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I am a first time employer. How do I go about hiring a maid?

One of the essential initial steps that first-time employers require is to register and attend the Employers’ Orientation Programme (EOP) before they can apply to hire a Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW).

You can choose to attend the Online EOP or the Classroom EOP.
More details on the course fees, and registration links can be found here.

After the EOP has been completed, the next step is to start the candidate selection and hiring process (alternatively, the selection and hiring process can also commence before the completion of EOP).
Upon successfully shortlisting and selecting a candidate, the next step would be to commence the application process. An estimated duration from the time to application to the arrival of the candidate to Singapore is approximately 1 to 2 weeks.

Am I eligible for tax relief for hiring a FDW?

Pertaining to YA 2018 – Yes, you are eligible to claim tax relief for maid levy if you are a married woman/divorcee/widow with school going children and all these criteria are satisfied:

  1. You or your husband has employed a maid in 2017; and
  2. In 2017, you were 
  3. married and lived with your husband; OR
  4. married and your husband was not a tax resident in Singapore; or
  5. Separated from your husband, divorced or widowed and had children who lived with you and on whom you can claim child reliefs. 

More information can be found here

How much is maid levy?

As at 1 April 2019, the revised non-concessionary standard levy is $300 per month (previously $265 per month)
A concessionary levy rate of $60 per month is applicable under these schemes:
-Young Child/Grandchild scheme
-Aged Person Scheme
-Persons with Disabilities Scheme
Detailed information can be found here

Waiver on FDW Levy

How can I get waiver of my maid’s levy?
You can apply for a levy waiver for if your helper:
-is on overseas leave (min. 7 consecutive days)*
-is on hopsitalisation leave issued by Singapore hospitals*
-fails to return to Singapore after overseas leave
-is under police custody or housed at embassy
-has passed away

*Capped at 60 calendar days per calendar year

To find out more on this, click here.

My family and I are planning to go on a vacation holiday. Can I bring my maid along?

Yes, you can bring your maid along, however, do take note that the necessary visas to the countries that you are visiting applies.

Am I required to provide my maid with toiletries (shampoo, soap etc.)?

As the FDW Employer, you must minimally provide your helper with basic amenities such as mattress, pillow, blanket, bathroom amenities and toiletries.

 

More information can be found here.

This question is linked to: Am I required to buy soap and shampoo for my maid?

My maid’s passport has expired and will be going home soon. What should I do?

Before sending your helper home, you would need to ensure that she has a valid passport. Most countries require a minimum of 6 months passport validity to travel. She can renew her passport at the relevant embassies.

How can my maid send money home?

There are many licenced money remittance service providers in Singapore that can assist in sending money back home to their family and loved ones.

Here are some common money remittance service providers (in no specific order):

1. WESTERN UNION (located islandwide)
Click Here to find a location near you.

2. AMEERTECH Remittance & Exchange Services Pte Ltd

244-246 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329706
TEL. 6252 7757

Which nationalities are your FDW from?

GM Connection source helpers from various regions to suit your household needs and requirements.

Presently, our candidates are from India, Myanmar and Indonesia

 

I am holding to an Employment Pass or S Pass, can I employ a maid?

Yes,  you would be able to employ a maid, subject to approval.

FDW 6 monthly Medical Examination

It is a requirement to send your FDW for a medical screening every six (06) months. This not only protects you and your household, but also to allows the detection of any illnesses timely and protects our community at large.

The test results must be certified by a Singapore-registered doctor. The fees for the medical examination is to be borne by the employer.

 

What Tests are done during the 6 monthly medical check up?
The common tests done during the 6 monthly medical are Pregnancy, Syphilis, HIV and Tuberculosis. The 6ME letter will indicate the type of tests the helper is required to do.

Is there a deadline for the 6 monthly medical examination?
Yes, there is a due date in which the medical examination is required to be done – it is stated on the notification letter. You are required to send your helper for the 6 monthly medical examination before the due date.

Do I still need to send my maid for the 6 monthly medical check up if her employment is ending soon?
In the event that your helper’s employment is ending, you can choose not to send her for the 6 monthly examination if you are sending her home within 01 month after the 6 monthly medical examination is due.

If you intend to keep her more than 1 month after her 6 monthly medical examination is due:
A waiver needs to be applied. The following documents is required to be submitted in applying for the waiver:
-FDW full name, Work permit number, and date of birth
-A copy of FDW’s travel ticket
-Your particulars: NRIC/FIN number, Residential Address, Contact number.

What shall I do if my maid fails her 6 monthly medical check up?
If your FDW fails her 6 monthly medical examination, you must cancel her work permit and repatriate her immediately.

You may seek your employment agency for advice if such a scenario were to occur.

