Subsidised classes for new maids, The Straits Times 1 Sep 2014
Employers can now sign their new maids up for subsidised classes in healthy cooking, massage, traditional Chinese medicine for pain relief and others.
The classes are part of a support programme launched by the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Fast). The charity is partnering 14 maid agencies to offer the programme, which includes a half-day Singapore heritage tour and a year's membership at the charity's clubhouse in Raeburn Park.
The cost of the programme is about $145, before subsidies from the charity's corporate sponsors.
It will complement the one-day Settling In Programme required for all first-time maids.
The charity is partnering 14 maid agencies to offer this programme to new employers for free or at a fee not exceeding $50, in a six-month pilot starting next week. The programme includes a half-day Singapore heritage tour, a year's membership at the charity's clubhouse in Raeburn Park in Tanjong Pagar, and $50 worth of vouchers to enrol in classes that are priced between $10 and $20.
Extracted this from forum:
ST: What do they teach in Maid's SIP classes?
I was told that for Indonesian maid's classes, Indonesian speakers conduct the class and they have teach the maids that if they are unhappy, just ask for transfer.
One of my friend's maid argued with her that she can take naps. I think the booklet says that those maids who take care of midnight feeding may do so.
Any thoughts or info to share?
PO: If there is someone else around who can take care of the baby for a while during the day, if I were the employer, I would allow the maid to nap.
ST: This maid has no baby to take care of.
My point is, I think all these maids come into our house with a defensive mindset, eager to manipulate the situation to serve their purpose.
It does not cost them anything to keep changing employers. How many employers are eager to change maids? When we have a good maid, we just want to keep them forever.
All we want is for the maid to be a team player, that starts with following instructions. If they come in wanting to do things their way, it disrupts/ruins our plans.....when they are unhappy having to follow our standard of hygiene or our way of life........they can easily change employer while we are paying levy, food and lodging for their transfer period. If they wanted to stay the same, they should have stay home.....not lie to us to set foot here, then told in class that they can change employer when they are not happy...
TR: I agree...if they have decided to come here and work, be prepared to work and don't have the mindset to come here for holiday or make friends! many view working overseas as a chance to "see the world"...all at the employer's expense... :mad:
and i hate it that they already come with a mindset that anything they not happy, just request for change in employer...they never spare a thought for us employers...think we are all so free issit? keep changing employers until they are happy? and when are they happy? when they don't need to do much housework or look after kids or cook and have off days every week and earn a high pay.... :stupid:
seriously, someone should just tell them to wake up their ideas man! if every job is so easy, then why do we have to employ them in the first place? if they want senang jobs, just stay in their own country! :rant:
ST: I think instructor just tell them..............don't worry and don't have to waste time remember anything or do anything....just change employer until you happy!
When my agent was going through my maid's stuff and asked her about the SIP class cards and book what she learn.... She said 'I don't know, didn't read....'
PE: Actually my maid naps and play her tablet everyday even though my gal is already in primary school. She naps whenever she wants even when my child is at home. That's why my gal knew and told me about it. I didn't make noise because my gal is already in primary school. But I think if I transfer her out not sure if other employer can accept it.
So for napping, I think it should be discussed. For babies, if there is night feeding then let maid nap with baby but if u have a baby that sleeps through the night then napping is something that should be addressed.
MN: Bull sh*t training!
My 2.5 months old helper, many times we told her not to stand on the ikea plastic stool as it is slippery but she just wouldn't want to listen! just last Sun, DH saw her, again using the same stool, tip-toeing standing on to close the upper window in the kitchen without the window grill closed! :rant:
My 2 young kids have giving me less worry on their safety but a 31 yo helper really :stupid:
I rather MOM reinstate the English test before FDW enter Singapore... as mostly all new Indo maids cannot speak, cannot understand Eng - win lor, dont understand = dont need to do
ST: I was told that the instructors are Indonesians and that teach them to ask for change of employer anytime they are not happy. I think MOM should have surveillance to listen and see what the maids are taught in class.
My friend previously had a maid who purposely sit on the window just to irritate my friend who told her not to do that.
The idea of having SIP is an orientation programme for maids/FDWs. It includes safety knowledge but how come maids take it lightly? Lately, there were a few cases of FDWs trying to be spiderman or butterflies. They fell and paid a high price for their carelessness/reckless.... so did their employers.
Should maids be trained in Spore so that they have more time to adapt and live a high rise life?
