Using the process-tracing methodology, this paper aims to outline the causal mechanisms that led to the formulation of the day off policy for migrant domestic workers in Singapore. Specifically, their analysis will focus on the three “I”s: ideas, interests and institutions. The authors argue that the day off policy was first brought to the agenda by the campaigning efforts of local migrant rights groups. The government’s commitment to safeguarding Singapore’s international reputation provided further impetus for the improvement of employment conditions for migrant domestic workers by means of the day off policy. Finally, Singaporeans’ dependence on migrant domestic workers provided an economic imperative for the introduction of the day off policy: it was a means to enhance Singapore’s appeal in order to attract a steady supply of migrant domestic workers, especially amidst fears of a supply crunch of these workers.
This paper is published under the Migrating out of Poverty programme, which is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)
Chiu Yee Koh, Charmian Goh, Kellynn Wee and Brenda S.A. Yeoh. The Dynamics of Policy Formulation and Implementation: A Case Study of Singapore’s Mandatory Weekly Day off Policy for Migrant Domestic Workers Migrating out of Poverty RPC Working Paper No. 36. Migrating out of Poverty Consortium, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK (2016) 66 pp.