14 May 2017

Settling-In-Programme (SIP) and courses for FDW

All Topics  (content page)
Maid agency
Activist - fighters for migrant workers
Maid's (FDW) employers faced unfair policies
Indonesian maid (FDW)
so many Bruises on my girl


Punggol maid's fatal fall a misadventure, TNP, 13 May 2017
Ten days into her new job, a 25-year-old Indonesian maid was cleaning windows at a third-storey Housing Board flat service balcony when she fell and died 12 hours later.

State Coroner Marvin Bay found Ms Ella Wahyu Setyaningrum's death on Dec 4 last year to be an "unfortunate misadventure".  He said generally, it would be helpful for employers to emphasise to their domestic workers the potential dangers in cleaning windows, hanging laundry or accessing structures that protrude from high-rise apartments.

Domestic workers, particularly those from rural backgrounds, he said, may be naive to the hazards inherent in undertaking such work without proper tools and methods, or supervision.  "Some may put themselves at even greater risk by improvising with stools, chairs and ladders to access hard-to-reach places," he said.

No one saw Ms Ella fall from HDB estate Punggol Parcvista in Sumang Link.  Circumstantial evidence points to her having fallen from a height while cleaning the kitchen window, apparently using a grey stool for access, he said.  "This is borne out by the open windows and grilles, the cleaning fluid found nearby and especially the pink cleaning cloth found at the sloping edge below the window."

Ms Ella had arrived at the Punggol flat on Nov 24 to take care of her employer, who had undergone bypass surgery.  On Dec 3, the employer's daughter, 36, and Ms Ella had been cleaning the service balcony.

Later, when the daughter saw Ms Ella standing on a stool to retrieve some clothing from the indoor drying rack, she reportedly admonished her and instructed her on the proper way to keep clothing on the drying rack.

She asserted that she had not asked Ms Ella to clean the windows when she went to sleep. She woke up at about 1.20pm after hearing a woman's voice shouting for her.  She ran to the kitchen and called out for Ms Ella, who was found at the foot of the block with her right hand encased in a plastic bag.  Ms Ella died from multiple injuries at about 2am the next day.


A place for maids to unwind and pick up skills, Straits Times, 18 Dec 2016
Treadmills line the wall of an exclusive gym. In another room, shelves of books wait to be perused by club members.  This is not a lush country club, but an office building in Bukit Merah, which houses the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Fast) clubhouse.

Instead of fancy furniture and swanky art pieces, the amenities are simpler; the exercise equipment was donated by a maid agency and a training centre.  But the clubhouse, which Fast moved into in August after outgrowing its previous location, is popular and bursting at the seams every Sunday. Some 300 to 400 women take turns to use the computers, kitchen and karaoke rooms, or learn about cooking, crochet or financial literacy.

Fast was started in 2005 with the aim of providing training that employers would be keen for domestic helpers to receive. Before the mandatory rest day rule took effect in 2013, days off were not the norm for many domestic workers.  "Activities were a way for helpers to break away from the house for a few hours, meet other people, learn a craft and relieve some stress," says executive director William Chew.

FAST, formed in 2005, Fast has five staff members and 120 volunteers. The charity has a round-the-clock helpline for maids (1800-339-4357) and a befriender clubhouse, and runs vocational skills courses.

The charity, which is supported by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), was formed by Mr Seah Seng Choon, who is president of Fast, Mr Chew, Mrs Helen Tan, a former president of the Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore), pastor Solano Reynaldo Ortiz, and Mrs Quek-Ng Siew Fong, a senior deputy director at MOM.

They were worried about the high numbers of domestic worker deaths after falls from high-rise buildings, whether through accidents or due to stress, and felt that MOM's focus on language skills was not enough, says Mr Seah.

"Emotional stress seemed to be the biggest adjustment problem. The women have to live with a new family and adjust to the culture and practices here which could be quite alien to them. Some are homesick and missing their children, and at the same time have to cope with job stress," says Mr Seah, who is also the executive director of the Consumers Association of Singapore.

One of the first things Fast did was launch training programmes to help new workers learn how to clean windows safely and cook, as well as how to build a good relationship with their employers. Some of these later became part of the mandatory Settling-In Programme which MOM requires all new domestic helpers to attend.

Fast has since launched more in-depth courses with training providers such as a 160-hour eldercare course run by the Care Academy and an 80-hour infant and maternal care course by Aria Training and Consultancy.

