Key Facts of FDW Off Days in Singapore

By law, your maid is entitled to a certain number of off days. As an employer, you are required to provide her with a weekly off day. Should your domestic helper and you reach an agreement and decide that she is to work on her days off, she must receive compensation for those worked off days. Keep in mind that days off are essential though as they allow maids to have a break and recuperate from work and as such should not be denied. Although there is no definite daily working hours, MoM recommends that your maid gets to take ‘sufficient time’ to recuperate from work i.e. at least 8 hours in a row.

Do FDW off days have to fall on Sundays?

Maids usually gather on Sundays, so it might be best for her to get to interact and socialize with other Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) in Singapore. While it might be preferable for your maid to take her Sundays off, her days off do not necessarily have to fall on Sundays. MOM advises that both of you discuss this matter and agree upon it before the employment period starts.

How to calculate the compensation if your FDW works on a rest day

You might need your maid to work on a rest day to take care of an elderly parent or watch over your kids, and that’s perfectly fine. If she agrees to it, your maid should either be compensated – the compensation should amount to at least one day’s wage – or get a replacement rest day within the same month.

Your maid's compensation for a worked day off should be equivalent to at least one day’s wage and be paid on a monthly basis together with her salary. To calculate her daily wage, simply divide her monthly salary by 26. MoM (Ministry of Manpower) recommends that you clearly state this and the rest days agreed upon in a written agreement for reference in case any disputes arise at a later point.

Can my maid take her days off all at once?

That’s not an option. Her rest days cannot be accumulated – i.e. your maid cannot take her days off as a one-time block leave. If she decides to enjoy days off to recuperate from work instead of being compensated, she should take them on a weekly basis.

How should my maid spend her off days?

Your maid is free to spend her rest days as she pleases – she can either decide to stay at your place or go out. She is, however, not allowed to work for any other employer as moonlighting constitutes an offence of illegal employment in Singapore and can result in a fine or jail time or both.

For more information about domestic maids’ rest days, visit MoM’s website and have a look at MOM’s Guide for Employers.

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