FAQ On Maid Employment In Singapore
Frequently asked questions that employers in Singapore have before hiring a helper, during the employment process, and issues after the deployment.
Pre-Deployment / General Inquiries
Who is eligible to hire an FDW?
To hire an FDW, you must be 21 years old and above, must not be an undischarged bankrupt and must have the mental capacity to fully understand and discharge the responsibility as an employer.
MOM will also consider your financial ability to hire, maintain and upkeep the FDW in an acceptable accommodation.
What is foreign worker levy and what are rates?
As an employer, you do not have to pay Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for your helper. However, you must pay a monthly levy for her.
If your helper is a first-time FDW, the levy will begin on the 5th day of her arrival (including the arrival date). Otherwise, the levy will begin the next day after she arrives. The levy ends when the Work Permit is cancelled or expires.
To find out the latest levy rates, please visit: https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-permit-for-foreign-domestic-worker/foreign-domestic-worker-levy/paying-levy
How do I pay the levy?
You must pay the levy via General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO).
The levy for each month will be deducted from your bank account on the 17th of the following month (or the next working day if it falls on a weekend or public holiday).
Your helper’s Work Permit will be revoked, if you don’t pay the full levy on time.
If you need to pay levy using other methods, you must pay the levy for each month by the 14th of the following month.
Does the FDW require to go for medical examination before deployment?
The FDW need to pass a medical examination by a Singapore-registered doctor within 2 weeks of her arrival in Singapore.
Her Work Permit will only be issued if she passes the medical examination.
Otherwise, she will have to be sent home.
The medical examination screens the helper for 4 types of infectious disease (tuberculosis, HIV, syphilis and malaria) and checks if she is fit to work.
During your FDW’s employment, you must send her for a medical screening every six months.
What are the insurance requirements for FDW?
You need to buy medical and personal accident insurance for your helper.
Before your helper arrives in Singapore, you must buy medical insurance and personal accident insurance as part of your medical obligations to her.
Medical insurance with coverage of at least $15,000 per year for inpatient care and day surgery during your helper’s stay in Singapore.
Personal accident insurance with a minimum coverage of $60,000 for your helper.
This is to protect your helper and her family by providing a lump sum compensation if she suffers from permanent disability or passes away due to an accident.
The compensation must be made payable to your helper or her beneficiaries.
Who is eligible for levy concession?
As an FDW employer, you can get a concessionary rate if you live with any eligible person who is a Singapore citizen and is a young child below 16 years old, elderly person who is at least 67 years old, or person with disabilities (PWD).
The levy concession for 1 FDW is granted based on 1 eligible person in the household.
It is capped at 2 FDWs per household. When you are no longer eligible for levy concession or your number of helpers changes, the levy rate may be adjusted. The new rate takes effect immediately.
To find out how to apply for the levy concession, please visit: https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-permit-for-foreign-domestic-worker/foreign-domestic-worker-levy/levy-concession
What is a security bond?
A security bond is a binding pledge to pay the government (up to $5000) if you break the law or the conditions governing the employment of a helper.
You are required to post a security deposit (bond) of $5,000 for every helper you employ unless she is a Malaysian.
Bonds usually take the form of insurance. The insurers guarantee to pay the government should you break the rules; then the insurers pursue you for the money.
How Much Is The Maid Agency Fee In Singapore?
When you’re hiring a maid, you should be ready to pay for the total cost of expenses at once. That includes air ticket, work permit application, issuance of work permit, medical examination, agency fee, setting-in-program, and insurance.
There are no definite rules for the fees that a maid agency charges. Most of them tend to charge a fixed cost as their agency fees vary from $100 – $2000. People have to pay between $1000 to $3000 for the total cost of expenses. On average, you can expect to spend at least $2500 on your maid. This average cost includes medical screening, processing paperwork, training course, insurance, and air ticket.
When you’re new to hiring a maid, you have no experience, and you probably don’t know anyone you would want to hire. Thus, the easiest method to find a suitable helper for yourself is to engage with a maid agency. A reliable maid agency in Singapore will assist you while sourcing the perfect helper based on your demands/requirements. They will also handle all the tedious paperwork.
How Do I Hire A Transfer Maid?
