1 Sep 2014

Settling-In-Programme (SIP) course for fresh maid

Subsidised classes for new maidsThe 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?

Settling-In Programme
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. 

With effect from 1 May 2012, all first-time foreign domestic workers (FDWs) will attend the one-day Settling-In Programme (SIP), conducted in English or in the FDWs' native languages. SIP aims to better orientate and equip FDWs with basic knowledge about living and working safely in Singapore. SIP will replace the English Entry Test for FDWs. The current 4-hour Safety Awareness Course (SAC) will also be subsumed under the SIP.

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.

28 Aug 2014

Cost to hire a domestic maid (FDW)

Below comment has been deleted.
Posting here to show how activist rate us and kept focusing at that miserable monthly salary.  

Who can survive without food and lodging?  All employee in Spore pay for their own living costs, except the good life/pampered maids.  This person posted in my blog without using brain?  It is obvious we can't change the mindset of such self-centered or fake saints.  

Do you really need to hire a maid ... knowing the odds are on your side?  Think about MOM's harsh terms and the evil/die-hard forces (fighters/activists) for FDWs.

If the reason why you wanted to hire a FDW (maid) is because you felt hiring a FDW is dirt cheap, only cost $450 to $500 per month, read this blog and every post (click) .... the answers are there, up to you to read!  It is usually those who were bullied by maids mentally and/or financially will know the real taste of employing FDWs.  I find it extremely hard to describe and get people to feel the same 难起共鸣.  Most people have a soft spot for maids and don't believe employers.  Just like you've not been a special needs parent, how much can you understand what I'm going through?

Don't be cheated or be naive to think employing a maid will definitely make your life easier.  The quality of FDWs have deteriorated yet salary and recruitment fee have increased by about twofold, compared to 2 years ago.  

Jun 2014
FDW's salary

This DIY self ad of a filipino maid, claimed not given off day but able to hook on to internet and looking for good heart employer (her current bad heart?). 
Posed with employer’s child.  I get offended with maid posing with my child and uploaded picture online or sharing behind my back.

1 Feb 2014
Based on the MOM’s latest levy for Service sector, unskilled: S$400. If MOM is really thinking of increasing the FDW levy and wants to encourage those who are holding work permits to employ FDWs, the ideal levy for this group of employers is S$500/mth. PRs pay $400/mth (normal rate) while qualified citizens remain as paying a concession rate of $120/mth.

The current (normal rate) levy to employ a foreign domestic worker is S$265/mth. If my suggestion is workable, in future, employers who want 2 maids in the same address should pay $800-1000 for their 2nd FDW....cos rich people felt employing maids is dirt cheap.  Expats felt it is something they are not 'entitled to' when in home country so became a must have for some to show off.

The NPTD paper estimated Singapore will need 300,000 maids by year 2030 (as at Dec 2013, there were 214,500 FDW work permit issued) so I don’t think MOM wants to 见财化水,不能从中牟利. Work permit-employers don’t need to worry that you’ll be weeded out. You will still be able to employ cheap maids, continue to show $power and be the most desirable employers in maids’ view. By offering a private room to the FDW, shorter working hours, give extra off days (not just weekly rest day) …. these are + + +!

Our PAP still have plenty of rooms for improvement. I hope PAP/MOM is not up to some dirty tricks, one hand gives and the other hand takes back $$ in double!

In Budget 2013, it was announced that those paying concession rate of $170/mth will receive $50 discount so means some employers are paying $120/mth. I hope this will be the discounted/final amount regardless levy is increased till whatever amount. Those who qualified for FDW grant, if I read the budget correctly, it means paying zero value. I hope it remains … zero, based on per capita income.

There should be a great difference between Citizens, PRs and Foreigners. The same theory for healthcare and education, foreigners are paying more. Citizens should ultimately be the ones enjoying the country's benefits and receive subsidized rate for holding pink ICs, not forgetting our male citizens went thru National Service for this land.

The cost to employ an inexperience/fresh filipino maid is $500 with 4 off days (noticed online ad, some agencies advertised fresh Phil maid $450 with 4 off days.  I guess they are aware fresh maids are not worth $500 with 4 off days or just a scam). Fresh Indonesian and Myanmar is about S$450, some has one off day each month, some gets 4 off. The rest - Cost to Hire a FDW will be the same as below table. In total, each month, to employ a maid, her salary and live-in costs is about S$1500... meaning, a maid's take home pay is much more than Spore low income citizens. 

