21 May 2016

Direct hiring a FDW/Maid

All Topics  (content page)
My 4th filipino FDW (JA)
Who earns lesser than FDWs?
Maid agency
Activist - fighters for migrant workers
Maid's (FDW) employers faced unfair policies
Indonesian maid (FDW)

Reader:  Don't ask me about direct hire.  Read this page fully.  I will not be replying because I've no personal experience to share.

Personally, I won't do direct hire.  A maid agency may not give you good after sales service but at least you've someone to turn to.  Unlike direct hiring, either you give the FDW a free ticket home (repatriation) or allow her to be recycled in your premises +allow her to put in lesser time on her day chores because there's no agency's boarding house to send to.  If smart maid said she has found an agent to house her, she just want your release letter, won't trouble you further, I suggest you don't agree.  Though not living in your house, whatever problems FDW get into, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE based on her work permit conditions!

Read Ministry of Manpower's guide for FDW's employerTransfer a FDW to a new employer

If you found out your FDW is looking for new employer because there's no loan to tie her (during first 3 months' probation), no maid agency for her to 'report to', what can you do to protect your interest?  None, you have to unwilling sign the release paper for the benefit of your children/elderly (if that is FDW's main duty) or buy her a one way ticket, escort her out of Spore.  

The coin has 2 sides.  Smart/cunning FDWs use all the loopholes such as repatriation to be in their best interest.  Whereas, timid, no off days or unpolluted FDWs will bite the bullet and 'endure life in your house'.... they are afraid to be sent home and faced with debts. These women really need a job and are more willing to compromise.  Home sick/Smart/Cunning FDWs will try all ways/boycott to make you terminate her at your costs and inconveniences.  An extremely cheap method but too risky to do direct hire ... I can't afford the time and inconveniences to find, as well as re-train.

If you know that prospective FDW or somebody you know recommended then it is alright to DIY.  FDWs for direct hire ... those who put up ads themselves are prone to give problems... how much do you know them, how much can you trust the words of these FDWs without agents' screening?  Some may have employer's recommendation letters, real or made up?  Felt DIY maids are unmanageable or co-operative enough to complete a satisfactory 2-year contract.  I may be wrong but the uneasiness and risks of getting lousy DIY maids will be high.... oversell/over-rated themselves!   

Extracted below from a maid activist's blog/DIY job website cum maid agency.  This is good info for employers who intend to Direct Hire.  Not providing any hyperlink to help it generate readership.

If you’re new to hiring a domestic worker in Singapore or have not managed the administrative process of applying for a work permit before, please read this post to set an appropriate expectation around some challenges that might crop up along the way.

Scenario #1 – “A worker has indicated a start date of XXX but can only start work with us one month later, I need her to start on a specific date”
Based on MOM procedures, a worker’s transfer has to be submitted for processing at least one month before her work permit expires. Her current employer could also expect her to complete her contract, which means the worker will not be able to start work with the new employer till a few weeks later. This start date is something that has to be agreed upon between current and prospective employers. In situations whereby an employer is leaving the country for good, then the start date for the worker at the new family is much clearer (before the current employer leaves!) and would be less dependent on when her work permit expires.

Scenario #2 – “I’ve interviewed a great worker but later find that she cannot transfer” or “There are so many workers who cannot transfer, why are they in the system?”
The ability for a worker to transfer is determined entirely by her current employer. Without a signed release paper, the worker cannot transfer, simple as that. Some workers think they have verbal agreement from their employer to transfer but find that the employer later changes her mind.

Does this mean that a prospective employer cannot subsequently hire her? Certainly not. The worker has the option to complete her contract, or quit, and leave Singapore. She can subsequently be hired from overseas and re-enter Singapore to start work with the new employer. This process takes more time than a transfer, and would incur higher costs. However, the future employer can decide that they’ve found the perfect set of qualities in this worker to warrant the longer wait and higher costs. This also explains why we allow workers who have no ability to transfer to create profiles on Anisya.

Scenario #3 – “A worker has agreed to work for me, but her employer has signed her release paper to her maid agency”
An employer can use a worker’s release paper to dictate that she has to use a specific maid agency. By working through the employer’s maid agency of choice, the agency can charge the worker for the transfer (they can legally charge 1-2 months salary equivalent) and we have heard of situations whereby the agency provides a “commission” to the employer.

Kick backs to employers are considered illegal by MOM (but hard to prove), and this doesn’t help the worker avoid a transaction fee of 1-2 months salary equivalent. The employer can also refuse to sign the release paper if the worker refuses to go through the stipulated maid agency. This is effectively blackmail but unfortunately doesn’t present any grounds to file a complaint to MOM with.

