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FAQs on guidelines for employers of FDWs

FDW employers can read the guidelines on how you can help your FDW cope during the COVID-19 period.

Some FDWs go out regularly to the market or to meet friends on their rest days. What advice can be given to them to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19?Show

In view of the introduction of social distancing measures, we strongly encourage FDWs to spend their rest day at home during this period. We recommend that employers discuss with their FDWs to reach a mutual agreement on rest day arrangements:

  • If FDWs agree to spend their rest day at home, employers should not assign work to their FDW on the rest day.
  • If FDWs agree to forgo their rest days, employers must provide compensation in lieu of the rest day.
  • If FDWs have errands that they need to attend to on their rest day, they should be encouraged to take their rest day on a weekday, when public spaces are less crowded.
  • Employers should also encourage their FDWs to not gather in public areas when they go out on their rest days.

As with the general population, FDWs are advised to practise good personal hygiene.

  • Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before handling food or eating, or after going to the toilet;
  • Cover one’s mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of soiled tissue in the bin immediately;
  • Avoid sharing food/drinks, utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others; and
  • If one is feeling unwell or develops symptoms like cough or shortness of breath, to wear a mask and see a doctor immediately.

I have young children / elderly / someone with weak immune system at home. What should I do if my FDW insists on going for her rest day, even though I am not comfortable with her doing so? Can MOM impose a requirement for FDWs to stay home during this period?Show

We encourage employers to have an open discussion with their FDW. Help her understand your concerns and that this is a temporary arrangement to safeguard her and the family against possible risks during this period.

If FDWs have errands that they need to attend to on their rest day, employers should encourage them to take their rest day on a weekday, when public spaces are less crowded.

Employers should also remind her to continue to practice good hygiene habits while she is out, such as washing her hands frequently with soap and to avoid sharing food / drinks. She should also avoid crowded places and large gatherings and avoid close contact with those who display flu-like symptoms.

What should employers do if their FDW wants to go on home leave?Show

For FDWs who have plans to travel back home, employers and FDWs should discuss and come to a mutual agreement for the FDWs to postpone their home leave until the situation stabilises.

Employers should inform FDWs that they would be subjected to the new SHN requirement upon return to Singapore if they travel back home.

Employers should also inform FDWs upfront that the employer is not obligated to pay for accommodation costs should the FDW serve the SHN in an alternative accommodation upon their return.

What should employers do if their FDWs are feeling unwell and start to cough or have runny nose, fever, sore throat or breathlessness?Show

Employers should bring their FDWs immediately to seek medical attention at GP clinics, who will advise you on the next course of action. Please do not send the worker directly to the hospital unless it is a medical emergency.

Employers should also monitor the health condition of everyone in the household, including the FDW, and take their temperature at least twice a day, and check for any flu-like symptoms.

If an employer suspects that his FDW or any family member is exposed to COVID-19, the employer should provide the individual with a surgical mask if available, and seek medical attention immediately.

My FDW is scheduled for classroom Settling-In Programme (SIP) and I am concerned about COVID-19 transmission risks. Can my FDW attend an online SIP instead?Show

All new and returning FDWs, including first-time FDWs, FDWs will be placed on a mandatory 14-day SHN. This means that all FDWs who attend SIP would have completed their SHN so employers need not be concerned with transmission risks.

All SIP training providers have also taken additional precautionary measures to protect and ensure the well-being of FDWs undergoing SIP training. Temperature screening is in place for all staff and FDWs, and any person who is unwell will be isolated immediately. The FDWs also have their meals in the classroom and not in communal areas.

Some FDWs are due for their six-monthly medical examination (6ME). Some employers may prefer not to send their FDWs to GP clinics due to concerns over transmission risks. Can such employers postpone the 6ME?Show

Employers who are concerned may wish to consider using the home-based 6ME service which allows the 6ME to be done at home. The service provider’s healthcare personnel will go to the FDW employer’s residence to collect the FDW’s blood sample and 6ME form. Employers will receive the test results when they are ready and need not collect them from the clinic.

Is the employer responsible for paying for the treatment of work pass holders who have COVID-19?Show

The Government will cover the cost of inpatient COVID-19 treatment at public hospitals for all long term pass holders, including work pass holders, holders of In-Principle Approvals (IPA), Letters of Eligibility (LOE) and Temporary Work Permits (TWP).

All work pass holders (including those issued with IPA, LOE and TWP) should inform the hospital that he/she is holding on to a MOM-issued work pass, and present the work pass or relevant documents at the public hospital upon admission. Failure to do so could result in the work pass holder being billed as a short-term visit pass holder.

From 27 March 2020, any Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident and long-term pass holder who leaves Singapore despite the travel advisories issued by MOH will be made responsible for their COVID-19 treatment at unsubsidised rates.