Maids given a day off at last

SINGAPORE has given domestic staff a day off each week for the first time.

From next year, maids and other domestic workers must receive a day off each week, or be compensated to work that day, manpower minister Tan Chuan-jin told parliament.

It is estimated the city state has 206,000 domestic workers, who mostly come from the relatively impoverished countries of Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and India.

Employers have currently no legal duty to give domestic staff any time off, with one in five Singaporean households having a full-time, live-in maid.