As of March 15, 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has declared that all foreign domestic workers (FDW) entering Singapore will be served a 14-day stay-home notice due to the spread of COVID-19 worldwide.
All employers and employment agencies will also have to obtain an approval from MOM before the foreign workers can enter the country. Application for their permission can be done online.
In the meantime, employers and foreign domestic helper agencies in Singapore should ask the domestic worker not to make any travel plans until the approval is obtained.
If approved, they will have to forward the MOM’s approval letter to the FWDs, who will need to present it to the airline staff during check-in and at the ICA checkpoint when they arrive in Singapore.
Stay-home notice for domestic helpers in Singapore
The stay-home notice is mandatory as most domestic workers care for young children and the elderly.
New incoming FDW must serve their stay-home notice in an alternative location such as dormitories, hostels or hotels before they can be deployed for employment.
For those who are returning from abroad, they can serve their notice in the employer’s residential address if the employers are agreeable to it.
It is the employer or maid agency’s responsibility to ensure that the domestic work complies with the stay-home notice and have a local mobile phone to remain contactable with the MOM during the 14-day period.
If breached, there will be consequences such as the revocation of work passes and suspension of work pass privileges. The maid agencies will also be imposed with demerit points if they are found to have violated any of the requirements.
Existing employers should also work with their FDW to come to a mutual agreement for workers to postpone plans, if any, to travel back home and spend their rest days at home until the situation improves in Singapore.
How Singaporeans should react to this domestic helper shortgage
New employers should factor in the new requirements and cost implications if they plan on hiring a new maid during this period.
It is advisable to renew their existing FDW’s contract or look into hiring a transfer FDW to get past this time instead.
As the supply of available domestic helpers is affected drastically due to the virus, employers who are looking to hire a new domestic helper can turn to a new online portal, mycaregiver.sg to search for maids that are planning to switch households.
The listings are provided by agencies and help circulate the available helpers that are in Singapore.
As businesses for maid agencies are not among the list of essential services allowed to open, it has greatly affected the revenue of most agencies as they are also directly affected by the travel restrictions implemented by government policies.
Unlike food and beverage outlets which can reopen after the circuit breaker, it will not be as easy to see new helpers coming into the country for another one or two months.
Homekeeper is here to help with your unique home needs
If you are in need of a helper within Singapore, Homekeeper has a database of available domestic workers to find your ideal helper.
Firstly, you can look through our database of hires, that contains the biodata and key information of each potential helper.
After identifying your preferred choices, our support team will process all necessary documents for you and your helper-to-be.
Next, we will provide maid pre-employment training to ensure that she will meet your home care needs before being deployed to your home.
Reach out to us today and make your hiring process an easy one!
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