No other job, except FDW, employer covers her daily living expenses.  All employee, whether you work in an office, shop, restaurant or stalls, you have to bear your own meals, transport, food, insurance, accommodation, etc.

Some rich employers/expats/activists deliberately DO NOT factor in FDW's live-in costs. I repeat, all employee receives a salary and need to pay his/her own transport, food, insurance, accommodation, etc EXCEPT FDWs. Therefore, it is most sensible that you sum up using below table. You are, not others, are providing FDW's agency fee, levy, salary, food, insurance, accommodation, in-house training, etc .... I don't believe all these are free but I believe you could be earning a lot to disregards her living costs, even a pet has a cost to live, so isn't it weird that there are people who continuously look at a maid's salary and ignored' her other costs. Sounds like 自欺欺人,何必做到那么出格,为别人做嫁衣, 尽力欺负和重伤我们 (Employers)? 埋没良心真的就能把你变成好人?

Read: Who earns lesser than FDW?

If the reason why you wanted to hire a FDW (maid) is because you felt hiring a FDW is dirt cheap, only cost $420 to $500 per month compared to childcare centre and you can make her at your beck & call?  Read this blog and every posts.... the answers are there!  Don't be cheated or be naive to think employing a maid will make your life easier.  If your maid is like mine, stubborn, owns a mobile/net savvy and have off days .... you won't dare to think managing maid is simple and easier than any local employee.
Read: Do you really need a maid?

22 Apr - This calculation is based on Philippines Embassy's intention to make Sg employers pay more, suffer more yet didn't get better maid service.  The Philippine government wants Singapore employers to bear its domestic workers' placement fees, which on average cost $2,000 or four months' salary. It wants to prevent filipino maids from paying this.  Fresh Filipino maid has nothing to lose.  Anything unhappy, employer kiss good-bye to all the money invested, nothing to tie FDWs down.  Filipinos fly to Spore completely no loan, no burden so not required to commit and do a good job!  Encouraged to run or behave badly at employers' expense.... legally protected leeches!  MOM should step in to eliminate middleman, unscrupulous agency and stop source country from being so hungry.

When you hired a bad Filipino maid, you lose S$2000 + another S$1000.
- Add SIP costs, insurance, agency fee and one way air ticket to repatriate her.

When you hired a lousy or princess Filipino maid, you lose S$2000 + another S$1000 to get her transferred out.
- Add accommodation at agency ($20/day), MOM levy, agency fee, insurance and salary of a maid who didn't physical stay & work for you.

S$3000 flew away, is this cheap?  Can you afford?  If the quality of maids didn't improve, it is very likely to see people trying to fish money from Employers' pocket.

Most households need a FDW for dual roles, not plainly as a babysitter, cleaner or elder caregiver.  It may be cheaper to hire a babysitter, put in childcare centre or engage part-time cleaner but if you've more than one child, work long or irregular hours, it is more practical to get a FDW.  For me, I don't have an option to put my girl into a special needs daycare centre, get relatives' help, in-law's help nor could get a good babysitter living nearby, willing to give my girl loving care.   Employing a FDW is my only option to earn a decent salary to cope with Sg high living standard.... if anyone bothers to read my blog.... should know.

Read: Who get lesser than FDWs and don't enjoy the privileges of foreign maids?

Using old system, employer must help to pay maid loan of 7 to 8 months once you agree to hire a fresh maid.  Maid will only receive her real salary after 7-8 months of FREE LABOUR. 
Money eaten by local and home country agencies.  If maid claimed she is unaware of above S$2000 maid loan (placement fee), employer will lead a tough life.  Maid will assume employer cheated her money.

Is it dirt cheap to hire a domestic maid (FDW) in Spore? S$1700 per month?  Is it fair to make us pay all the live-in expenses and costs imposed by MOM but quality of FDWs kept detoriorating?

