Is my helper entitled to days off?
By law, your helper is entitled to a certain number of days off. As an employer, you are required to provide her with a weekly rest 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 rest days. Keep in mind that rest days are essential though as they allow helpers to have a break and recuperate from work and as such should not be denied.
How can I calculate my helper’s compensation?
Your helper’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.
What if I exceptionally need my domestic helper to work on her rest day?
You might need your helper 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 helper 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.
How should my helper spend her rest days?
Your helper 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.
Do her rest days have to fall on Sundays?
While it might be preferable for your helper to take her Sundays off, – helpers usually gather on Sundays, so it might be the best option for her to get to interact and socialize with other Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) in Singapore – 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.
Can my helper take her days off all at once?
That’s not an option. Her rest days cannot be accumulated – i.e. your helper 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.
What is considered a rest day?
MOM recommends that your helper gets to take ‘sufficient time’ to recuperate from work i.e. at least 8 hours in a row.
For more information about domestic helpers’ rest days, visit our articles and especially Domestic helper rest days in Singapore or visit MOM’s website and have a look at MOM’s FDW Weekly Rest Day, Guide for Employers.