When maids fall out from the windows, why SIP training centre has no liabilities to bear?
Who is SIP for
First-time maids in Singapore. They have to attend the programme within three working days of arrival here and before their work permits are issued.
Full-day course from 9am to 6pm. Includes two tea breaks and lunch.
$75, paid by employers
What is taught
Introduction to Singapore. Tips on adjusting to life here, including how to take public transport and an introduction to the nation's racial and religious groups.
SIP will be delivered through a combination of lectures, videos and practical sessions and will cover the following five modules:
(i) Introduction to Singapore
(ii) Conditions of employment
(iii) Safety at home
(iv) Safety in other areas
(v) Relationship and stress management
Conditions of employment
Their responsibilities and rights, as well as their employers' duties.
Relationship and stress management
How to identify the causes and symptoms of stress, and build a good relationship with their employers.
Why must Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) attend SIP?
The SIP will better orientate first-time FDWs by equipping them with basic knowledge about living and working in Singapore. This will include modules on how to manage stress and adapt to working in a foreign, urban environment.
These will help FDWs adapt better to working in local households and foster better working relationships with their employers. First-time FDWs must attend the SIP within three working days of their arrival in Singapore, excluding the day of arrival.
What languages will the SIP be taught in?
The SIP is conducted in the FDWs’ native languages, such as Bahasa Indonesia, Myanmese and Tagalog. SIP will also be conducted in English.
What happens to Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) who do not attend the SIP?
A8 FDWs who fail to attend the SIP within three working days of arrival in Singapore,
excluding the day of arrival, will not be issued their Work Permits and will be
I am a foreigner and am bring in my own Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW)
directly. Must my FDW attend the Settling-In Programme (SIP)?
If your FDW is a first-time FDW in Singapore, she is required to attend the SIP.
A first-time FDW is one who:
• Has no employment record with MOM’s Work Pass Division; or
• Has Work Permit records with MOM but did not collect her Work Permit cards
previously. This includes Foreign Domestic Workers who have worked in
Singapore for brief periods in the past, or who have applied for Work Permits
but did not eventually work in Singapore.
The SIP is focused on adapting FDWs to working and living in a foreign environment, especially on observing work safety. FDWs will also learn about their rights and responsibilities while working in Singapore, as well as relationship and stress management. The SIP will help FDWs be better oriented and adjusted when starting work at your household, which can help reduce conflicts and accidents at the workplace.
Working Safely around Window Areas
This training programme aims to help FDWs to carry out their house chores in a safe manner around window areas. Course fee is heavily subsidised for all FDWs as FAST/GMC are commited to help FDWs work safely at home, especially around window areas. Employers of FDWs are welcome to attend this programme so that they are able to better supervise their helpers.
This programme is conducted every Saturday and Sunday and is available in 3 languages - Bahasa Indonesia/English/Burmese.
Other optional training modules
Optional training modules offered by ECON Careskill Training Centre (ECTC) to enhance FDWs' knowledge and care skills.
Other training courses are also available to augment the trainee's care knowledge and skills. ECTC provides caregiver's course (accredited by Centre For Enabled Living), specialized caregivers training on Dementia and Elderly care, and Child Massage courses (using TCM philosophies) amongst others. The nurse educators can also develop customised caregiver training courses based on your requirements and care required for your loved ones. Depending on your needs, the training course can be conducted at the 'live' training lab in our Medicare Centre and Nursing Home, ECTC training centre or at your own home.
Ministry of Manpower
From 1 May 2012, all first-time FDWs need to attend the Settling-In Programme (SIP) within the first three working days of their arrival in Singapore (excluding the day of arrival).
The SIP is a one-day programme to orientate first-time FDWs to working and living in Singapore. The SIP will consist of five modules, including: introduction to Singapore, conditions of employment, safety at home, safety in other areas, and relationship and stress management. The SIP is conducted in the FDWs’ native languages to maximise understanding and retention.
Registration for the SIP can be done with any of the two Accredited Training Providers.
A first-time FDW is one who:
Has no employment record with MOM’s Work Pass Division; or
Has Work Permit records with MOM but did not collect her Work Permit cards previously. This includes FDWs who have worked in Singapore for brief periods in the past, or who have applied for Work Permits but did not eventually work in Singapore.
Responsibilities of employment agencies
Employment agencies (EAs) should only place FDWs for employment after they have attended the SIP.