Scenario #4 – “I’ve contacted so many workers and few or none have responded” or “Many workers I’ve contacted say they’ve found an employer, but their ad is still active”
We continually encourage workers and employers to be responsive to contacts, as a simple matter of courtesy. We’ve found a prevailing culture among workers where they’re reluctant to say “No thanks”, and would rather say that they’ve already found an employer. This is obviously not helpful for the system and we will continue reinforcing the message of being direct, truthful and responsive.

Scenario #5 – “We met a worker today and she agreed to work with us. The next day, she says she has changed her mind” or “A worker we met today agreed to work with us, but she has since become uncontactable”
Many workers adopt an extreme stance of being agreeable, and might say “Yes” when they have some doubts. They’ll also likely have multiple interviews on their off day and could have found a more compelling employer later in the day. For most workers, nothing is confirmed until they’ve signed an agreement. We do not advocate for employers to pressure workers into signing an agreement immediately after the interview; ultimately, both parties have to be comfortable with the work arrangement for the relationship to be a healthy and lasting one. For employers, you could ask the worker to think about the offer and confirm the next day. We will also encourage workers to let employers know that they’ll consider all options before coming back with a decision.

Interviewing FDWs
Workers who have a day off (a weekly day off is now mandatory for new contracts signed from 1 Jan 2013) will typically be available for interviews on Sunday.  Try to schedule a few interviews that day.  We recommend interviewing workers at your home; you can see how the worker interacts with your family and pets, and maybe even do a quick cooking test if that’s a priority for you.  The worker also gets to see her work and living environment, which is good to set her expectation.

Some workers might be reluctant to interview at your home if it is not easily accessible by public transport.  You can address this by offering to pay for their taxi fare.

Have an open discussion with the worker around monthly salary and whether you might need her to work on off-days.  Compensation for working on an off-day is calculated as 1/26 of her monthly salary.  Some workers might ask to have public holidays off.  You should also discuss if you’ll be providing annual leave (paid or unpaid) and how you’re thinking about future salary increments.  Some experienced workers might have a salary expectation higher than what you’re prepared to pay.  To reach a middle ground, you can have a probationary period (3 months is a good gauge) with a lower starting salary, and then increase it to her expected level upon reaching satisfactory performance.  All this will of course need to be documented in your employment contract.

We have found that higher salaries typically come in when a worker stays longer with the same family and in doing so, reaps the benefits of ongoing increments. 

IMPORTANT note about hiring Filipino worker: the Filipino government runs the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), which mandates a minimum wage of US$400 (about S$550 in today’s terms, subject to foreign exchange rate changes).  This becomes pertinent when the worker goes on home leave.  As an employer, you will have to sign a declaration stating that you have met this minimum wage requirement.  Not having this documentation properly done could result in your worker’s inability to return to Singapore from the Philippines.

Jul 2014
The cost to direct hire (click) a Filipino maid and through a maid agency is almost the same.  I remembered I wanted to direct hire and asked a few maid agencies.  The rate I got in year 2012 was around S$2200, excluding FDW insurance, levy, medical check-up and SIP.... just the Philippines portion.  This person, Jenny did a direct hire in April 2014 and the costs she spent (excluding her time) is in fact more costlier than to employ a transfer maid!  Note, not all fresh maids are good and unpolluted helpers (click)  She could be an apple that appeared good and tempting but already infested with a tiny worm.

When you get a maid thru DIY method, it means she has no agency so if she turns out to be unsuitable, it is just between you and FDW to resolve.  There's no maid loan and whatever you spent on her is non refundable and can't be used to offset by her service ... she is a loan-free and happy FDW.  Maid will assume you pay everything.  Whatever she paid for her POEA in Philippines (as a fresh maid), I believe she expects you to reimburse when she steps into your house. 

If your Direct Hire FDW is a liar or awfully bad worker who doesn't carry out her duties as indicated during the interviews, I suggest you buy such FDW an one-way ticket home, shouldn't cost you more than S$200 on budget airline.  Maid knows how to act forgetful/skive, too smart and hard to manage for you or other employers so why be kind to let her remain in Spore to bring misery to others? If you allow such FDW to take her own sweet time to find new DIY employer, aren't you inviting trouble?  I doubt she will work well while serving her termination notice so why not just tell her to leave 4-5 hours before flight departs?

