Employers should not keep the passports of their foreign workers or foreign domestic workers (FDWs). They should also not force their workers to give them their passport.
The passport belongs to the bearer and the issuing authority of the bearer’s country of origin.
According to the Passports Act, it is an offence to keep or withhold any passport which does not belong to you.
As an FDW employer, you can qualify for levy concession if you live with any of the following eligible person who is a Singapore citizen:
- Young child below 16 years old.
- Elderly person who is at least 67 years old.
- Person with disabilities (PWD) – Must be certified by Singapore-registered doctor to require help with at least 1 activity of daily living (ADL), such as showering, feeding, dressing or toileting.
The levy concession for 1 FDW is granted based on 1 eligible person in the household. It is capped at 2 FDWs per household.
You are eligible to hire a second helper if you have any of these family members living with you:
- At least 2 children below 18 years old.
A parent or parent-in-law over 60 years old.
You also need to provide sufficient privacy and sleeping space in the house for the 2 FDWs.
To apply for the second FDW, you will need to provide us with:
- A copy of the children’s birth certificates.
- A copy of the parent’s or parent-in-law’s identity cards and the employer’s or spouse’s birth certificate.
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To hire an FDW, you must:
- Be 21 years old and above
- Not be an undischarged bankrupt
- Have the mental capacity to fully understand and discharge your responsibility as an employer.
MOM will also consider your financial ability to hire, maintain and upkeep the FDW in an acceptable accommodation. Alternatively, you can show that you own enough assets i.e. fixed deposit to support the costs of hiring a domestic helper for their entire two-year contract.
Yes, you must do so. You need to pay levy up till the date she is transferred to her new employer. Thus, levy will be charged even if you sent the helper back to the employment agency while she waits for the transfer.
The process of finding a new employer may take a few weeks, so you should check regularly with the employment agency on the progress of the transfer.
Once her new employer issues the Work Permit, we will automatically cancel her current Work Permit and stop your levy billing.
If your FDW agrees to work on her rest day, you must compensate her with one of the following:
- At least 1 day’s salary – Basic salary /(divided by) 26 working days i.e. $470/26 = $18 per rest day forgone OR
- A replacement rest day taken within the same month
You can inform MOM if you wish to be a referee for your helper. This is for her prospective employers or employment agencies to contact you to find out about her conduct, character or work performance.
Use the feedback form here to provide these details and indicate ‘Reference for MDW’ in your message.
After MOM application approval, for Filipino candidates who are based in their home country, the usual processing time is about 6-8 weeks. For Myanmar candidates who are based in their home country, processing time is about 1-2 weeks.
Your helper is entitled to a weekly rest day if her Work Permit was issued or renewed after 1 January 2013. You and your helper must mutually agree on which day of the week she should take the rest day. To avoid disputes, both of you should have this agreement in writing.
Click here to view the “FDW Weekly Rest Day” MOM guide.
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Yes. Before your helper arrives in Singapore, you must buy medical insurance and personal accident insurance as part of your medical obligations to her, either through an Employment Agency or directly via your own sources.
You need to buy medical insurance with a coverage of at least $15,000 per year for inpatient care and day surgery during your helper’s stay in Singapore and must have a sum assured of at least $60,000 per year.
All employees – whether local or foreign, including your foreign domestic worker (FDW) – can terminate the employment contract at any time, as long as they serve the required notice stated in their contract, or make payment in lieu of notice.
Both employers and FDWs may need to terminate a contract early for unanticipated reasons. To cater for this, employment contracts typically provide for such flexibility through termination clauses, which can be exercised before contract expiry. That said, many employment agencies do provide assistance to employers, such as finding a replacement, if the FDW terminates her employment contract early.
Employers must also make sure that their FDWs are paid before they leave. Failure to do so is an offence under the EFMA.
You need to send your helper for medical examination with a Singapore-registered doctor within 2 weeks of her arriving in Singapore. The work permit will only be issued when she pass the medical examination.
During your helper’s employment, you must send her for a medical screening every 6 months. This medical examination screens for pregnancy and infectious diseases such as syphilis, HIV and tuberculosis.
Employers who are time-strapped can also opt for the home-based 6ME service if she is only due for pregnancy, syphilis and HIV tests.
We are an accredited Employment Agency with the Philippines’ Department of Overseas Labor and Employment and our partnering recruiting agency in the Philippines are also a registered recruitment agency in the Philippines with over 30 years of experience.
The notice period gives foreign domestic workers (FDWs) and employers time for a smooth handover and transition.
Just like with any other employment contract, responsible FDWs who decide to end their employment contracts early need to either serve the notice period, or pay in-lieu of notice. You should explain to your FDW that she is contractually bound to serve the notice period, and discuss with your FDW to find a mutually agreed solution.
There are some cases where FDWs may need to terminate their contract early, without being able to pay the salary in lieu of notice. Employers are encouraged to exercise compassion where appropriate, and find a mutually agreed solution, such as a shorter notice period or waiving part of the salary in lieu of notice.
Yes, she can travel home for good on a 1-way return flight but unable to return to Singapore, unless she gets her passport renewed in her home country.
OEC – Overseas Employment Certificate – is the certificate by the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) that verifies that a person is a registered overseas Filipino worker. The worker will be exempted from paying the travel tax and terminal fee once the OEC is shown to the immigration officer at the Philippine airports.
The Employers’ Orientation Programme is a 3-hour online/sit-in programme that will help you understand your role and responsibilities as an employer of a foreign domestic worker (FDW).
All first-time employers must complete the EOP at least 2 working days before submitting a Work Permit application.
Do note that if you have changed more than 3 FDWs within a 12 month period, and you want to apply for another one, you will have to attend a classroom EOP session or attend an interview with MOM before we process your application. You cannot appoint a representative to attend on your behalf.
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Before you send your helper home:
- Ensure that your helper has a valid passport.
- Buy her a direct air ticket to the international airport in her home country, nearest to her hometown.
- You must pay for her air ticket and it must include check-in luggage.
- If there are no direct flights and a transit is necessary, you should give a reasonable amount of allowance for your helper to sustain herself during her transit.
- You and your helper should discuss and agree on the transit arrangement and amount of allowance before purchasing the air ticket.
- Her departure date must be within 2 weeks after cancelling her work permit.
- Resolve all outstanding employment issues (e.g. salary, belongings checks).
- Engage an Employment Agency or a 3rd party runner directly to send the FDW to the airport for check-in and ensures she exits the immigration hall
- You must return the original Work Permit card within 1 week from the cancellation by posting it to Work Pass Division, Ministry of Manpower, 18 Havelock Road, Singapore 059764. You can use WP Online’s “card return” function to tell us why you are unable to return the card.