Maids should stay at home on rest days: MOM
Those who need to go out should seek their employer's consent to do so on a weekday: Ministry
Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) should continue staying home on their rest day even after June 2.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) sent an advisory to employers on guidelines and regulations for FDWs to follow during phase one of Singapore's reopening post-circuit breaker, which is expected to last for at least a month.
FDWs can go out to run essential errands and buy meals, but should return home immediately thereafter.
If they need to go out on their rest day, they should seek their employer's consent to do so on a weekday.
In the advisory to employers, the MOM said: "There should be no meeting up with friends or gathering in public spaces to minimise contact between different households.
She should also inform you of her whereabouts, and download and activate the TraceTogether app to facilitate contact tracing."
FDWs must also wear a mask and comply with all safe distancing measures.
Employers are responsible in educating their FDW on the guidelines and requirements.
When a 43-year-old office manager, who wanted to be known only as Madam Ng, broke the news to her Indonesian helper of the continued restrictions, she was disappointed.
Madam Ng told TNP: "I think she was looking forward to catching up with her friends and getting some breathing space away from the home."
Her helper, who is in her 30s, has been with the family for two years. Madam Ng acknowledges she has been feeling "bored and restless".
Madam Ng allows her do grocery shopping alone to give her some private time.
She plans to help her film a greeting video to send to her family on Hari Raya.
Said Madam Ng: "During her weekly rest days, though she can't go out, she can watch TV with the family or play games with the children so she won't be bored and cooped up in her room.
"It is the least we can do for her."
Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, chairman of the Centre for Domestic Employees, said that the FDW community is "generally understanding" of the circuit breaker measures and is "still willing to remain at home even on rest days during Phase One, as long as they get the full day of rest to recharge or be compensated if they are working".
He added: "We urge employers to communicate more with their FDWs to find out how they are coping with work, and whether they need more short breaks during the work days to recharge."
In the advisory to employers, MOM said: "MOM will continue to conduct inspections on the ground. Foreign domestic workers who do not cooperate risk being fined and their work passes revoked.
"As we all adapt to the new normal, it is important to maintain open communication with your foreign domestic workers and provide them with the necessary support."