As a charity, getting sponsorships and volunteers remains a challenge, as is finding a permanent building to call its own, says Mr Seah.  Fast hopes to advocate more for fair terms and better working conditions for domestic helpers.  It runs a 24-hour helpline which gets about 170 calls a month, a counselling service, and a shelter for maids who may be abused and need to be urgently rescued.

Where possible, the first choice is still to mediate and encourage employers and employees to foster strong relationships, says Mr Chew.  "It's a totally different lifestyle Singaporeans have gotten through domestic workers' help," he says.  "If this is the lifestyle we want, we should ensure that we can integrate them well into the family."


New infant care courses for domestic helpers, Straits Times, 14 Nov 2016
Two new courses on infant care will be available for maids from next month (Dec), a move its organisers hope will help parents in their search for such skilled caregivers.

The lessons will cover such topics as home safety, hygienic care and providing support to first-time breastfeeding mums, said the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Fast), which is organising the courses.

The trainers are from Aria Training and Consultancy, a local company that runs courses for maids.

Aria's general manager Jess Ang said on Monday (Nov 14) one of the courses is on the basics of infant care and will run over three full days. It will cost $90 after subsidies from Fast for members of its Foreign Domestic Worker Club and $180 for non-members.

The other is an advanced, 80-hour course that covers maternal care as well. It will be held every first and third Sunday of the month, over 10 months, and will cost $180 for members and $480 for non-members.

Ms Ang said the courses were developed with paediatric trained nurses, confinement nannies and Traditional Chinese Medicine physicians.

Fast executive director William Chew said three students for the advanced course will be given scholarships, based on their passion for children and their circumstances.

Demand for infant care skills is rising, said employment agent Ivy Tan of Apex Employment Agency, adding that on Sunday, she received three requests for maids experienced in taking care of babies.

"We shortlist those with experience but it helps if they go for further training on techniques and the cultural preferences of Singaporean employers," she said.

Fast also announced that its annual Foreign Domestic Worker Day will be held on Dec 11 at Singapore Polytechnic.  This year, it will invite employers to the event, which it hopes will draw 7,000 maids and their bosses, compared to last year's 6,000.

Celebrities from Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines, such as singers Yosi Mokalu, and Jenevy and actor Romnick Sarmenta, will provide entertainment.


===========
Onboarding and Integration Programme (OIP) is a new 3 days course for FDW to attend after 8 hours SIP.  It helps FDW to integrate better in Spore.  Example how to take mrt using ez-link card?  To get up to 22nd floor, you should press up or down arrow?  This course will trial run next month and FAST has intention to train about 30 FDWs.  Course fees are to be paid by the 6 partnered maid agencies.

非盈利组织办3天课程 助女佣融入本地生活, Mypaper, 23 Jun 2016
要从组屋的22楼搭电梯到底层,等电梯时应该按上箭头还是下箭头?搭乘地铁要如何打卡?对一般人来说,这是常识,但对初到新加坡的女佣而言,却可能成为她们日常生活中的挑战。

  初次到新加坡工作的外籍女佣目前必须参加“适应本地生活课程”(Settling-In Programme,简称SIP),但这项8小时的强制性课程主要围绕安全课题。非盈利组织外籍女佣援助与技能培训协会(FAST)因此决定与女佣代理公司合作,为完成SIP的女佣开办另一项3天课程。


  新课程名为“入职与融入计划”(Onboarding and Integration Programme, OIP),将在下月底试行。FAST首阶段先与大约6家女佣代理公司合作,培训大约30名女佣,课程费用将由代理公司支付。


===========
Apr 2016
Winter:  Modern maids know the meaning of safety?  Risking her life, brain malfunction or is she really naive? Maid thought she's Cat Woman or Wonder Woman who can do dangerous stunts?  What did she learn during SIP?  

Are you aware that such irresponsible, reckless act of maid will make employer incur unfair costs?  If that maid ended up with any disability eg broke her legs, is she going to blame her employer or agree she caused herself to be injured and should bear the consequences, as well as costs if insurance doesn't cover fully?  Maid caused herself to get hurt, did it on purpose, not an accident.  Kindness should be showered to FDWs blindly?  Maids won't learn and will continue to act like irresponsible adults because of people/activists protecting them like ignorant babies 假扮愚昧無知 可怜.  Who is there to protect the employers who are not at fault, eg maid is home sick, can't accept a FDW job scope?  These are not good excuses.  You can't work, why come to Spore and bring miseries to others?  Have you forgotten you chose to become FDW and employer merely employed you based on your agency's bio data?  None of us capable (not formidable 天下无敌) of forcing you ... the willing parties to board the plane and work in Spore. 

