Whilst Singaporeans are very hard working to provide for their families, they have very limited time when it comes to the household chores: from taking care of the laundry to walking the dog every day. Thus, having a foreign domestic helper has been a popular way to keep the household in order.
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Why are we reliant on maids?
- Taking care of elders
While there are nursing homes for the elderly, many can’t afford such facilities and having a maid is way cheaper for them. Thus the government gives tax deductions to those who hire maids to care for their elderly parents. Instead of paying the monthly levy of S$265, they are only required to pay S$60 a month.
- Long working hours
Since Singaporeans are known to have great dedication in their works, they have very little time with the household. They sometimes take home some of their work which they deal with after putting the kids in bed, thus the work life balance has been too much altered. There is little possibility to still have the energy and time to deal with vacuuming the floors and cooking.
- Many don’t know how to cook
A lot of Singaporeans are used to eating out that they lack practice when it comes to kitchen matters, in Electrolux Asia Pacific Food Survey in 2014, 65% of Singaporeans admitted that they think they have limited or disastrous cooking skills. While singles can still handle eating in restaurants and fast-food chains, those with children have to resort to getting a maid.
Hiring a foreign domestic worker (FDW) is a common solution to taking care of most house related activities, however you must know that the Ministry of Manpower has strict regulations when it comes to hiring FDWs.
Before you start applying for a work permit for a FDW, you must know your helper’s biographic data such as name, age, nationality and other passport and personal details. MOM will also require you to identify the personal details of everyone living in your address.
MOM assesses application strictly by income. Naturally, you can only hire a helper if you can afford with your current income, however there are certain special circumstances.
Sponsorship is when an elderly at age of 60 want to hire a FDW, yet there is lack or absence of income and he or she has no other living adult with him/her. MOM will assess the application based on the sponsor’s (children, grandchildren or siblings) income.
Another way is through Joint Application. The employer can combine income with an immediate family member (other than the spouse) living with them at home.
Foreign domestic worker eligibility
Generally, the FWD must be a female age 23 to 50 years old from the government approved country and must have minimum of 8 years of formal education with a recognized certificate by MOM.
You may interview your potential FDW. Ask about her strengths and weaknesses, the appliances she knows how to use, her household skills such as cooking, and her motivation. Know if she has children to further create an understanding of her goals. Determine her level of English language. While some are good in English during the interview, many still struggle with its everyday use. While you are interviewing, you may also be upfront of your expectations and other particular household rules.
Are you Eligible to hire a FDW?
While there are set of eligibility requirements for FDW, employers also have theirs.
To apply for a FDW, you must be 21 years old, never been bankrupt, and has a full mental capacity to discharge your responsibility as an employer. As a first time employer you are required to attend an Employer Orientation Programme (EOP) before you apply for an FDW.
The Cost of Having a FDW:
- The monthly salary is about S$500 or more per month. Note that the salary depends on the agreed salary per day multiplied by 26 days.
S$500 x 12= S$6,600
- Monthly Maid Levy costs S$265. Remember that the levy for sponsored application is only S$60.
S$265 x 12 = S$3,180
- Maid Agency Handling Fee: S$2000/ or more as a “package” for a “new maid.”
The package costs around $1500 – S$1800 for “rehire maid” or helpers who already have a record as a FDW. These costs varies depending on the agency, however choose carefully on which agency you will use. Try to look for feedbacks in the agency’s website and social media accounts.
- First Time Employers have to undergo an Employer Orientation Programme with an online test set costing S$40
- Settling-in Programme – S$75 for first time FDW
- Work Permit application –S $30
- Work Permit issuance –S $30
- Security deposit –S $5,000
- Medical Insurance coverage – minimum coverage of S$15,000
- Personal Accident Insurance – minimum coverage of S$40,000
- Day Offs may be paid if included in the agreement. Day Offs may be 2 to 4 days per month, and on Sundays.
Hiring a new FDW will cost you S$ 71,355on the first year. As different employers have various agreements with their FDW concerning the lodging, food and other miscellaneous expenses, these are excluded from the calculated costs.
In serious need of a helper, yet you need more cash to start applying for one? You can start you application now, as Cash Mart can give you cash disbursement today. Visit Cash Mart website and start filling up the loan application to experience the fast and smooth loan process you deserve.
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