Migrant Domestic Worker interviews
We refer to Mr Lim’s letter on interviews with first-time migrant domestic workers (MDWs) (“人力部应考虑个别家庭难处”, 13 February).
The Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) has been conducting these interviews, on behalf of the Ministry of Manpower, to ensure that first-time MDWs are adapting well to their new working and living environments. During the interviews, the MDWs are also educated on various aspects of working in Singapore, such as safe practices while doing household chores.
We understand that not all employers – such as those with constant caregiving needs - are able to send their MDWs to the interviews. In such circumstances, employers may request for alternative interview arrangements.
We have reached out to Mr Lim to offer our assistance on this matter.
Foreign Manpower Management Division
Ministry of Manpower
Call for MOM to provide flexibility in implementation of mandatory interviews with first time-MDWs for families with constant caregiving needs - Lianhe Zaobao, 13 February
I just reached an agreement with my MDW on the mandatory monthly rest day arrangement. However, I soon received a letter from MOM, requesting for the employer to arrange for a specific day of the month to take the MDW to the Centre for Domestic Employees for compulsory interview.
This matter affects the whole situation. The letter was a major event that left my whole family worried.
There are three elderly people living in our family, my 93-year-old mother, as well as my husband and I who are about 70 years old. The purpose of hiring a MDW is to take care of my mother who can no longer take care of herself. Going to MOM’s interview will take at least half a day, and one of us will have to accompany her. The remaining person is also an elderly member, so how can he take care of another elderly member who cannot take care of herself by himself?
Every family has its own unique set of challenges. While it is impossible for the relevant authorities to take into account the situation of every family when implementing laws or regulations, can they be more flexible when implementing them? Take our family as an example. Is it possible for MOM to offer alternative options such as video conferencing, questionnaires, or house visits? I believe that the same goals can still be achieved.
To the extent practicable, employers will try to cooperate with the authorities’ requirements. MOM said in the letter that if the employer does not cooperate, the employment of MDW may be affected, which is too harsh to state.
Lim Pai Tong