The EA is also responsible for the FDW’s upkeep and maintenance, including the provision of proper accommodation, from her arrival until she is successfully placed for employment, or until she is repatriated if unsuccessfully placed. The agency is required to repatriate the FDW, and bear the cost of doing so, if she is unsuccessfully placed.
Signing of Safety Agreement
For FDWs who are deployed from 1 December 2012 onwards, EAs will be required to facilitate the signing of a safety agreement between employers and the FDWs, i.e. when new employment relationships are established, whether for first-time or transfer FDW.
For first-time FDWs, the EA should facilitate the safety agreement after the FDW has attended the Settling-In-Programme, prior to the deployment of the FDW to the employer’s home. For transfer FDWs, the EA should facilitate the safety agreement prior to the deployment of the FDW to the employer’s home.
The EA is not required to facilitate the safety agreement for renewals, i.e. when the employer is renewing the employment contract with her existing FDW. This agreement is to ensure that both employers and FDWs are aware and understand MOM’s requirements when cleaning the exterior of windows. The agreement lists MOM’s restrictions on the cleaning of window exterior and employers will state their requirement for the FDW to clean the window exterior in accordance to MOM’s regulations. The FDW will also acknowledge the employer’s requirement on cleaning the window exterior. To ensure FDWs understand, the agreement copy to be signed by the FDW will be in her native language.
All three parties, i.e. EA, employer and FDW, will sign the safety agreement and each should keep a copy of the signed agreement.
Maids learn to 'lock, check, open' - Straits Times, Sep 2012
Lock, check, open. First, lock the window grilles. Check to make sure they are locked before cleaning the out-facing windows. Then, open the grilles to clean the inside panels.
This is what more than 15,000 maids have been taught to do since May to be safe when cleaning the windows of high-rise homes.
The cleaning tip is part of the new Settling-In-Programme (SIP), a course that replaces an entry test that was scrapped after non-governmental organisations, maid agencies and maids complained that it was too difficult for non-English speakers.
The compulsory, one-day course teaches first-time maids how to work safely and adjust to life in Singapore.
Forms soon on maid safety pact - Straits Times, Sep 2012
Employers will soon have to sign an agreement to ensure that their maids follow safety guidelines when they clean the exterior of windows at their homes. (Winter: I have not seen this form till now, year 2013)
Maids and maid agents will also be required to sign the form, to be introduced by the year end. (Winter: so is safety now in maid's own hands? or Employers still need to babysit maids?)
Maid agents were told of this new agreement at a closed-door briefing yesterday by Ministry of Manpower (MOM) officers. About 500 agents attended the 21/2-hour meeting.
In response to The Straits Times' queries last night, MOM said employment agencies have a "major role" to play in ensuring maids' safety at work. The meeting was held to notify them of the new initiative and the results of a recent audit of 65 agencies.
The agreement comes after new safety measures announced recently by the ministry, including having an employer or adult supervise maids when they clean the exterior of windows, installing window grilles and ensuring that the grilles are locked when the windows are being cleaned.
The instructions are also printed on the form, the agents said.
They were told that signing the new agreement will be part of the conditions for getting a licence. Agents who do not sign or issue the form may be fined up to $5,000, jailed for six months, or receive both a fine and a jail term.
This year, nine foreign maids have died after falling from high-rise buildings.
Maid agents who attended the briefing had mixed views about the new agreement.
Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore) president K.Jayaprema said: "The new agreement makes the work of agents more tedious but they should take it in their stride. Agents and employers are responsible for the safety of maids."
Orange Employment Agency owner Shirley Ng said: "We can lend a helping hand to reinforce the safety message but we should not be held liable for safety. It is first and foremost the responsibility of employers to ensure the safety of their maids since they are living in their employers' homes."
Employers interviewed said the form was a way to reinforce the importance of safety.
Human resource manager Susanna Sim, 54, who has employed maids for more than 15 years, said employers may forget what they have signed but "they must believe in the importance of these safety precautions so that it comes naturally to them to watch over their maids".
The agents were also told yesterday that 65 maid agencies in Bukit Timah were inspected recently by MOM officers and about 70 per cent were found to have breached MOM's requirements for employment agencies. These included agency staff not wearing proper identification cards and receipts that did not detail clearly what customers were paying for.
MOM told the agents also that it would introduce a standard biodata form for maids soon and it would be made part of licensing conditions for them.