SINGAPORE: When her employers took off on a recent vacation, they left half a can of luncheon meat, some dumplings, eggs, noodles and onions for Paulene, a 28-year-old foreign domestic worker (FDW) from the Philippines.Paulene, who is using a pseudonym, said she was also given S$20 for the week they were gone. The money, however, was also for groceries for her employers' daughter, who did not travel with the family.“Her daughter came home one of the evenings and she wanted me to buy food. I bought grapes, fish and vegetables. That left S$9 for three days,” said Paulene.She said that as long she has rice she can cope, but added that sometimes she has had to use her own money to buy enough food. She is one of the 250,000 foreign domestic workers employed in local households.As many families leave for their year-end vacation over the December school holiday period, some FDWs have posted concerns about whether they will be able to eat well when … [Read more...] about Domestic workers must be given enough to eat when employers are away: MOM, NGOs
Wages for domestic workers
It was not an unfamiliar sight when Cho Hyun-ah, the Korean Air heiress whose "rage" over nuts delayed a flight some four years ago, once again bowed and apologised for her "troubles" last month over another set of criminal allegations, this time of illegally hiring domestic helpers from the Philippines. She admitted to the wrongdoing. Given the wealth of the Cho family, one might wonder why Hyun-ah and her mother Lee Myeong-hee sought domestic helpers from overseas, particularly from the Philippines. The case recalls what reportedly used to be a popular yet secret practice among mothers of young children in Seoul's affluent district of Gangnam in the early to mid-2010s -- the illegal hiring of live-in domestic workers from the Philippines -- to teach their kids English at home, among others. Unlike other developed nations in Asia, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, hiring foreign-born domestic workers has been an extremely rare practice in South Korea. Under the current law, only … [Read more...] about Why did Korean Air heiress illegally hire Filipina domestic workers?
According to the Ministry of Manpower, there were 246,800 foreign domestic workers working in Singapore as of 31st December 2017, comprising 18 per cent of the foreign workforce in the country. Not only that, as the demand for foreign domestic workers grew, their bargaining power also has been growing as well, translating into higher salaries and better protection through comprehensive insurance packages. While this is a good news for the helpers, it could conversely result in higher costs for households in Singapore. Then, just how much does one have to earn to afford a FDW in Singapore today? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE A FOREIGN DOMESTIC WORKER? According to our research, it costs about S$1,400 in one-time fees just to hire a maid foreign domestic worker. Most households hiring a helper for the first time usually go through maid agencies as they take care of all the paperwork and can also help out with mediation if things do not work out between you and your new FDW. Hiring a … [Read more...] about How much do you have to earn to hire a foreign domestic worker in Singapore?
About 350 domestic workers across the city gathered on Jl. Merdeka Selatan in Central Jakarta on Tuesday to commemorate International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day. The rally’s coordinator, Lita Anggraeni, said the participants had several demands that included legal protection for domestic workers and to be protected from sexual harassment. “We want the government to figure out how to keep domestic workers safe from discrimination,” Lita said, as quoted by kompas.com, adding that they had yet to get social security. They are also prohibited from associating with their peers. The domestic workers brought household utensils like dusters, brooms, spatulas and frying pans to enliven the rally. The protesters, the majority of whom were women, also held aloft banners that read: “Day off for domestic workers”, “Decent wages for workers” and “Employers are not kings or queens”. The workers also danced … [Read more...] about Dancing domestic workers demand protection
LOS ANGELES - A live-in Filipina domestic employee has won a wage claim of US$827,506 (S$1.08 million) against her former employers who had her care for two of their disabled children in addition to doing housework, errands, and cooking, for what amounted to much less than minimum wage. The judgment announced last February appears to be among the highest verdicts for a domestic worker on a pure wage claim. "The court's judgement is a victory for Ms. Alzate, especially in the face of a vigorous opposition that did not concede any dime of wages that was owed to her," said a press release from the law firm that represented the Filipina. "It was a testament to the courage of this Filipina to have pursued her claims all the way up to trial." Fil-Am employment lawyer Attorney Joe Sayas [Disclosure: Sayas is a columnist for Inquirer.net USA], represented Linda Alzate (not her real name) and argued that she should be paid for the entire time she was on-call to care for … [Read more...] about Filipina domestic worker wins $1 million in back wages from employers