* low FDW retention means FDW worked just a few months, very often less than one year and was transferred out.  I would believe most employers prefer to keep their FDWs so as not incurr losses and waste their time spent to train FDWs.  Not many Sg employers are rich stay-home women, can afford the costs and time (take annual leave). When a FDW is really lousy, unwilling to work then FDW has to be sent back to maid agency.  No such thing as employer gets free replacement.  Each replacement is not really free and you don't get a suitable maid sourced by the same agency (you can afford to wait 1 to 3 months?) so don't be cheated by such gimmick, look at the terms and conditions before you pay full.  Most agents just want to rush you to sign the papers and didn't let you read the contract properly, said you can read at home ... too late to regret if terms are unfavourable.

Fresh Filipino FDW's take home pay each month is S$500. Not required to pay anything or affected by Spore high cost of living.  This amount excludes what FDW spends during weekly off days.  Maids can find 'sponsors' to pay so that she can have $500 untouched.  Just need to learn from other experienced/polluted maids, they don't mind show newbies the ropes.

Cost of Indonesian live-in FDW
Description - employer's spendingMonthly
Fresh/Inexperience Indonesian FDW $450.0
minimum salary, as per Indonesia embassy
weekly off days by law, year 2013 @$69.20$0.0
based on 26 working days, salary includes 4 off day (compensation)
Spore Agency fee $988 to 1888, based on 12months @$1288$107.3
low FDW retention, no guarantee FDW will complete 2 years
Maid loan (FDW owe agencies)$0.0
7 months salary, employer pays advance $3200
$367.05 Medical & insurance + bond$61.2
divided by 6 months. FDW Insurance has no refund value after FDW worked above 181 days

Half yearly medical test, MOM requirement

3 meals, same as employer



FDW pregnancy and health check-up

Based on 26 working days
FDW Levy$170.0
usual is $265
Settling (SIP) course$7.4
divided by 12month (low FDW retention rate)
Accommodation, Utilities, laundry and bathroom facilities $400.0
based on twin-sharing room rental
Medical, sundries, transport, pillow, mattress, bedsheet, etc$20.0

15 days Home Leave after 2year contract
Use 24 months to save and pay FDW home leave
Return air ticket cost minimum $500, after 2year contract$20.8
Use 24 months to save and pay FDW home leave
Employer paysS$1,567.30
This is what Employer forks out each month.
Is it dirt cheap to hire a domestic maid (FDW) in Spore? Is it fair to make us pay all the live-in expenses and costs imposed by MOM but quality of FDWs kept detoriorating?

FDW's take home pay each month
Not required to pay anything or affected by Spore high cost of living 

No weekly off days so not much spending.
Maids can find 'sponsors' to pay so that she can have $450 untouched.  Don't be surprised, she has her ways even though no off days.  They are smart!

For NTUC Income FDW insurance policy MI2E, MI3E and MI4E plans issued with or without Waiver of Counter Indemnity on 01 Jan 2010 onwards, you will be entitled to the following refund amounts. This is provided that your Foreign Maid Insurance policy is taken up for a term of 26 months and is cancelled within 180 days.

When policy cancellation is done from the start date of Foreign Maid Insurance
Refund Amount
Within 60 days
70% of policy premium
Within 61 to 90 days
55% of policy premium
Within 91 to 180 days
40% of policy premium
From 181 days onwards
No Refund

Basic premium rates
26 months policy$   367.05^
14 months policy$   238.65^
The cost to hire a domestic maid may rise if your FDW happens to get a low starting pay, compared to FDWs from another country.  Yahoo has this article about different nationalities were offered different starting pay in Spore.   This is related to SMRT bus drivers' strike.  Source

The civil advocacy groups Maruah, Think Centre, Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) and Workfair Singapore, called for an anti-discrimination culture and law to be cultivated and instituted respectively in Singapore.

“Migrant workers are treated as commodities. They have basic rights. How can you just kick them around as if they are nothing?”

“The objective and the intention behind not giving a 14-day notice must come into play”, noting that the act is one of public order and thus, the strike’s intent must be proven.  Based on Parliamentary speeches made by Lee Kuan Yew and David Marshall in 1955, the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (CLTPA), which metes out an imprisonable sentence, is targeted at clamping down on “topengs” (agitators) and “hotheads” who may disregard negotiations intended to be held during the 14-day strike notice period.

