Weekly Rest Day for Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) in Singapore

Ministry of Manpower, Singapore: We would like to remind employment agencies (EAs) that the FDW weekly rest day will be implemented from 1 Jan 2013. All FDWs whose work permits (whether new or renewed) are issued (as per the date of issuance on FDW’s work permit card) on or after 1 Jan 2013 will be entitled to a weekly rest day.

     If there is prior mutual written agreement that the FDW works on any of her rest days, the employer must compensate the FDW at the minimum rate of one day’s pay for each of the rest days forgone. The rate of pay for one day’s work shall be the FDW’s monthly salary divided by 26. The compensation should also be paid with the month’s salaries.

     For any subsequent variations agreed between the employer and FDW to the taking of rest days, the employer must compensate the FDW with:

    (i)  Pay at the minimum rate of one day’s pay: or
    (ii) A replacement rest day within the same month.

     When placing an FDW, EAs should ensure that the matching of workers with employers takes into account rest day requirements of both parties. EAs also play an important role in facilitating clear documentation of rest day agreements to help minimise misunderstanding and disputes.  An observation made at the Settling-In Programme has shown that many FDWs do not know whether they have rest days. Hence, EAs must clearly communicate the rest day requirements and prior arrangements with the FDW. A sample of an agreement between an employer and his FDW on the latter’s rest day can be found here.  MOM will continue to speak to FDWs at the SIP to check if they are aware.

     We seek your cooperation in helping FDW employers understand and implement the new regulation on rest days for their FDWs.

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