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5 Sundays on a month? Should you pay your FDW off-in-lieu for that extra Sunday?
What is defined as the rest day?
- A weekly rest day is considered as a basic labor right of the domestic workers in Singapore. Most of the local workers and non-domestic foreign workers already enjoy this right under the Employment Act of Singapore.
- Rest day is essentially the off time that the foreign domestic worker is entitled to from the day-to-day domestic services to rejuvenate and have some personal free time. The objective of the rest day is to make sure that the foreign domestic worker gets enough time for both physical and mental rest to be able to perform her duties with renewed energy.
- Furthermore, it is believed that this regulation to safeguard the interests of the FDW’s will enhance the attractiveness of Singapore among the foreign domestic workers to seek employment opportunities
Therefore, every 7 days your maid must get One Off day. Otherwise, you have to pay her off-in-lieu . So on those months where there are 5 sundays in a month (if you helper is entitled to 2 rest days per month), you have to either allow her to take 3 Sundays Rest days or pay her for that Sunday as off-in-lieu.
Public holiday regulations for FDW’s in Singapore
The migrant domestic workers are not covered by the Employment Act, your terms and conditions of employment will be according to your employment contract. Indian helpers are not entitled to Public Holidays. Nevertheless, employers can make the choice to offer public holidays for their helpers. In this case, the employment contract must clearly mention that your helper is entitled to a cumulative paid public holiday. Based on this agreement, if the employer requires the services of the worker on the public holidays with their due consent, they are supposed to pay an extra day’s salary to the worker as compensation or grant a day off within the same month.
What happens if the employer needs urgent help on Maid’s rest day?
In case of the emergency situations such as babysitting, taking care of elders etc, if the employer needs the services of the FDW on rest days and they agree to work, the worker is entitled to
- Pay complete 1 day’s salary as the compensation to the FDW
- A replacement rest day to be given by the employer to the worker within a month
Are there any guidelines on how FDW should spend their rest days?
The domestic helpers are free to spend their rest days/public holidays as they wish. They should be given complete freedom by the employer to choose/ decide how they want to spend their rest day either in the house or outside. However, the employers can encourage the FDW’s to engage in various constructive/productive activities to spend their rest days such as-
- Exploring various educational courses to improve their skill-sets
- Take part in skill training or other recreational programs to spend their free time productively
Guidelines regarding the compensations of the FDW’s during rest days/public holidays
a) Rate of compensation in lieu of a weekly rest day/public holiday
- As per the Employment of Foreign Manpower Regulations, FDWs should be paid at least one day’s wage for each rest day they need to work for the employers
- The extra amount should be paid along with their monthly salaries
- The FDW’s daily wage is generally calculated by dividing her monthly salary by 26 working days, as there are typically 4 rest days (per week) in a month
Pay by cash
If you pay by cash, you must:
- Keep a record of the salary payments.
- Be able to produce salary records, if requested.
Both you and your FDW must sign each salary payment record to confirm that payment was made.
MOM encourage you to pay your FDW’s salary directly into her bank account. Her bank account should not be a joint account with you as her FDW employer. You must pay your FDW via direct bank transfer if she requests it.
You must pay your foreign domestic worker (FDW) every month. The salary must not be lower than what you declared to MOM. You must pay your FDW her salary every month, no later than 7 days after the last day of the salary period. The salary period must not exceed 1 month.