Arrested doesn't mean maid will be punished.  She is a maid, apparently her title of "FDW" is a license to run away from most legal actions.  What she's doing is perfectly legit?  Kind to FDWs, mean to Employers!  

Do I look bad by pointing and blogging the truth about FDWs?  Did I successfully caused any of you to feel remorseful ... your attitude and hatred against FDW's employers? 
Maid arrested after fall from second-storey flat, Straits Times, 13 Apr 2016
A maid who tried to leave a second-floor flat from a window fell on Tuesday (April 12) morning and injured herself.  She was later arrested for allegedly committing a "rash act", police said.  Police said it received a call for help at Block 357A, Admiralty Drive, at 4.29am.

A 34-year-old woman was subsequently arrested in relation to the case, according to the police.  It is understood that a rash act can be one that endangers others or the person who commits the act.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said a woman in her 30s was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.  Her injuries are understood to be serious.  Shin Min Daily News reported that the maid had intended to climb down from the flat on the second floor, but slipped and fell.

She wanted to go home, and her employer was already making arrangements for her return, Shin Min said.  A neighbour said that she was friendly, and had been working in Singapore for many years.


=========== Winter: Appeared this maid wasn't paying attention when she attended SIP.  She didn't note down 'proper escape route' or 'kind people' who will fight for her free.  She didn't know if she lied eg claim ill-treated, HOME (activist) will not fine, blacklist or make her pay for the time and money spent on her.  There are many ways to get a damsel (FDW) out of distress.... at others' expense!
Indonesian maid flee employers' flat via rubbish chute, The New Paper, 19 Feb 2016
At 28cm by 19cm, the rubbish chute opening is just half the size of a copy of The New Paper.  Not that its size deterred Rindu, an Indonesian domestic worker who is 1.57m tall and weighs 53kg.

The 28-year-old somehow managed to squeeze herself into the opening and, with a makeshift rope, tried to lower herself from her former employers' seventh-storey Housing Board flat.  But she lost her grip and ended up falling down the dark and dirty chute, injuring her spine and leg.  Now recuperating at a shelter in Batam, Rindu, who declined to give her full name, told TNP last Friday in English: "I just wanted to go away. I didn't think about the injuries. Maybe I'm crazy."

Recalling the days leading up to her escape attempt in November last year, she said her first month at work was fine and went smoothly.  She had come to Singapore in hopes of earning money to supplement her mother's irregular income, and it was her first job.

But Rindu soon became depressed after being allegedly mistreated by her employers. The Ministry of Manpower has disputed her claims. The employers have also reportedly engaged a lawyer for the case.

"I'm on a transfer (to another family), but I think I want to go away from this situation. I cannot wait like this. Because the situation at that time, I was really depressed..." she told TNP.

In three days, she hatched her escape plan. She would leave through the rubbish chute.  To her, that was the "safest" and only way. She said the door was electronically locked and she did not have the keys.  Neither the stench nor the danger of the act crossed her mind.  "The rubbish would be 'soft-soft', that was what I thought..." said the Indonesian.  Rindu also claimed she did not know who to seek help from, even though she attended the Settling-In Programme in September last year.  The programme teaches first-time foreign domestic workers the different avenues to seek help from, including the hotline number to call.

"I wanted to try calling the police but I didn't know the number," she said.  In the wee hours of Nov 21 - just over 2½ months into her job - she fashioned a rope by tying four bedsheets together.  

MOM: She did not bring up issues
She had earlier claimed she tried to flee because she was mistreated by her employers.  These allegations, however, did not surface when Rindu was interviewed by the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) investigating officer (IO) "despite being given repeated opportunities", a spokesman told The New Paper yesterday.

The IO first intercepted Rindu at the ferry terminal last month. All Rindu said at the time was that she wanted to return to Indonesia, and had no complaints against her employers.  The IO, however, arranged to defer Rindu's departure and conducted an in-depth interview with the assistance of an interpreter.

When asked about her duties and well-being, Rindu said her former employers, apart from nagging at her often, had not mistreated her.  She did not lack rest or food, and she had no complaints against her employers or about her employment conditions.  "She also did not bring up the incident where she alleged that her employer had splashed hot water on her or that the house keys were taken from her," said MOM's spokesman.

