• Screen shot 2020 05 29 at 4.15.06 pm
    May 29, 2020
    All about new maids: fees and information
    • Post By: Eugene Chan

    A fresh/new helper is simply as the name implies, which refers to a Foreign Domestic Worker wanting to engage in this profession for the first time. They are generally available for hire via agencies, and have some form of basic training either from their home country or from the agency. A new helper joining your family certainly requires quite a lot of patience and understanding when it comes to educating and training her with the tasks and expectations of your household, and at times there may be language limitations too. Most helpers are able to understand basic English and of course their mother tongue, and some are able to converse with basic dialect or mandarin. When you are sourcing for a new helper it is best to be very clear about your needs and expectations to avoid any disappointment or misunderstandings when she joins your household.
    The fees involved in hiring a new helper are a combination of agency fees, processing fees and the helpers loan. The agency you engage will provide a detailed breakdown of the fees incurred and it varies between agencies. The helper usually has a loan which is capped at $1100 and will repay this usually within 2 months by using her salary, on top of the agency fees and processing fees. The loan is to cover initial costs of her job search, training, medical exams and processes that allow her to start work. The Maid loan is paid upfront to the agency by the employer, and is then deducted back to the employer from the helper’s salary. It is encouraged that the helper use half her salary to repay the loan over a longer period but if she wishes to use her full salary to repay it quicker, that is also acceptable. other items include Maid insurance, a monthly levy, and the $5000 security bond that is refundable if contract terms have not been breached upon termination. we will go into further detail about pricing in a future article!
    The general criteria for any type of helper, regardless of new or transfer are as follows:
    1. Female
    2. Between 23 to 50 years of age at the time of application
    3. From an approved country where the applicant is able to work as an FDW such as Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, India etc.
    4. Has no relation to the previous employer
    5. Will be employed to work at the address stated on you(the employer’s) NRIC
    6. Have at least 8 years of formal education
    7. If the helper is new without experience, you will need to arrange for her to attend the Settling In Programme once she arrives in her country of work
     The settling-in programme (SIP) is a compulsory 1 day orientation programme for first-time Foreign Domestic Workers which aims to educate them on the safety precautions and conditions of living in Singapore. General topics covered are:
    • Adapting to working and living in Singapore
    • Conditions of employment
    • Working safely
    • Relationship and stress management
    In order to register a Foreign Domestic Worker for SIP training you will require the IPA letter, the helper’s passport and a copy of her educational certificate.
    Here’s a general overview, extracted from the Ministry of Manpower’s website.

    At a glance

    Who must attend
    When to attend
    Within 3 days of FDW’s arrival, excluding Sunday and public holidays.
    What is the duration
    1 day.
    When to start work
    Only after FDW has attended the SIP.
    How much it costs
    $75 (including GST), borne by the FDW’s employer.
    Conducted in the FDW’s native language.

    As more and more households find hiring a helper nowadays, It is encouraged that should you be looking for a helper, to be clear about the expectations and be meticulous about the initial meet up and interview. In some cases especially for new helpers, they are still based in the home country and will conduct the interview via video call so have your questions ready and try to engage with the interview with as much detail as possible. New helpers may lack the experience at first, but will possess a high level of enthusiasm and will be more willing to learn of course with patience and guidance from the employer. They will require time to adapt to the surroundings, but will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to your family and household!