The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) have joined forces to establish a new CDEConnect centre in Woodlands, expanding the support network available to migrant domestic workers (MDWs) and their employers.
Launched on 23 May 2023, this centre and the existing facilities in Tampines and Pasir Panjang aim to offer comprehensive assistance and promote harmonious relationships within the MDW community.
The three CDEConnect centres enable up to 9,000 monthly interviews for first-time MDWs, facilitating their adjustment to life and work in Singapore. These interviews, conducted within the first six months of the MDW’s employment, are carried out by interviewers fluent in the MDWs’ native languages.
MOM and CDE representatives engage with MDWs and their employers to address any issues raised during these interviews with both parties about their rights and responsibilities.
Some common concerns MDWs raise include salary-related issues, illegal deployment, insufficient rest and no off days, and performing household chores in an unsafe manner.
In 2022 alone, CDE conducted 34,000 interviews for first-time MDWs. And since January 2023, MOM has extended its support by progressively interviewing MDWs for a second time between the sixth and 12th month of their employment.
MDW employers now have access to a new 24/7 online appointment system to enhance convenience further.
This system allows employers to select their preferred CDEConnect centre, choose a suitable date and time for their MDW’s first-time interview, and modify their booking if necessary. An email and SMS confirmation is sent to the employer as an acknowledgement and a reminder of the scheduled appointment.
Manpower Minister of State Gan Siow Huang expressed her satisfaction with the positive impact of CDEConnect Centres.
“We are glad that CDEConnect Centres have helped many MDWs and their employers by improving communications and resolving issues amicably.
“The expanded support network by MOM and our community partners, such as the CDE, is invaluable in enabling a positive relationship between MDWs and their employers. We will continue to review and strengthen this support,” she said.
The CDEConnect centres serve as interview venues and function as hubs where employers can seek advice regarding their MDWs’ employment.
NTUC Migrant Workers Segment Acting Director Michael Lim highlighted the broader role of these centres.
“At CDE, we aim to foster a harmonious employer-employee relationship and make communication between them more comfortable and effective. Thus, the CDEConnect centres serve both as an interview centre and a place where employers can seek advice about their MDWs’ employment.
“The centres are also recreational areas where CDE organises activities and educational workshops for MDWs on weekends, enabling them to recharge and upskill themselves during their rest day,” Mr Lim said.
These include handicraft-making, language courses, financial and digital literacy talks, and learning journeys to museums.