Domestic Helper Employment in Singapore
Employing a Domestic Helper
As a responsible person, when employing a foreign domestic helper you have a moral and legal responsibly to ensure that your helper works safely in your home and not expose her to safety hazards, especially when her household duties involve cleaning windows or hanging clothes to dry in high-rise apartments.
Over the last 4 1/2 years 89 Indonesian domestic helpers have died while working.
Note: if your domestic helper dies you need to report this to the Manpower Ministry within 12 hours of finding her. The National Safety Council of Singapore recently launched courses for safe work practices for domestic helpers. The fee of S$ 50 is money well spent! See also menu Health/First Aid Courses.
Right now the only truth that employers can find out about the domestic helper, is her employment history on MOM website :
How to check employment history
The best way to find out the truth about a domestic helper, is from her previous employer. That is why I setup this blog :
Comments about domestic helper by employers
Employing a Domestic Helper – The Security Bond
Security bond conditions :
For many years, employers have been required to pay a S$5000 security bond if the domestic helper becomes pregnant. This rule was removed only in Oct 2009 :
How to check employment history
This is one of the main reasons why many employers are not willing to give their domestic helpers days off. Unless an employer has millions of dollars in their bank account, $5000 is a large sum of money to lose for most people. Although the rule has been removed recently, it is difficult for employers to change their mindset so the restriction seems to continue for those unlucky domestic helpers employed by those employers that don’t change with the times..
However, according to the new legislation, under the new security bond conditions :
In cases where the Foreign Domestic Worker absconds, only half the Security Bond ($2500), instead of the entire bond of $5000, will be forfeited, so long as the employer has made reasonable efforts to locate the worker.
This is the reason why employers cannot let their domestic helpers go out whenever they like, because if the domestic helper disappears, then employers are going to lose money.
Since the domestic helpers are human beings just like us, why do we need to be responsible for what happens to them on their days off? Our employers do not need to lose any money if we disappear.
Once domestic helpers do not need to pay anything before they come to work in Singapore, and they know that it is very easy to change employers, most domestic helpers are not motivated to work hard.
In Hong Kong and Taiwan, domestic helpers must fully pay for their loan before they leave their home country. They have probably taken up loans from their friends or relatives, so they have no choice but to work hard.
The domestic helper loan is the root of many, if not most, problems with domestic helpers in Singapore. According to MOM, the domestic helper loan is an agreement between the domestic helper agencies and the employers, and MOM cannot do anything about it.
The domestic helper agencies band together to force the domestic helpers employers to pay the domestic helpers loan. This is very unfair to the employers, and the situation is not going to improve unless the government steps in to change things.
Employing a Domestic Helper
Anyone who is concerned about whether domestic helpers face any unfair policies in Singapore, please read the following report :
Change in security bond conditions
You will find out that MOM has many rules to protect the domestic helpers.
Employing a domestic helper in Singapore is easy and inexpensive when compared to other countries. Initially you have to evaluate your needs for either a mainly foreign full time live in domestic helper or a locally based part time domestic helper.
If you have access to enter Asia’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women follow the step on employing a domestic helper in the relevant chapter.Foreign domestic helpers are hired as foreign domestic workers from Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Domestic helpers from Indonesia and Sri Lanka are paid less as they do not speak English as well as most of the Filipino domestic helpers. The monthly salary for Indonesian Domestic helpers is SGD 280 Filipinas earn between SGD 320 and 350 a month. Foreign domestic helpers must be at least 23 years old and not older than 38 years and have to proof eight years of formal education.
A Domestic Helper needs to pass an entry test comprising multiple choice questions in English. At times there may be a shortage of Indonesian domestic helpers.
Note: Male bachelors for obvious reasons cannot employ foreign a domestic helper See here for latest employment guidelines for employers of domestic helpers.
Domestic Helper Employment
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Domestic Helper Employment – Helpful Resources:
Here are some related sites which you many find of use:
1. Foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong – Wikipedia
2. Filipina Domestic Helper Abroad
3. Surprises about Filipino Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong
4. Domestic Help Philippines
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