Outstanding domestic workers in Singapore are now being rewarded by both their employers and their agencies through an annual award by the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Fast) and the Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore).
The awards recognized outstanding domestic helpers and were held as a part of the sixth Foreign Domestic Worker Day. At least 6,000 maids and employers at Singapore Polytechnic attended at the event.
Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan acknowledged the sacrifices of domestic helpers who leave their loved ones to look after Singaporeans’ homes, elderly parents, and children. He said domestic helpers help Singaporeans juggle their careers and family commitments, and give them more time to pursue their hobbies and passions.
Contrary to stories of abuse, there are employers and agency who take care of their domestic helpers. One story is when an employer loaned one domestic helper money to purchase a piece of farmland worth around SGD 10,000 (PhP345,000). Said employer also helped her domestic helper find a job for her son as a therapist.
This employer nominated her domestic helper for the annual award. She believes that by treating her domestic helper as family, they would be able to work together for a long time.
Tan also stated that a preliminary survey by the ministry of around 1,000 said that 97% expressed satisfaction working in Singapore. Four out of five would recommend working in Singapore to their friends and relatives.
To further strengthen relationships between domestic helpers and employers, Fast president Seah Seng Choon said they will launch a mediation service to provide professional services to help both parties in case of a disagreement.
Fast celebrated its 10th anniversary at the event. The organization is known for its helpline and clubhouse for domestic helpers. It also provides opportunities for legal aid and conducts subsidized training for more than 66,000 maids.