MOM Officers Will Visit Houses With Helpers By Random, Initiative Started On 5 Apr
Domestic helpers leave their loved ones back home to earn a living in Singapore.
With their workspaces behind closed doors, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has been looking to better ensure their safety and welfare. This comes especially after a spate of domestic helper abuse cases.
On Monday (26 Apr), MOM said that they will be making home visits to helpers’ workplaces to check on their living conditions.
These home visits have been taking place since 5 Apr.
MOM officers visit homes to ensure helpers are well settled in
MOM officers will be visiting the homes of domestic helpers to check on their living and working conditions, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
So far, they have visited about 100 homes. According to The Straits Times (ST), MOM hopes to visit about 200 homes a month.
All employers will be given a week’s notice before MOM officers visit their homes.
During these visits, they will ensure helpers are well settled into their homes by giving them the avenue to raise issues to them.
While employers will not be stopped from listening in, they will be asked not to interfere when officers engage helpers.
But if the employer’s presence is affecting the helper, they may be asked to step aside.
Officers will also remind employers and helpers about safe working conditions and channels they can seek help from when the need arises.
To expand interviews to all new helpers
Besides that, MOM looks to expand in-person interviews for all first-time helpers by end 2021.
According to CNA, the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) aims to interview 2,000 helpers a month.
Interviews have been conducted with randomly picked first-time helpers since 2017.
However, since the pandemic, interviews have switched from in-person to video calls.
CDE now plans to resume in-person interviews in May.
MOM helps resolve issues between employers & helpers
MOM hopes that these newly implemented initiatives will help them respond better and faster to the needs of helpers.
Employers who do not agree to visits will be instructed to bring their helpers to MOM for an interview, reported CNA.
In cases of misunderstandings, MOM will work with both employers and employees to resolve these issues.
Some examples the ministry has seen thus far include an employer’s harshness when scolding helpers and the failure to offer helpers sufficient rest.
If MOM finds that there are serious issues between employers and helpers, the case will be escalated for further investigation.
In cases of abuse, the police will be promptly notified.
Hope it leads to safer environments for helpers
After the numerous cases of domestic helper abuse we have seen recently, it is clear that more needs to be done to protect them.
We’re glad that MOM is stepping up and taking strides forward to ensure the welfare of helpers in Singapore.
Hopefully in time to come, this will lead to safer working and living environments for them.
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