I found GM Connection on other websites

GM Connection advertise our services on other websites platforms and portals like bestmaid (www.bestmaid.com.sg) and housemaid (housemaid.com.sg).

Websites such as bestmaid.com.sg, netmaid.com.sg, housemaid.com.sg and innomaid.com.sg are platform services that allow prospective FDW employers to  search and shortlist suitable candidates.

While GM Connection uses the services of these platform(s), we are not linked to the platform providers in any way.

Paying salary to my maid

Date of payment: Salaries to FDW should be paid monthly and no later than 7 days from the last day of the previous salary period.

 

Modes of Payment

-Direct internet banking transfer (ibanking)
If your FDW has a bank account, on mutual agreement, you may transfer her salary to her directly. However, if she requests for a direct bank transfer for her salaries, then you must pay her via this mode.

-Cash
Apart from ibanking transfer, you can also pay her salary by cash. Be sure to keep a record of the salary payments as proof of payments. It is recommended that you and your FDW maintains a salary record to keep track of the salary payments/collection so as to avoid potential disputes. If requested, you must be able to produce the salary records.

Can I keep my maid’s salary for her?

From 1 January 2019, it is stipulated that FDW employers are not allowed to keep FDW’s salary or any money belonging to her, even if your FDW specifically requests for it.

Further, employers must also not keep her bank book or bank card.

For more information, please click here.

Can I keep my maid’s passport?

You should not keep the passport of your maid, nor force them to hand over their passports to you for safekeeping.

Under the Passports Act, it is an offence to withhold or keep and passport that does not belong to you.

For more information, please click here.

How many off days do I need to give to my maid?

Your FDW is entitled to a weekly rest day i.e. 4 rest days per month

For rest days, it is based on a mutual agreement between employer and FDW.

If your FDW agrees to work on her rest day, you must compensate her with one of the following:

  • At least one day’s salary
  • A replacement rest day within the same month

 

More information can be found here 

What time should my maid go out and return on her off day?

While there is no hard set rules on the rest day timing, as a guideline, most employers provide their helpers with at least 8 hours of continuous rest. Employers are encouraged to discuss with their helpers on the time and duration of her rest day, taking into account that work arrangements in individual households differ.

Am I required to provide my maid with food on her off day?

While is is common for most employers to provide meals for their maids on their rest days when they are at home during the meal times, you may also wish to discuss with your helper on meal arrangements if there is such a requirement.

Enrichment courses for FDW

FDWs are encouraged to use their off days productively. For FDWs who wish to take up courses for self-improvement, here are some useful enrichment courses for your maid, along with the contact details:

  1. Caregiving, cooking, English language, work safety
    by Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Skills Training (FAST) Click here for Contact details
  2. Caregiving, computer skills, hairdressing skills
    by Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ACMI) Click here for Contact Details
  3. Financial and Management Skills
    (budgeting and saving, computer skills, entrepreneurial and management skills)
    by Aidha – the world’s micro-business school
    Click here for Contact Details
  4. Caregiving, computer, cosmetology
    by Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (Home)
    Click here for Contact Details
  5. Basic Healthcare (Home Care)
    especially in areas of managing elderly with physical disability or dementia
    by Sunlove Home. Tel: +65 6386 2763
Maid Insurance

Is it necessary to purchase insurance for my maid?
Yes, it is a requirement to purchase medical and personal accident insurance for your helper.

Can I charge it to my maid or pass the cost of the insurance to my maid?
No, you must not pass the cost of the insurance to your helper.

What is the minimum coverage required?
1. Medical Insurance: at least $15,000 per annum for day surgery and inpatient care

2. Personal Accident Insurance: at least $60,000 per annum, must cover unforseen incidents resulting in permanent disability or death.

More information can be found Here.

Security Bond

What is Security Bond?
It is a pledge to pay to the Singapore government if the law or conditions in employing a FDW is breached. The bond amount is $5000.

Is the Security Bond necessary?
Yes, for every FDW that you employer (exception: Malaysians), a bond is required.

Does it mean that I have to put up an upfront amount of $5000?
No, usually the bond takes the form of an insurance wherein the insurer guarantees to pay to the Singapore government if the conditions for employment or law is breached; then the insurers will pursue you for the amount that was paid up to the government.

Duration
1. When to purchase the bond?
The Bond should be purchased before the arrival of your FDW to Singapore. It may take up to 3 working days for the security bond to be transmitted to MOM.

2. When will the Bond be discharged?
The bond will be discharged upon the employer meeting all these 3 conditions:
i. The work permit have been cancelled
ii.The FDW has returned home
iii. Conditions of the security bond has been breached

The security is usually discharged one week after your helper leaves Singapore. You will be notified (by mail) when the security bond is discharged.

