Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Advisory to foreign domestic workers and employers in view of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 situation
Updated as of 10 February 2020
On 4 February, MOH announced that a Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) had been infected with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The FDW worked in the household of a Singapore resident who contracted the virus after interacting with tourists from China at her workplace.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST) would like to share the following measures that employers and FDWs can adopt to protect themselves and their households. We encourage employers to educate their FDW on the current COVID-19 situation and the recommended measures.
General precautions for employers and FDWs
Employers and FDWs are encouraged to practise good personal hygiene. FDWs can also help ensure that those under their care, including young children, practise good hygiene.
Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before handling food or eating, or after going to the toilet;
Cover one’s mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of soiled tissue in the bin immediately;
Avoid sharing food/drinks, utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others; and
If one is feeling unwell or develops symptoms like cough or shortness of breath, to wear a mask and see a doctor immediately.
Employers may wish to consider having everyone in the household, including the FDW, take their temperature at least twice a day, and check for any respiratory symptoms. If the FDW is unwell, please allow adequate rest after seeing the doctor. If possible, employers should consider arrangements to minimise contact between your unwell FDW and those under her care.
Caring for the vulnerable
For FDWs required to care for young children, elderly or those with illnesses or special needs, we encourage employers and FDWs to discuss additional precautions to be adopted. These include:
Monitoring the health of those under her care closely and to highlight immediately any symptoms; and
Conducting regular temperature screening for those under FDW’s care.
FDW rest day arrangements
Households with young children, elderly or those with illnesses or special needs at home, may be concerned with the risk of transmission should their FDW contract the virus while out on their rest day. We encourage employers to discuss alternatives with their FDW and come to a mutual agreement on rest day arrangements. For example, during this period, some FDWs may agree to minimise time spent outside the house, and spend their rest day at home. In such a situation, employers should not assign work to their FDW on the rest day. If FDWs agree to forgo their rest days during this period, employers must provide compensation in lieu of the rest day.
FDWs who intend to go out on their rest day should note the following:
Avoid crowded places and large gatherings; and
Avoid close contact with those who display flu-like symptoms.
We encourage employers and FDWs to maintain open communication with each other especially during this period. Visit MOH’s website at www.moh.gov.sg regularly to keep yourself updated on latest developments.
The advisory is available for download in the following languages: