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NTUC U Women and Family: Strengthen Caregiving Ecosystem to Help Women Return to Workforce

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21 Jan 2024
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~ Harmonious relationship with migrant domestic workers help families balance caregiving responsibilities ~

Crucial to Build Healthy and Respectful Relationships

The caregiving landscape in Singapore has evolved tremendously over the years, with caregivers often juggling multiple responsibilities. As the population of Singapore ages rapidly, more individuals will require regular care and the demand for caregiving services is likely to rise. The caregiving responsibilities borne by workers, especially women, are only set to increase, placing additional strain on them. Some may not have the choice but to leave their jobs to care for loved ones.

For families who engage migrant domestic workers (MDWs) to reduce the load of caregiving, it is essential that the working relationships and communication between MDWs and employers are healthy and harmonious. While mutual trust and respect takes time to build, they are crucial in helping employers to fully entrust the care of their loved ones with the MDWs.

Getting To-Gather!

To aid in the building of healthy, respectful relationships between MDWs and employers, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) U Women and Family (U WAF) initiated and organised Getting To-Gather!, a unique and inclusive gathering for MDWs and employers to connect, share experiences, and build empathy.

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General and Director of U WAF Yeo Wan Ling said, “Getting To-Gather! is part of a holistic approach to strengthen Singapore’s caregiver ecosystem so that employers with caregiving responsibilities can return to the workforce. This event aims to equip migrant domestic workers and employers with the resources and skills to build trust, respect, and empathy, so that employers will be able to entrust the care of their loved ones to their migrant domestic workers and fulfil work responsibilities with peace of mind.”

Held on Sunday, 21 January 2024, the event was organised in partnership with the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE), Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore) (AEA(S)), and People’s Action Party (PAP) Women’s Wing. Senior Minister of State (SMS) for National Development and Foreign Affairs Sim Ann graced the event as Guest-of-Honour.

MDWs and employers were invited to visit booths and engage themselves in a slew of activities. One of the highlights was a fashion jamboree, where PAP Women’s Wing volunteers collected over 2,000 pieces of pre-loved clothing to be given to the MDWs. Other activities included mental wellness talks and resources, music and art classes, as well as language classes.

SMS Sim Ann, who is also the Chairman of the PAP Women’s Wing, said, “Many households have items that they would like to give away, but they might not have time to look into how to give, and whom they should give to. By taking care of the collection, the PAP Women’s Wing helps households give meaningfully, while also forging a win-win partnership with NTUC and CDE in support of migrant domestic workers, who are an important part of Singapore’s caregiving ecosystem.”

Acting Director for the NTUC Migrant Workers Segment Michael Lim, who was also present at the event, said, “In our advocacy for the well-being of migrant workers in Singapore, we recognise the importance of fostering a healthy working relationship to help migrant domestic workers assimilate and adapt well in Singapore. I am heartened to see platforms such as Getting To-Gather! being initiated to bring migrant domestic workers and employers together in a casual and happy setting.