inclusion — and volunteerism in Parliament.
She is also an impact entrepreneur/investor and a passionate mental health advocate, especially in workplace wellbeing. She started WorkWell Leaders Workgroup in May 2018 to bring together top leaders (CXOs, Heads of HR/CSR/D&I) of top employers in Singapore (both public and private) to share, discuss and co-create inclusive practices to promote workplace wellbeing. Anthea is also the founder of Hush TeaBar, Singapore’s 1st silent teabar and a social movement that aims to bring silence, self care and social inclusion into every workplace, every community — with a cup of tea. The Hush Experience is completely led by lovingly-trained Deaf facilitators, supported by a team of Persons with Mental Health Issues (PMHIs).
Follow Anthea Ong on her public page at www.facebook.com/antheaonglaytheng