One in five Singapore households have at least one live-in maid, and until recently there was no law that required employers to give their maids a day off. That however will change starting next year when a new maids protection law takes effect. The new rules mandate that maids be given one day off a week, or additional compensation if they work on that day. This applies only to maids whose work permits are issued or renewed effective January 1, 2013.
Rights groups have long lobbied for better protection for domestic workers. While the decision was welcomed by the labor sector, some critiques still say it still falls short of international labor standards as it does not offer other forms of labor protection. There are over 200,000 domestic workers in Singapore who come mostly from Indonesia and the Philippines.