Number of In-Principle Letters issued for Foreign Domestic Workers with Zero Rest days declared

Parliamentary Question, 18 Feb 2020

Ms Anthea Ong asked the Minister for Manpower in the last five years, how many In-Principle Approval (IPA) letters has the Ministry issued for foreign domestic workers with zero rest days declared.

Mrs Josephine Teo: Employers are required to provide their Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) with a weekly rest day. If an FDW agrees to work on her rest day, her employer is required to provide compensation in lieu of the rest day.

Based on information collected by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) over the past four years, about 20% of FDWs agreed to be compensated in lieu for all their rest days at the point of work permit application. Nonetheless, FDWs and employers tend to subsequently make changes to the rest day arrangements during the employment period, based on mutual agreement. For example, some FDWs may wish to take more rest days per month after they have paid off their placement loan. Based on MOM’s survey with FDWs in 2015, 98% of FDWs surveyed had at least one rest day a month. This is consistent with a survey of FDWs conducted by the Centre for Domestic Employees in 2017, where 96% had at least one rest day a month.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~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 climate change 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).

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A full-time human, and part-time everything else.

A full-time human, and part-time everything else.