The rest day can also be taken as one full day or over two half-days, and can be deferred by up to one calendar month, says the Manpower Ministry.

SINGAPORE: From Jan 1, 2023, migrant domestic workers will get at least one rest day a month - which they can take on any day of the week, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Friday (Oct 7).

This monthly rest day has to be provided by employers and cannot be compensated away, as first announced in July last year.

The rest day can be taken as one full day or over two half-days, and migrant domestic workers can choose to spend the rest day at home, said MOM in a press release outlining details of the new policy.

The rest day can also be deferred by up to one calendar month.

"This means that, should both parties agree to defer the rest day in that month, the migrant domestic worker should take her rest day by the end of the subsequent month," said MOM.

MOM said the measure aims to allow migrant domestic workers to rest and recharge from work and form "networks of support" outside of the household.

The ministry urged employers, especially those whose households have caregiving needs, to discuss and make plans with their migrant domestic workers early.

“Supporting the well-being of our migrant domestic workers is important as they will also be better able to support their employers," said Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang.

Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) chairman Yeo Guat Kwang said: "Having adequate rest is beneficial for one’s physical and mental health ... CDE will work with MOM to help employers and MDWs adjust to this new policy change and assist with any concerns and queries about the arrangement.”

A guide to help employers and their migrant domestic workers discuss arrangements for mandatory rest days can be found here.