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Written Answer by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower to Parliamentary Question on Foreign Domestic Workers abuse cases

Notice Paper No. 348 Of 2016 For The Sitting On 10 Oct 2016

Question No. 610 For Oral Answer

MP: Mr Kok Heng Leun

To ask the Minister for Manpower for each year from 2014 to 2015 (a) what is the number of foreign domestic helpers who have been (i) abused during employment and (ii) abusing the people they are caring for respectively; and (b) of these, what is the number of helpers who have no day-off monthly or only one/two-days off monthly.

Answer

  1. For abuse cases involving foreign domestic workers (FDWs), Police investigate all cases where criminal offences have been reported, whether FDWs are victims or offenders. In 2014 and 2015, there were about 30 cases per year involving FDWs as victims, where after investigations, the employer or members of employer’s household were prosecuted or given warnings in lieu of prosecution. In the same period, about 40 FDWs per year were arrested by the Police, on suspicion of abusing their wards. A proportion of these arrest cases eventually resulted in prosecution or warning in lieu of prosecution. MOM does not track the number of rest days received by the FDW offenders. 
  2. All employers are expected to treat FDWs with care and respect. Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Regulations, an employer has to grant a weekly rest day to the FDW or compensate the FDW in lieu of the rest day if there is mutual agreement. FDWs who encounter difficulties can seek assistance through the MOM helpline and NGOs like the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE).