Navigating Pay In-Lieu of Rest Days for Your Helper: A Guide for Employers

Rest Days for Your Helper has to be calculated carefully and without any misunderstanding between the helper and the employer. Starting from 1 January 2023, employers are mandated to ensure that their Foreign Domestic Workers (MDWs) are granted at least one rest day per month, and this cannot be compensated away.

However, in situations where both the employer and the MDW mutually agree for her to work on the remaining rest days, it becomes crucial for employers to understand how to calculate and provide fair compensation for this additional work.

Calculating In-Lieu Payment:

To ensure that you are compensating your MDW correctly for the rest days she chooses not to take, a simple formula can be applied. Let’s break down the calculation step by step:

  1. Identify Your FDW’s Monthly Salary:
    • For example, let’s assume your FDW’s monthly salary is $650.
  2. Determine the Number of Rest Days Not Used:
    • If your MDW decides not to take two rest days in a given month, this becomes a key factor in calculating the in-lieu payment.
  3. Calculate 1 Day’s Salary:
    • To find the daily rate, divide the monthly salary by the typical working days in a month, which is 26 (4 weeks multiplied by 6 working days per week). Using the example, $650 ÷ 26 = $25.
  4. Compute Payment for Rest Days Not Used:
    • Multiply the daily rate by the number of rest days not taken. In this case, $25 × 2 = $50.
  5. Total Payment:
    • Add the payment for the rest days not used to the monthly salary. In our example, $650 + $50 = $700.

This calculated amount represents the fair compensation owed to your MDW for the additional work performed on the rest days.

Understanding the Importance of Fair Compensation:

It’s crucial to recognize the significance of fair compensation for the work done on rest days for your helper. Beyond meeting legal obligations, this practice fosters a healthy employer-employee relationship and ensures that domestic workers are justly remunerated for their time and effort.

Employers are encouraged to communicate openly with their MDWs to mutually agree upon work arrangements. Understanding and respecting the rights of domestic workers contribute to a positive working environment and help build trust between both parties.


Calculating pay in-lieu of rest days is a straightforward process, but it requires employers to be mindful of the legal requirements and to ensure fair compensation for their MDWs. By following the simple steps outlined above, employers can navigate this aspect of employment smoothly, fostering a positive and respectful relationship with their domestic workers.

Remember, transparency and communication are key to maintaining a healthy working relationship, ensuring both employer and MDW are on the same page regarding work arrangements and compensation.

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