According to a government study, over 99 per cent of Migrant Domestic Workers (MDW) in Singapore are satisfied with working and living in Singapore, and would recommend their family or friends to work in Singapore as an MDW. This is an increase from 97 per cent in 2015.

The study was done by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to gain insight into the employment experiences of MDW and MDW employers in the country as well as their employment rights and responsibilities. This is the third run of the study after 2015 and 2016.

MDWs surveyed also reported high levels of satisfaction across various areas of well-being, such as their accommodation (99% in 2021 versus 94% in 2015), emotional support (99% in 2021 versus 93% in 2015) and sufficiency of food provided (99% in 2021 versus 97% in 2015).

There is a decline in MDWs having at least one rest day a month in 2021 of 93 per cent compared to 98 per cent in 2015, but this is probably due to Covid-19 and MDWs preferring to stay indoors. Around 99 per cent of MDWs also received their salaries on time compared to 97 per cent in 2015 with more than 80 per cent of MDWs expressing intentions to continue working in Singapore (versus 78% in 2015).

Thumbs up from employers

For employers, most of them (85%) are satisfied with their MDWs, a big change from 2016 with 75 per cent. Most employers hired through employment agencies mainly to do general household chores, and 70 per cent of employers plan to renew their MDWs contract upon expiry. However, employers also stated that they would like employment agencies to offer better replacement and refund policies, better matching and training of MDWs and shorter hiring duration.

The study was conducted in the second half of 2021, with close to 2,000 MDWs and MDW employers surveyed.


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