Domestic Worker

This tag is associated with 6 posts

Our Problematic Discourse On Low-Wage Workers In Singapore

In the past month, articles and the corresponding discourse about low-wage workers in Singapore – security guards, foreign domestic workers (FDWs), and an elderly petrol pump attendant – have echoed the same problematic themes and familiar tropes about our collective need to do more. Yet the structural challenges accounting for the low incomes and a growing class divide often go unchallenged, and instead these themes are rehashed: first, disproportionate emphasis on the needs of whom they labour for, vis-à-vis the needs of the workers; second, underestimation of the physical and mental strain of their jobs; and third, perhaps fundamentally and beyond their labour, not understanding the lived experiences of these workers. Continue reading

“Lies, Damned Lies, And Statistics”: Surveys On Private School Graduates And Foreign Domestic Workers

Two surveys published in November – on private school graduates and foreign domestic workers in Singapore – drew contrasting interpretations, raising questions about how statistics is used. And more specifically, on the statistical issues of sampling, as well as study or survey design. Continue reading

Domestic Workers Not Long-Term Solution For An Ageing Population

The fact that domestic workers in Singapore are forced to take on more roles and duties – as chauffeurs, as tutors, as illegal business workers, and “increasingly hired to care for the elderly or the disabled, and perform medical duties” (ST, Mar 12) – is probably reflective of two unsustainable socio-economic phenomena: that of the over-reliance on domestic workers and the lack of strong legislation to protect them, and that of the policies to care for an ageing population. And as a result of these suboptimal arrangements domestic workers are oftentimes overburdened, the elderly get less-than-adequate care, and the young families supporting and financing these individuals respectively are forced to shoulder more responsibilities. Everybody loses. Continue reading

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