Winter:  Filipino, Indonesian, Myanmese, Indian, Sri Lankan FDWs are being offered different starting pay (inexperience fresh maid).  So if these activists want to make life more difficult for FDWs’ employer, what can we do?  If activists insist all human should enjoy the same minimum starting pay, regardless nationalities and living standard, who will help to protect our interest and hard earned money?  

Wait long long!  MOM will be happy to continue take the back seat, support the foreigners and make our pockets burnt.  (click, see what MOM replied to me) MOM will not turn down any request made by source countries or activists.  Has MOM turned down any lately?  What have they done to help?  Which policy did MOM implemented recently that is proven effective and helpful to us?  Already 4 months since the weekly off day was legislated.  What regulation was passed out to reduce our liabilities and risks when maids are enjoying off days? 

Maid are now more proned to sexual diseases yet employer still made liable to pay for their half yearly medical check-up.  If FDWs are found pregnant or infected with diseases and the Dr report to MOM instead of letting employers know in advance, what can you do to minimise your losses and inconvenience caused?  Nothing, no law has been passed to safeguard our interests nor erase our fears. 

Just highlighting another case of being friendly and helpful to foreigners.  I didn't say the bus drivers shouldn't stand up to uphold their rights .... just jealous and frustrated activists are helping them, whereas, no organisation bothers to look at us. 

Looks like the country law means nothing to activists, if they felt not right, just hit people with 'Human Rights' and you are half dead!  Treat human like commodity, treat maids like slaves ... all sorts of accusation to make 'human rights' stand out.  This weapon call 'Human Rights' is so powerful but can FDWs' employer use it?  MOM didn't treat us like human, disregards our feelings, we're less important compared to FDWs..... we're just their money trees, ATM machines, am I right?  If you disagree, kindly direct me to some new policies that state FDWs' employer are also human, treated fairly and given equal human rights/protection from the hungry wolves.  Tell me something to brighten my life as a FDW's employer.  I believe I'm not the only employer who need some encouragement/news to show MOM/PAP didn't forsake us, value 'outsiders' more than citizens (trying very hard to make ends meet). 

When a worker demands, go on strike for better pay at the expenses of others, their employers get fined due to the disruption they caused.

Dec 2012 - I paid these for my Indonesia maid (Nov):

Indonesian FDW's Salary - minimum salary
Agency fee (agencies claimed their FDWs are trained - 400 hrs) Employer's house is the real training centre, not agency
FDW's 6.5 month loan (she's a transfer maid)
2-year medical & insurance + bond
FDW Levy (concession, normal is S$265/month)
3 meals, same as employer (based on 29 working days, using $3 per meal, excluding drink, snacks, visits to restaurant)
FDW half yearly medical check-up
Accommodation, Utilities, single bed, laundry and bathroom facilities.  A common room rental in Spore is $600 to $900/month
Settling (SIP) course (a training imposed by MOM but just a waste of employer's money).  Factored into agency fee.
Medical, sundries, transport, etc
Return air ticket cost minimum S$400, after completion of a 2-year contract
15 days paid Home Leave after completion of a 2-year contract
Employer's liabilities: runaway FDW and $5000 security bond
Repatriation cost of a bad maid - one way ticket home
cross my fingers, hope nothing happens that will fish money from my pocket

Pay FDW high salary does not equate to better performance. Employers who have learnt the hard way will know what I mean. They know that FDWs nowadays get much higher salary, better welfare and more people to pity them. Their quality had deteriorated, not worth the dollars and cents!

I believe it's better to pay an inexperienced FDW a reasonable monthly salary of S$400 per month.  The monthly levy that MOM made us paid can be considered as bonus.  If the FDW successfully completed 23 months of service with her employer, will be getting a 2-year contract renewal, the levy that her employer has paid to MOM should be cashed out and become her bonus.  Let's say $170 x 24 months = S$4080!!  This will really motivate a FDW to provide good domestic service, childcare or eldercare and stick to one employer.  It will also encourage FDWs to stay in Spore and not fly to Hong Kong or Taiwan.  Usual re-contract is 10% salary increment.

While hunting for a suitable transfer maid, I saw an Indian/Nepalese whom I was very keen to hire but hubby uninterested.  Her English seemed better than my Indo.  She can eat anything, looked tall and matured.  I regret not following my heart and ask her to visit my house for interview.

