Today, there are many domestic working staff in Singapore. However, they should not be working as part-timer while they are working for full time. In Singapore, it is important to know that if you have had a full-time maid and the maid works as a part-time with you then it is illegal for you to hire them.
If you are planning to hire a full-time domestic worker, it is important to get to know about the laws in Singapore in this regard. Domestic helpers of foreign origin are not within the purview of Employment Act. They are covered under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
All the rights are brought into force through diverse regulations and if you happen to infringe any of these regulations, it is a serious offence. We’ll discuss the important points associated with this issue.
Laws enforcing foreign domestic workers rights
The foreign domestic workers in Singapore come under the purview of Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
The government of Singapore has a set of laws to make domestic workers’ rights better during the past few years. For example, foreign domestic helpers become eligible to get a rest day each week or compensation.
Foreign domestic workers must live with their employers family. The relevant law mandates that employees provide sufficient accommodation for the maids.
Rights of maids
Maids are also eligible to enjoy rights to medical care and insurance the expenses of which must be borne by the employees.
The maids must get safe working conditions. If the employer infringes the safety norms, the government penalizes them as per the law.
Basic employment rules
If you are an employer with domestic workers, you must comply with their work permit. All foreign workers must have a legit work permit authorised by the government of Singapore. The workers are to be expected only to perform household job tasks for the employer in the name of which the work permit is authorised.
Accommodation provided to maids
Domestic workers accommodation must be such that it can protect them against sunshine, rain and strong winds. The accommodation should have a good quality ventilation in the rooms.
Rooms must not have any dangerous equipment sources – tilting structures or other unsafe structures. Employers must provide the employees with a separate room for accommodation. If this is not feasible possible, they must ensure there is enough space, privacy and space for the family of the worker. No domestic worker should be allowed to stay with another with the opposite sex. This is relaxable if there is a young child.
The employees must provide facilities like mattress pillows blankets from the employer’s expenses. In other words, these facilities should not be accounted from the employees’ salaries.
The right amount of food
Singapore government Ministry of Manpower mandates and employer to provide the domestic helper adequate food. Thus, in the course of her employment every day the maid should have not less than three nutritious meals.
Employers should provide their emloyees with the food that they themselves consume.
As per the law, the domestic helper needs to be provided with a certain diet according to their health, religion or as they opt for. In case the maid cannot consume the food that you consume, you need to pay the money to buy it on her own.
How many days should a domestic worker be given
Domestic workers are supposed to get one rest day in the week. The rule is in force since 2013.
You are domestic workers are human beings like you they need a small break from the work so that they can come more energetic the following day.
You and your worker should agree for making one day as rest day for the worker. The rest days may not be necessarily on Sundays provided the employer and employee mutually agree for this.
To rule out any conflicts, the address, etc. of the employer should be mentioned in the work contract. That is, it should be clearly mentioned which day the worker will have a rest day and other conditionality in this regard.
What if you need your maid to work on a rest day?
If you need your work to be on work on their rest day, you need to instruct them to work on the day. You may allow your worker to take a day off on a different day. Alternatively, you can pay compensation for the rest day.
There are other points the employee has to take care of their having a foreign domestic worker.
Free medical care
The rules mandate the employer to provide the domestic worker to get free medical care. In the case of the worker is hospitalized and needs expensive medical care. You need to buy medical insurance and personal accident insurance for your domestic worker. The best thing is to buy a comprehensive insurance package. Working conditions you provide to your worker should be safe
Maintain a good relationship
As the employer, you should maintain a good employer-employee relationship. Understand their sensibilities and respect them. They should not feel their rights are violated. If the worker is happy, they will be happy to continue with your family for a certain of time.
Now the moot question is whether it is illegal for domestic full time maid to work as part time maid. This is illegal.
If you hire a foreign domestic worker for full-time payment, it will be mentioned that family as the employer. She is not allowed to work for anyone else or outside the residential address mentioned in a work permit. This is clearly indicated in the MOM.
There is only one exception – the work the domestic worker is doing for that other address is an extension of the employer; for instance, taking care of elderly people or children.
Thus, it is extremely important to take care of the various rules and norms as specified by relevant laws, when you’re planning to hire a domestic full time maid in Singapore. Be aware of all the rules under government’s rules, statutes and provisions in the MOM. If you’re not clear with any point in the rules, the best thing he is to seek professional help.