Thursday, 15 March 2012

Opinion piece

FDW employers have too much 'power'
Letter from Edmund Pooh

Singapore has long been seen as the "training ground" for first-time foreign domestic workers (FDWs) to gain working experience. When the employment contract ends in two years, they would usually leave for greener pastures.

This could be because FDWs are not given the basic labour right to choose their ideal employer through the option of a transfer when their contract ends.

I applaud the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for the necessary, long overdue move to make our country competitive, with the mandatory weekly day off.

But the MOM could further enhance Singapore's competitiveness: Should the FDW not be comfortable working for her employer, she should be allowed to submit a termination letter with at least one month's notice.

During the notice period, the FDW should be allowed to look for a new employer, even without a letter of consent from her current employer, since she would have already given a written intention to change employer.

The MOM does not allow for this now because the current employer has too much "power".

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