[In the news] Singapore rest day for maids still behind international standards – Human Rights Watch -InterAksyon.com
Singapore rest day for maids still behind international standards – Human Rights Watch
March 6, 2012
MANILA, Philippines – Although an “important reform,” Singapore’s decision to grant foreign domestic workers a mandatory weekly rest day still “falls short of international standards,” an international human rights watchdog said.
At the same time, the overseas Filipino workers‘ organization Migrante urged Middle Eastern countries, where millions of Filipinos are employed, to follow Singapore’s lead and improve working conditions for domestic workers.
The new Singapore policy, announced on Monday, takes effect only for new contracts beginning January next year and does “not address the exclusion of domestic workers from other key labor protections in Singapore’s Employment Act,” Human Rights Watch noted in a statement released Tuesday.
“The Singaporean government‘s recognition of a weekly rest day as a basic labor right will make the lives of migrant domestic workers better,” said Nisha Varia, HRW senior women’s rights researcher. “But this important reform should go into effect this year and apply to all domestic workers and their current contracts.”
The new policy allows employers the option of paying their domestic workers instead of granting them a rest day should the employee agree.
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