You can hire from a maid agency in Singapore:
Maid agencies have prepared an immediate transfer maid for you. They allow you to take interviews of potential maids face-to-face. A maid agency will help you filter out candidates, settle all the lengthy paperwork, and provide training to the maid before working at your house.
You can search for a transfer maid on your own. For that, you can use Facebook, a job portal, or a recommendation from a reliable source (friends and family).
The things you need to check while hiring a transfer maid:
Get in touch with the maid’s current employer and ask whether the maid has gotten her six months of medical examination.
Ask for the written consent of the current employer for the transfer.
Apply for a new work permit for your maid.
Sign the MOM declaration form and make sure that the helper and the current employer sign it.
Upload your declaration form and print the helper’s temporary work permit from the MOM system.
Do You Have Readily Available Maids In Singapore For Hire?
Yes, we have readily available helpers in Singapore.
The maid can get deployed within 3 – 5 days. It all depends on the approval from the Ministry of Manpower.
Readily available maids are transfer maids whose services are not required by their current employers anymore. They can also be those helpers that are under the MOM Advance Placement Scheme (APS).
The APS (Advance Placement Scheme) for FDWs (Foreign Domestic Workers) is a pilot that began operating in August 2016. The employment agency industry suggested enabling creating a better match of FDWs providing caregiving needs for employers. They also proposed that the placement needs to be faster.
Those participating employment agencies can source for and bring in a certain number of FDWs before they’ve found an employer. That allows employers to take face-to-face interviews with potential FDWs to ensure better matching. These FDWs are already based in Singapore, which’s why it is easier to depart them quickly to households.
Homekeeper is an example of a participating employment agency allowed to apply for APS for FDWs.
Who Are Your Maid Training Partners?
For many years, Homekeeper has been working in partnership with ARIA training and consultancy to conduct helpers training.
ARIA training and consultancy is a specialized-skills learning centre for adults who associate with FAST (Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training). It is accredited by the first aid council (SRFAC) and Singapore resuscitation. It’s also approved as a caregiving training provider by the (AIC) Agency of Integrated care, and it’s also accredited with level three BizSAFE.
For a long time, ARIA has been a flagship FDW training centre for infants and eldercare in Singapore, and it’s highly recommended. Usually, ARIA is recommended to delegates, embassies, media, and foreign visitors for FDW skills training for interviews, photography, and videography.
ARIA is an FDW training centre in Singapore that is the only one with full mock-ups of a typical classroom and residential training environment. ARIA also takes pride in all details of their feel and design of the training centre. That’s because first-time trainees in Singapore can get a first-hand experience of a normal residential setting. There are also props and training equipment available to enhance each training programme type’s appropriateness and quality.
Visit website for more details: https://www.ariatraining.sg/
Who Handles The Maid Employment Paperwork?
As a leading agency in Singapore’s maid industry, we ensure that all the paperwork for maid employment is taken care of so that you can be in peace. We handle all the paperwork related to hiring a maid, including work permit renewal, work permit application, medical check-ups, helper repatriation and cancellation, embassy endorsement of documents, passport renewal, insurance, and direct hiring and home leaves processing.
The paperwork for a maid’s work permit application is hectic. Ensure that you have done every step required by the MOM so that you are in line with their rules. Leave all the lengthy paperwork to us!
Can I Hire A Maid Directly By Myself Without Engaging A Maid Agency?
You must be wondering that you do even need an agency for hiring a helper? Well, the answer to that is “no.” You can do the process yourself. The Singapore MOM allows an employer to apply for a helper online.
When hiring a maid on your own, the main thing is how to find candidates in the first place. Employers who are taking the DIY route usually have a helper in mind. A family member or a friend could recommend a maid for you. Since these maids have worked in Singapore already, they are known as “transfer maids.”
You can also use online databases to hire a maid. These databases will mostly include both overseas and transfer maids. The steps you need to carry out to hire the maid depend upon her status. To access such databases, you might also have to pay a fee.
Keep in mind that you have to comply with all of the regulations, including a work permit application, MOM’s security bond, source country embassy contract, sign the employment contract, purchase maid insurance, pay a monthly levy and sign a safety agreement with the new maid.
Which Countries Are Homekeeper’ Maids From?
