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Part-time domestic help an available alternative

  • ST (5 September 2017): Consider allowing households to share maids

Part-time domestic help an available alternative

  1. We thank Mr Ishwar Mahtani for his letter (Consider allowing households to share maids; Sept 5)
  2. Employing an FDW is a serious commitment. Besides paying salaries, employers are held responsible for other obligations, including providing for the maintenance and upkeep of the FDW, her medical treatment, and subsequently sending her home at the end of her employment.
  3. Today, we hold the employer fully responsible for the FDW’s well-being throughout her stay in Singapore. Having the FDW work for more than one employer with multiple duties and higher expectations could lead to overwork by the FDW. Disputes may also arise on who should be liable for the FDW’s well-being.
  4. Households that do not need full-time domestic help can already opt for part-time help through companies that specialise in housecleaning or care services. This alternative allows households the flexibility to select the frequency of services provided according to their needs.
  5. It is important that we ensure the well-being of FDWs who come here to work are taken care of. Thus, given the considerations, the sharing of FDWs is not practical nor necessary as alternatives are available.

Consider allowing households to share maids

-ST, 5 September 2017

  1. As time progresses and the situations in our homes change - retirement, part-time work and so on - the affordability of maids becomes a serious concern.
  2. This being the case, could the Ministry of Manpower consider more flexibility in the hire and use of foreign domestic workers?
  3. One area to consider is allowing families to participate in a maid-sharing scheme. Sometimes, in households where the families are small or where there is only an older couple, hiring a maid can be a financial strain.
  4. There are also households that require the help of a maid for only a few hours a day.If such households could share a maid, they would not have to bear the full cost of hiring a full-time one. Since the maid will still get paid and the work is kept divided, there will not be any problems of the maid being overworked or underpaid.
  5. It can be a win-win situation for everyone.