Everyone needs a day off to rest and relax from work or school. Domestic workers (often called \'maids\') are no different. Even though current standard contracts have provisions for days off, these are often disregarded or neutralised, such as by persuading the worker to sign away her day off.
As a result, about half the maids in Singapore do not have a single day off during the entire period of their employment contract, which may be a period of two years and up. Of those who do get days off, many receive only one or two days off a month. Only a lucky minority enjoy a day off a week.
I call for domestic workers to be given one full day off every week, to be guaranteed by law.
TWC2 (Transient Workers Count Too) is a Singaporean society concerned with the well being of migrant workers. It promotes its aims through advocacy, research and direct services (mainly its helpline). The members of TWC2 have been working on improving the rights of foreign domestic workers since 2003, and have published a few related research reports and articles. For more info, visit www.twc2.org.sg
Formed in September 2004, H.O.M.E. is a registered society and charity that looks into the rights and well being of migrant workers in Singapore. Among the programmes it runs are help desks, help lines, shelters and educational programs for migrant workers, including migrant domestic workers. H.O.M.E. believes that Singapore, as a host nation, should take the interests of these workers into consideration and build a community that is a \'global family\' to all. HOME works with government agencies, corporations, and other partner organisations to realise this vision. To learn more, visit www.home.org.sg
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