The Ministry of Manpower said in a press release on 7 October that from 1 January 2023 onwards, all maids will get a mandatory rest day every month.
MOM said that employers must provide the rest day to the domestic helpers and it cannot be compensated away.
The new requirements are part of the measures announced by MOM last year to provide maids some time to unwind and build support networks outside the households where they work.
From 1 January 2023, all employers must provide their migrant domestic workers (MDWs)1 at least one rest day a month that cannot be compensated away2. This is part of the measures announced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) last year to allow MDWs to rest and recharge from work, as well as form networks of support outside the household. MOM has also developed a guide to support employers and MDWs in initiating early conversations on the rest day arrangements, and to help employers plan for alternative arrangements for the household, if required.
Rest day arrangements must be mutually agreed upon
MDWs and employers should come to a mutual agreement on the rest day arrangements. Arrangements for the monthly rest day can be implemented flexibly to suit the needs of both employer and MDW. For example:
- The rest day can be taken as one full day or over two half-days. It can also be taken on any day of the week.
- The MDW may choose to spend her rest day at home.
- The rest day can be deferred by up to one calendar month. This means that, should both parties agree to defer the rest day in that month, the MDW should take her rest day by the end of the subsequent month.
To support MDWs and employers, MOM has developed a guide which can help employers and MDWs discuss and agree on how the mandatory rest day will be taken. The guide also includes suggested rest day activities that MDWs can consider, and alternative care options that employers may tap on for their household’s needs. We urge employers, particularly those whose households have caregiving needs, to start conversations with their MDWs early and plan for alternative arrangements if required.
We would also like to remind employers to update their MDW’s rest day information via the MDW eServices portal. Employers who require further information or advice on the rest day arrangement may call MOM’s hotline at 6438 5122.