Rest day for your maid

Peanut Job
Oct 29, 2020 · 4338 read

Rest day for your maid

  As an employer, you are responsible for the health and well-being of your maid. You must provide for rest days, proper accommodation, adequate medical care and safe work conditions according to MOM regulation.

Effective from 1 January 2013, all employment contracts (including renewals of contract) are to include a mandatory weekly rest-day for domestic workers.

Employers who fail to do so would be in breach of the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations. The current maximum penalty for a breach of the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations is a fine of up to S$5,000 and/ or a jail term of up to 6 months.

You and your maid must mutually agree on which day of the week she should take the rest day. To avoid disputes, both of you should have this agreement in writing.

We would encourage employers to sign employment contract that makes clear the rest day arrangement that employers and maids have mutually agreed upon in line with the new Employment of Foreign Manpower Regulations (EFMR).  The maid‘s days off do not necessarily have to fall on Sundays. But MOM recommends that employer should clearly state this and the rest days agreed upon in a written agreement for reference in case any disputes arise at a later point.

If there is no valid employment contract, the rest day arrangement would follow the rest day requirements as stated in the EFMR.

Public holiday regulations for FDW’s in Singapore

The maids are not covered by the Employment Act, your terms and conditions of employment will be according to your employment contract. Foreign domestic helpers are not entitled to Public Holidays.

Nevertheless, employers can make the choice to offer public holidays following the Employment Act of Singapore. In this case, the employment contract must clearly mention that your maid is entitled to a cumulative of 11 paid public holidays a yearBased on this agreement, if the employer requires the services of the worker on the public holidays with their due consent, they are supposed to pay an extra day’s salary to the worker as compensation or grant a day off within the same month.

If the signed employment contract of the FDW is including to offer public holidays, the 11 paid public holidays are the following:

  • New Year
  • Christmas
  • Good Friday
  • Labor Day
  • Vesak Day
  • National Day of Singapore
  • Chinese New Year – first day
  • Chinese New Year – second day
  • Deepavali
  • Hari Raya Puasa
  • Hari Raya Haji

If your maid agrees to work on her rest day, you must compensate her with one of the following:

1At least 1 day’s daily wage. the maid’s daily wage is calculated by dividing her monthly salary by 26 working days.

Note: This is an additional payment and is not counted into the maid’s basic salary.

2、A replacement rest day taken within the same month. Mutually agree upon which day of the week the rest day should fall, so that the employer can make alternative care arrangements in advance.


1、The maid can't take her days off all at once. Her rest days cannot be accumulated – i.e. your maid cannot take her days off as a one-time block leave. If she decides to enjoy days off to recuperate from work instead of being compensated, she should take them on a weekly basis.

2、Your maid is free to spend her rest days as she pleases – she can either decide to stay at your place or go out. She is, however, not allowed to work for any other employer as moonlighting constitutes an offence of illegal employment in Singapore and can result in a fine or jail time or both.

3、You cannot force your maid to work on her rest day if she is not willing. 

To help families who hire maids to care for young children, elderly and disabled family members, the Government has given a FDW Levy concession of $300 per month to such employers. These families pay a concessionary levy of $60 instead of the full FDW levy of $300.FDW Levy concessionSee other articles on this page