The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) issued a statement on May 21 saying that it is "strongly encouraging" domestic workers to stay at home during their rest days during the current Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period.
They should also adhere to the prevailing Safe Management Measures (SMMs) that are applicable to everyone, MOM said.
MOM added that if migrant domestic workers (MDWs) need to go out for "essential errands", they should observe the following:
- Keep it short
- Avoid crowded places
- Keep to the maximum group size of two persons
- No intermingling between groups
- No sharing of food, drinks or utensils
MOM also said that employers can "play a part by engaging their MDWs to help them understand that the stricter SMMs are important and necessary adjustments during this period."
It added that if MDWs stay home on rest days, employers should not assign them work.
If employers and MDWs "come to a mutual agreement" to forgo the rest day, MOM said, employers must provide compensation in lieu of the rest day.
"We seek the understanding and cooperation of MDWs and their employers during this period. These measures are necessary to protect MDWs, their employers’ families and our community and curb the spread of Covid-19," MOM said.
Minister of State for Manpower, Gan Siow Huang, said in a May 19 Facebook post that employers should allow their domestic workers to take their rest days on a weekday, and "encourage them to rest at home and avoid crowded areas when they go out."
Gan added that the authorities have been patrolling "popular hotspots" over the weekends.
"In our recent patrol, our officers observed majority of the domestic workers adhering to the safe management measures, or were cooperative when reminded to do so," Gan said.
Top image via MOM/Facebook