When will the security bond be forfeited?
The security bond will be forfeited if:
A. You or your FDW violates/breach any of the work permit or security bond conditions
B. You do not pay your FDW salary on time
C. You fail to send your FDW back when her work permit is expired, revoked or cancelled.
D. Your FDW goes missing*

*In the event that your FDW goes missing, 50% i.e. $2500 of the security bond will be forfeited if reasonable efforts have been made to locate her and a police report has been filed.

You will not be liable for your FDW’s violations if you can prove that you have:
I. informed her of the work permit conditions that she must comply with.
II. Reported a violation when you first become aware of it

Can I place my maid at another address?

Question: My spouse and me are both working and we don’t want to leave our kids alone with the maid. Is it possible for us to bring her to my parent’s or parents-in-law’s place during the daytime?

Answer: Yes, you are allowed to place your FDW at another address only during the daytime if it is to take care of your young children or elderly parents.

Apart from this,  do take note that your FDW can only work:
1. In the residential address stated in her work permit card
2. her employer i.e. you
3. can only perform chores which are domestic in nature.
4. Cannot take on any part-time work.

For more information on this topic, kindly click here .

 

FDW Interview

Question: My maid has been called up for an interview, what should I do or expect? What is it about?

Answer:
FDWs may be selected to attend an interview as required by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), especially if they are in their are initial few months of employment.

A letter will be sent to employers notifying of the interview. The interview will be conducted by the Centre of Domestic Employees (CDE) on behalf of MOM.

Employment related questions will be asked during the interview such as how well she is adapting to her new work environment and if she is being provided with adequate food and rest.

The purpose of the interview is to better understand if your FDW is adjusting well to her new working and living environment and if she is settling in fine. At the same time, to allow for timely intervention if necessary.

Venue of the interview:
Centre for Domestic Employees
75 Pasir Panjang Road
Singapore 118507

Documents to bring along
1. The interview Letter
2. FDW Work Permit Card
3. Employment Contract
4. Any other documents, if requested.

Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour

If you lose your interview letter, you can call CDE at 6303 6840 on weekdays between 9am to 6pm to confirm the scheduled appointment.

For more information, kindly click here.

Sending my maid home

Before sending your maid back, here are some tips to take note of:

  1. Passport Validity: Kindly ensure that your helper has a valid passport. Most countries require a minimum of 6 months to travel. Do check up with the relevant countries’ embassies to be on the safe side. If the passport has expired or has less that 6 months validity, most embassies are able to do the renewal of the passports locally.
  2. Do buy her a direct air ticket to the international airport in her home country, nearest to her hometown.
  3. All outstanding employment issues (i.e. unpaid salary) should be settled prior to her leaving.
  4. You are encouraged to give her some notice period so that she can arrange for her family/friends to pick her up etc.

Question: Do I need to pay for my maid’s check in luggage too?
Answer: Yes, the air ticket must include check-in-luggage too.

More information can be found here.

What is IPA

IPA is the acronym for “In-Principal Approval”. It is  one of the key requirements to bringing in your helper or maid.

Essentially, it is an approval, subject to further pre-requisites to be met such as obtaining the security bond before your maid enters Singapore etc. Only upon fulfilling all the requirements, then a valid work permit will be issued to your maid.

Qns: My IPA is expiring, what can I do?

There are cases where the IPA is expiring and your prospective maid is not in Singapore yet.

You can solve this issue by extending the IPA. The IPA is valid up to 1 month. And the extension can only be done once.

 

For further details, do refer here

FDW Renewal

Qns: My maid’s contract is ending and we have both agreed to renew the contract. Is there anything I can do or should do?

You will need to renew your maid’s work permit as well as repurchase a new FDW insurance.

Over here at GM Connection, we provide a free renewal of work permit service for our clients. All you need to do is to pay the cost-to-cost renewal fee (i.e. $35 at the moment) and repurchase your maid insurance.

FDW Homeleave

Qns: In the employment contract, it states that if I would like to renew my FDW after her completion of contract, I would need to provide her with a paid home leave of up to 14 days as well as a return ticket. Is this compulsory or mandatory?

Ans: It is not compulsory. However, do note that this is a standard practice (by industry) and as such it is often encouraged for employers to provide this.

My maid has stolen my belongings

For cases where maids have stolen from employers, it is often encouraged to investigate and find out further to ascertain that your FDW has indeed stolen from you.

If you are certain that your maid has indeed stolen from you, it is encouraged to report the matter to the police, as this is a criminal offence. You are also encouraged to call and inform your agent too.

Maid Mobile Phone Usage

A common guideline to employers is to allow your maid to use her mobile phone after her work has completed, likely in the evening. This is so that she is able to call home and be in touch with her family.

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