According to the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), there has been an increase in the number of foreign domestic workers (FDWs) running away from their employers during this Circuit-Breaker (CB) period.
HOME was unable to provide exact figures on the numbers of FDWs that had reach out to them to confide in their plans to leave their employers.
However, it shared that in April alone, there were 29 runaway cases. HOME pointed out that this was slightly more than the 13 cases it received in the month before.
Among these, many have suffered “several verbal abuse, salary disputes, or other well-being issues”.
For instance, due to the greater number of people staying home during this CB, FDWs have had to endure heavier workloads and shortened rest hours. Some also have had to work on their rest days without adequate compensation.
An FDW related how, in February this year, her employers barred her from returning to their residence as they were concerned that she would carry the virus, after she went out on her rest day.
According to the FDW, her employers had allowed her to go out. She had to look for alternative accommodation and eventually sought shelter at HOME.
The attention thus far has been on the foreign workers living in dormitories.
Let's not forget these FDWs as well. They matter and suffer as much us Singaporeans during this CB.
They are human beings too. They are not robots or machine. Employers have to understand this difference.