In a recent survey by research agency YouGov conducted in October, 48 per cent of the 1,060 Singaporeans surveyed think that domestic helpers should be paid less than S$600 a month.
One in six households have a domestic helper
In a press release published on Nov. 12, the survey revealed that one in six (17 per cent) Singaporean households currently employ a domestic helper.
32 per cent of those in high-income households earning more than S$15,000 a month employ a domestic helper as well.
Most domestic helpers in Singapore are from Indonesia, making up the majority of foreign domestic helpers at 44 per cent.
This is followed by domestic helpers from the Phillippines at 26 per cent, along with those from Myanmar at 11 per cent and Malaysia at 7 per cent.
The remaining 12 per cent is made up of domestic helpers hailing from other countries.
Less than S$600 monthly salary adequate to the majority
About half of the Singaporeans surveyed believe that domestic helpers should be paid less than S$600 a month, at about 48 per cent.
The rest of the 52 per cent believed that domestic helpers should be paid S$600 or more.
Most of those surveyed, at 27 per cent, believe that domestic workers should be paid within the range of S$500 to S$599 a month.
On the question of whether that one rest day a week is adequate for helpers, the majority find this adequate at 68 per cent, while 16 per cent find this inadequate.
Interestingly, those who employ a domestic helper are more likely to find one rest day a week more than sufficient, at 28 per cent.
Those who do not employ a domestic helper are more likely to find one rest day a week insufficient, with only 14 per cent saying the same.
Most think that Singapore has sufficient laws to protect domestic helpers
Most Singaporeans surveyed at 53 per cent feel that the quality of life for domestic helpers in Singapore is average.
35 per cent describe the quality of life for domestic workers as good, with the remaining 12 per cent describe it as poor.
Interestingly, those who currently employ a domestic helper are more likely to say that their quality of life is good, with 59 per cent of them doing so.
Those who do not employ one are less likely to describe their quality of life as good, with only 30 per cent saying the same.
With regard to domestic helper abuse, 14 per cent of those surveyed have personally witnessed the abuse of a domestic helper.
A staggering 79 per cent have heard instances of abuse against domestic helpers as well.
On this point, 56 per cent agree that more could be done to improve the quality of lives of domestic helpers.
Within those who answered that they have witnessed abuse, this jumps to 81 per cent.
Lastly, 55 per cent agreed that the laws in place to protect the rights of domestic helpers are sufficient.
31 per cent are undecided, and the remaining 13 per cent think that current laws are insufficient.
Top image via Andrew Koay