Singapore — When foreign domestic workers (FDW) are sent home by their employers after employment contracts end, these employers are obligated to provide for direct flights for them to the international ports of entry most accessible for conveyance to their homes, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
If this is not possible, then employers need to make sure that the workers are provided for during their trip home.
This prevents the domestic workers from waiting as much as 12 hours and going without food in airports for their next flights, as well as eliminates the possibility of them missing their connecting flights home.
However, one group claims that not all employers follow this requirement, and has appealed for MOM to make its regulations clear.
HOME, or the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, recently said that it has seen instances when domestic workers have had to endure unnecessary inconvenience in the process of going home and applauded MOM for updating its website and making their requirements clear.
The organisation also said that in the past it has also had to lend financial assistance to domestic workers who have had to wait in airports for long stretches of time
HOME wrote on its Facebook page on May 30,
“MOM recently reflected changes on its website on how to repatriate migrant domestic workers (MDWs).
Flights home should be direct, and if a direct flight is not available, employers should give a reasonable allowance for the worker during the transit. The employer and domestic worker should also agree on the transit arrangement and amount of allowance.
It is heartening to note moves that benefit the general well-being of MDWs. HOME has seen cases where workers with long transit periods of up to 12 hours, end up missing their connecting flights or have to go hungry at foreign airports. In the past, HOME has provided money to workers who have to endure long transit periods. We’ve been highlighting these problems to MOM and we are glad that MOM is reflecting these points.
We look forward to continued partnership with MOM to bring about improvements to the well-being of domestic workers.”
MOM recently reflected changes on its website on how to repatriate migrant domestic workers (MDWs). Flights home…
The Ministry has provided clear guidelines on how employers must take care of the needs of their foreign domestic workers who are taking a trip home.
According to its website, employers must take note of the following:
- Making sure that the domestic worker’s passport is valid.
- Obtaining a direct air ticket to the international airport in her home country, nearest to her hometown.
- Paying for her ticket in full, including fees for check-in luggage.
- Should transit be required in the absence of a direct flight, the domestic helper must be provided with sufficient allowance for her way home.
- Employers and domestic workers are to discuss these arrangements before the ticket home is even purchased.
- Upon the cancellation of the domestic worker’s permit, the air ticket date must be set within the period of two weeks.
- All outstanding employment issues “(e.g. salary)” must be resolved before the domestic worker leaves the country./ TISG