Helping hands aren’t hard to come by in Singapore, as there’s a wealth of options available. But knowing where to start looking, where to go, and whom to speak to are crucial when it comes to finding the right fit – luckily Little Steps is here to help! Here is the guide to a foreign domestic helper/maid in Singapore.
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Aside from the changes in the family’s structure, you also have to consider being ready financially as the costs of hiring help do not come lightly. There’s an agency fee, the airfare for the help, the medical fees, the bond, the insurance, and a government levy fee, to name a few.
Here are the steps that you can follow to hire help in Singapore.
Before you can even apply for a work pass, you need to pass the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) employer requirements. There are three major requirements:
The MOM will also take into consideration the nature of your needs - will it be for an elderly in the family or a small child. They will also check your financial capabilities - maintenance and upkeep for the helper is also your responsibility.
It's also important to know that migrant domestic helpers also have eligibility requirements before they can be issued work passes. Helpers should be 23 to 50 years old and if they are more than 50 years old can only renew permits until they are 60. The most common countries of origin are the following (though not limited to): Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. A recognized certificate for a minimum of 8 years of formal education is also required.
If it's your helper's first time working as a migrant domestic helper, she should attend the Settling-In Programme (SIP). To be considered a first-time helper, she should not have any employment record with the Ministry of Manpower, or she could have an employment record but did not enter Singapore to work.
Another important thing to note is that the helper should not be in Singapore at the time of the work permit application (unless she is a Malaysian citizen).
The best way to start your search is through an agency in Singapore that is accredited by the Ministry of Manpower. Here is a list of agencies. Take note that agency fees vary between SG$100 to SG$2,000. But using an agency will give you peace of mind and security, as you'll know that everything has been covered and signed off on.
Once you have chosen your MDW, there are several steps that you need to undergo. However, the employment agency will do this for you. The requirements include:
If you have employed the services of an agency to get your MDW, the aforementioned requirements are good to know. But the agency will be doing all the paperwork for you.
Pre-employment Medical Examination
Get the work permit issued
Registration of fingerprints and photo
Receive the work permit card
A monthly levy rate is required for your MDW and can be paid through GIRO. The monthly levy rate for your first helper is $300 (daily is $9.87). If you have a second helper, the monthly rate is $450 (daily is $14.80). If your family has a young child, an elderly or a person with a disability, you can get the concessionary rate of $60 per month (a daily rate of $1.98). Check here if you are eligible for the rate. The daily rate is applicable if your helper did not finish a full calendar month.
Every six months, your MDW should have her medical examination. This should be conducted by a Singaporean registered physician. The tests include:
If you wish to renew your MDW's work permit, the duration will be up to 2 years. You will receive a letter from the MOM around 8 weeks before it expires. Once you receive the renewal letter, you can renew it online. The renewal costs the same as the application which is SG$35.
If your helper needs or wants to spruce up their skills, there are plenty of courses available. Mother & Child offers a first aid course which is extremely beneficial if your helper will be looking after little ones. For a list of classes, check out this Little Steps Guide!
Your helper will be part of your household. Treat them well and look after them. This is a reciprocal relationship built on trust. For more information, visit the Ministry of Manpower’s website.
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