Hiring a foreign domestic worker is usually what families do when they need someone to help with caregiving and domestic work. As of today, there are around 250,000 maids working in Singapore. Only about one-third of them finish two years of their contract. In view of this, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) feels the need to support employers in their hiring of maids, since early termination of contracts is expensive and is undesirable to both sides.
The MOM will put forward a series of new measures beginning from October 2019, in hopes to enable employers in finding maids who are of the right fit. The new measures include providing dispute resolution services for employers and maids, giving out more information to aid employers and maid agencies find more accurate matches, and making sure maid agencies take more responsibility for their matching result.
The new policies were created based on feedback taken in October 2018 from employers, maid agencies and non-government organisations. The measures will be implemented progressively over the next 2 years so that employers, maids, and employment agencies will be able to adjust to the changes.
Free dispute resolution services (from the end of October 2019)
The Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST) will provide free dispute resolution services to aid resolved problems between employers, maids and agencies. Rather than firing your maid, employers may reach CDE and FAST for assistance regarding employment issues. You shall contact CDE via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance if needed.
Providing more information to help employers and maid agencies identify the right candidate (from October 2020)
Employers and maid agencies will be able to gain more information on the length of employment and the previous work experience of a prospective maid in Singapore. For example, the key job scope, residence type and family size, and the reason for ending the previous contract will be provided. This practice will let employers choose more suitable maids.
Moreover, maid agencies will be able to access profiles of maids whose employers change maids frequently within a 12-month period. This will better advise employers who may need extra assistance in choosing a suitable maid.
Making sure maid agencies take greater responsibility for matching service (from October 2021)
Maid agencies will be informed when the maids they had placed left Singapore after finishing their contracts. These maids are more likely to have well adjusted to living in Singapore and have had good working relationships with their previous employers. Bringing them back to the country would benefit other employers looking to hire.
Also, every maid agencies will need to provide a refund option of no less than 50% of the service fee charged to employers when the contract ends early (i.e., within the first 6 months). This will ensure maid agencies take larger responsibility for finding more suitable options for employers.