Hope MOM encourages Spore agencies to bring in FDWs from new source countries such as rural/poor China provinces, Cambodia or Vietnam to stop embassies from making unreasonable demands.   Home countries unwilling to provide high salary to their own people yet expect Spore employers to pay, ridiculous! 

Can MOM stop agencies from treating FDWs like commodities?  Stop making employers look like ATM machines, bear all the risks & costs and allowed agencies to make huge profit from each FDW that was marketed?

Allow DIY, provide a legal online website in each source country for employers to bring in FDWs without going through any agent?  Can MOM allow FDW be housed in a boarding house and remove all liabilities lumped on my shoulder?  I don't want to know what she does after working hours or on off days.  Don't make me fully responsible for her bad behaviour and well-being, especially when she's not physically working in my house.

I don't know how long I can tolerate life living with FDW.  Will I be able to endure till M finishes her loan?  Will I live to see 明天会更好?

Felt nowadays, hiring a FDW is like killing myself slowly.  If you have no sickness, you may end up with.  I stopped my long-term medication but worry new FDW may trigger my illness.  I feel like I'm a volcano going to erupt.

Many years ago, before I became a FDW's employer, there are many University grads who accepted the position of Foreign Domestic Worker.  Now, a lot are just Primary or Secondary level.  Due to little education, they couldn't understand simple English, incapable of doing a proper job as per instructions/training.  These FDWs merely came due to the high FDW demand.  They flew here thinking FDW are easy jobs, paid high salary and the debts (maid loan) is every employer's responsibility.  Maids thought they can get employers to share their wealth example indulge her with expensive mobile phone, fine dining, etc. 

When you hired a maid, the cost above will be even more if the person hired is having such mentality.  The reason: you didn't meet her expectations, maid thought you've short-changed her entitlement so she wanted a transfer or runaway. 

Comparison - A maid’s salary:

Dh1400 to Dh2000 (S$500), with experience
Dh1100 – Filipino with no experience
Expat offers DH2500 to 3000

Hong Kong
HK$3920 (S$617), with experience
Employers prefer those who've worked 2 years in Spore
Given weekly off days and Public Holiday off

NT$15840 (S$665) , with experience

Employers prefer those who've worked 2 years in Spore

Levy NT$5000 (S$200)
Working on off days will be paid NT$528/off-day

US$210 (S$257) - Filipino with no experience

RM$700 (S$350), no experience – one task recommended for this salary (Employers felt not workable)

S$450 to $500, no experience, depends on nationality of FDW
Mandatory weekly off days.  Pay compensation for no-off based on 26 working days/month 
Expat offers at least S$600 with juicy terms

By the way, to expatriates or other high income earners, spending S$1500/per on FDW is no big deal, simply too cheap to hire a live-in domestic maid.  Expat tend to focus on the basic salary (S$400 to $500) and start screaming ‘so low, OMG!’, having a maid is a must-have thing in Spore because it is too affordable to them!  A lot of expatriates auto increase the salary of their FDWs by paying extra S$100 to 200 above market rate. 

This kind of cash rich people should really have a taste of what it means by being too nice, spend generously on their FDWs and end up being played out!  You may think I’m mean but this is the best way to stop people from accusing us as bad employers, treating FDWs like slaves, didn’t try to give FDWs a better life in Spore and allow more freedom.

Read more by clicking this image.

Maid is not a family member
FDWs add stress to Employers
Do your sums
Why set up a blog?

How do we, the employers show that we really paid a lot for FDWs but not fairly protected by law?  How do we get MOM and activists to recognise the fact that foreign domestic workers (FDW) are a necessity in some households?  How do we feedback to MOM we are victimised by maid agencies, maids and embassies? Also, MOM may tweak its policy if more voices are received from employers.   Employers in Spore, I suggest you
email MOM to : mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg or write in to
Ministry of Manpower, 18 Havelock Road, Singapore 059764 with your real name and ID. 
It will be better if you've proof/evidence to submit.

Agency fee in Spore (one example)

Read more in my new site:
Please visit: Help Domestic Workers' Employer, don't let us be victimized

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