The training centres we are partner with are located in Indonesia, India, Myanmar, and the Philippines. They have proven track records and recruitment centres that are extensive. Specialists in recruitment interview and screen each candidate professionally to make ensure that the best match is made.
We ensure that all helpers are equipped with the necessary skills that the employer requires. That includes cooking, disability care, infant care, elderly care, and housekeeping. Enhancement training is available for maids to fit the changes in the home care needs of their employer.
Post-Deployment Issues/Maid-Related Issues
Who should pay for the FDW’s medical expenses?
As an Employer, you are required to bear all cost of maintaining your FDW, this includes any medical costs necessary for her health.
You are encouraged to buy insurance with a higher coverage to protect yourself from any excessive medical bills.
Who should pay for the FDW’s air ticket when she is returning to her source country?
The employer must buy a direct air ticket to the international airport in the helper’s home country, nearest to her hometown.
The employer must pay for the air ticket and it must include check-in luggage.
The departure date must be within 2 weeks of the cancellation of her work permit.
What do I do if I would like to arrange alternative accommodation for the FDW when I am overseas?
We provide lodging accommodation for Homekeeper maids if you decide to put her with us.
What do I do for the FDW’s work permit cancellation?
You must cancel your helper’s Work Permit if she no longer works for you or when her Work Permit expires.
You must also return the cancelled Work Permit card.
What happens if I encounter problems after hiring the maid?
We provide free counselling services to talk to your maid in order to identify and solve the problems.
We have employees conversant in Bahasa Melayu, Burmese and Tagalog.
The compensation must be made payable to your helper or her beneficiaries.
How Can I Help My Maid Send Money Home?
Brick and mortar branch:
Outward remittance service that is carried out by a bank branch:
There might be specific charges or fees that the helper has to pay (the amount varies amongst banks). You can get more clear information on this when you contact the bank.
You can select any well-reputed and registered money transfer companies. It can be risky, but if the company has a proper record management system and is willing to complete all paper formalities, there’s nothing you need to worry about. Multiple remittance companies help FDWs send money to their families.
You can perform E-remittances safely and conveniently through multiple channels, including a website, mobile app of a remittance agent, or the ibanking app of the bank. Each bank and remittance agent has its own cross-border fund transfer process and customer onboarding. However, all of them will ask the sender to provide their personal information such as identity number and full name with documents as proof.
Employers should pay salaries to FDWs electronically. The salary should go directly into the helper’s bank account. That way, the FDWs will be more options regarding remittances. If your helper is new to online services and E-remittances, you can assist her in navigating the app/website and educate her on the entire process. To search for a remittance agent, your helper can check out the Remittance Association (Singapore)’s website.
What Are the Requirements for My Maid’s Rest Days?
You must allow your helper to have a rest day regularly so that she can get adequate physical and mental rest. If your helper’s work permit was renewed or issued after 2013, 1st January, she is entitled to a rest day per week. You and your helper can mutually agree on which day of the week should be a rest day. To avoid any future disputes, you can have this agreement in writing.
If your FDW willingly works on her day of rest, it’s your responsibility to compensate her with at least one of the options listed below:
Salary for that extra day
A replacement rest day within the same month
What Can I Do If My Maid Runs Away From My Home And Doesn’t Come Back?
If you suspect that your maid has run away, the first you need to do is check her room and find out if all her belongings are present. If items such as cell phone, passport, and wallet are still there, the chances are that she will come back. However, if her belongings are not there, it’s possible that you could assume she has run away. At this point, you should try to call her and try to reach out to her.
After doing all this, the next step would be to get in touch with your maid agency immediately. That would allow the agency to look out for your helper, and if the helper appears on their premises, they will inform you. The agency has more experience dealing with these issues and can advise you with some better options.
It would be a good idea to check in with your neighbor or their maid and ask them where they last saw her. If you are aware of the helper’s family and friends, you can call them and check as well. It’s also best to search around your property to see if she’s close by.
If you still can’t find your maid despite searching for her through various methods, try to contact organizations and shelters for FDWs to check whether she has sought refuge with them. They will be on alert as well and will inform you if your helper approaches them.
After making so many reasonable efforts, if you still can’t find your maid, file a police complaint. The police will investigate and check if your maid has already left the country.
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