If Rindu's account of alleged mistreatment is accurate, the proper avenue for redress would be to lodge a report with MOM and record a formal statement to facilitate investigation.  MOM's spokesman said: "Singapore has clear laws in place to protect the safety and well-being of foreign domestic workers (FDWs).  "To ensure a meaningful and fair investigation process, FDWs should cooperate with the Ministry and provide accurate, relevant and timely information to facilitate investigation. FDWs who wilfully make false accusations will also be taken to task.

"MOM advises workers with employment issues they cannot resolve directly with employers to seek help from their employment agents, who have a duty to render assistance. Workers should not take matters into their own hands and attempt acts that will cause harm to themselves or others."

It is common for foreign domestic workers (FDW) to keep mum about their situation when interviewed by officers from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), said Mr Jolovan Wham.  "They are afraid of 'trouble'. There is widespread fear of being blacklisted and not being able to return here to work," the executive director of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home) added.  The same fear could also explain why some FDWs choose not to report any form of mistreatment to the authorities.

"Actually the fear they have is (that) they may be penalised for filing a complaint. They are afraid if they go to MOM or the police, they may be blacklisted or lose their jobs  (Winter:  Media reported maid has no intention to work in Spore even though placed on transfer so what's there to be afraid?  Blacklisting will only affect FDW who wants to work in Spore.   Too pampered, cannot accept the role and work of a FDW pushed this maid to risk her life... ran away in an unusual way, who to blame?).  "Therefore, the solution is to ensure they are protected from losing their jobs when they seek help and file complaints," he said.

Of the 20 domestic workers who turned up at the shelters two weeks ago, two-thirds are new FDWs here while the rest have experience.  "They had various complaints. Some alleged physical abuse while many others complained of being psychologically and verbally abused and working exploitative hours with no days off," Mr Wham said.


More should support pilot project 
to train foreign domestic workers, TODAY Voices, 1 Sep 2014
I refer to the report “Non-profit offers training courses for foreign domestic workers” (Aug 30). The pilot programme is a new way for domestic workers to get better equipped with skills to help care for a wider spectrum of families. Both employers and maids can benefit from such courses.

Family needs today have moved beyond basic ones such as cleaning to include more complex ones such as caring for the elderly with dementia. More employment agencies and training providers should come forward and partner with organisations such as the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training to develop domestic workers’ skill sets.

The programme should also include courses such as communication skills and how to care for family members or loved ones who have special needs or a mental illness, so maids are prepared to face more complex situations.

These courses should have different levels of difficulty to ensure that the domestic workers are able to learn the skills properly. The maids should also be assessed on whether they have been able to competently apply the skills taught.

With first-time domestic workers, it is important that they are allowed time to adjust to Singapore’s culture and the demands expected of them in the household, so they can better understand their employers’ points of view. This adjustment period should not be rushed.

Skills enhancement and training are necessary to help domestic workers stay relevant. Through such courses, they can learn new skills and relieve stress felt by their employers. The latter also need to give their maids a better work-life balance and appreciate their efforts in caring for their family members, especially those who are ill or elderly.

Perhaps agencies could consider absorbing the cost of the courses after the pilot phase to give their domestic workers an advantage and help them face challenges in the course of work.  I hope employers and foreign domestic workers will build greater understanding in their working relationship to meet the expectations of their households. Respect and recognition should be accorded to foreign domestic workers for their contributions and I hope employers will support this pilot project to develop the skills of their domestic workers.


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.

Duration
Full-day course from 9am to 6pm. Includes two tea breaks and lunch.

Cost
$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 
repatriated

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.


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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.


1 comment:

  1. If maids are just pyscho and get depressed/homesick, it's NOT the fault of employers ok. We had a pyscho maid who bathed in VINEGAR and the whole house smelled of that! This is the same maid who was caught stealing from us and later ran off to HOME to seek shelter. She has free access to Hp and our house keys, have daily naps and proper night sleep. So don't tell me all these maids are mistreated! Stupid HOME can be sheltering all sorts of nonsense people including terrorists and they will still justify their cause. Dumbs.

    ReplyDelete

This blog is not meant for screw-lose activists or loans. My blog aims to gather all FDWs' news scattered everywhere, become a one-stop site for mentally & financially bullied FDWs' employer to beware and learn. Don't pollute this blog with your pro-maid, insensible and selfish comments! Activists posting here are BLIND IDIOTS, IRRITATING freaks and deliberately showing no RESPECT for others... robbing our only breathing space.