If you pity your out-going maid, do at your own risk.  It doesn't pay to be kind to certain breed of people.  Remember, your trust in her has broken the day you confirmed she couldn't/refuse to deliver what she has agreed.  Can you trust a liar?  Sometimes, employer has to learn to be 'cruel'. 你没听过 对敌人仁慈 就是你的忌日, play safe than to regret.  Nobody will pity you.  MOM/Activists will only side the FDWs.

Below fresh Filipino maid came with all the necessary documentation.  She is by default 'entitled' to what Philippines govt has bargained for her, eg US$400 per month with weekly off days.  Similarly, an Indonesian maid holding KTKLN card - Indonesia endorsed contract, is also 'protected' by its govt. There's a double contract situation in Spore and MOM is not saying No, show respect to the country that offers its citizen a pay package few times better than source country.  Each live-in maid cost S$1500 per month (take home pay S$450 to $650) ... where to find such juicy employment terms in Philippines or Indonesia?  All employee have to bear living costs - food, accommodation, transport, insurance .... am I not right?  Why FDWs are so different and well taken care of?  Why activists and MOM are only keen to zoom into the 'low take home salary' and purposely forget all employee should bear living expenses?  Which FDW can survive without food for 2 years, with no decent roof (accommodation - be it shared bedroom or a miserable mattress on the floor) above her head?

My Filipino colleague wanted to direct hire a maid as a tourist and her mum is only willing to pay S$350 with no off days.  I said maid will know one day that she has been short-changed.  When that day comes, you'll face the music.  My colleague said that girl has been highly recommended as a simple and good girl who won't turn out to be a tigress/challenger.  I said, she can learn from the neighbours and new found friends, you can't cage her forever.  When a person felt she is cheated, won't she retaliate?  Maid can be taught/brain washed by using her mobile phone.  As long as the request/benefit is to her advantage, she won't care whether it is according to MOM law.  She may bombard you that she's a human and has her rights!  I asked my colleague, how long can you keep her from knowing the truth and away from bad influence?  Eventually, this idea was blown away as it was a hassle.  It is easier to DIY maid who are already working in Spore.  A fresh maid who is new to Spore may get lost or encounter issues that she can't handle herself confidently.  She may chicken-out, leave you in the lurch (after you've paid everything) if she faced an 'interrogating' immigration officer, etc.... or suddenly miss family, can't bear to part with them.

There are many DIY websites (starts with An, Sh and another DW) for Employers and FDWs (already in Spore and in source countries).  Some transfer maid ads can be found in sites such as Gumtree... all the ads are free.   Take note, Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME) is a haven for runaway maids.  It has a DIY 'match-maker' in its premises.  Don't be conned to believe all the maids there were abused or mistreated.  Open your eyes, use your instinct, ask the 'poor maids' creative questions, not just take Yes and No as answers.  If FDWs were abused, probe more... any pictures, evidence.  Don't take one word as an answer or offer multiple choices for her to choose.  Look into her eyes - direct contact with you or shying away.  Store your kind heart away temporary and be ready to be open minded.  Don't let your sympathy lead you to wrong judgement ... you and family will suffer, not FDW or activists!

By doing DIY recruitment, your maid has no loan but is this a good sign?  No loan ... you paid everything means FDW is free like a bird ... no string tied, no agency to counsel her performance/attitude, etc ... the benefits all goes to the FDW, what do you get in return or who can help you if you get a lousy-princess FDW?  

On appearance - in Spore, it looks like both FDW and Employer saved a lot on maid agency fee - FDW saves 2 months salary (about S$800 to $1000) and you about $700 to $1888 depending on FDW nationality and agency = S$3000 from both payers.  No FDW is perfect.  No FDW will remain good, diligent and try her best to be a responsible helper.  Put yourself in FDW's shoes, a job with long working hours and no chance to run errands VS a job that can bring kids or Ah ma out, which is better?  A job that cannot use personal mobile 24/7 VS a job that can only use only after a day of 'hard work'; a job that has an infant requiring night feeds and house work VS a job offered by an expat or career minded single woman who is not home during the day... everybody know what is greener pasture, only problem is, some people are unrealistic.  That person may have little plus values yet demanding this and that and thought she is a desirable employee.  Came across a Facebook maid commented, she is 'headhunted' to work in Spore so means employer ought to pay all her fees ... isn't this a ridiculous way of comparing?  She thought she's a professional or foreign talent?  This just shows certain FDWs have eyes above their level, over valued their worthiness (competent) and egotistic. 

The trend in Spore is to have foreign women come here to have fun, find boyfriends (Facebook maids claimed they deserve such happiness) and 'tour Spore'.  It is no longer just bad luck.  It is our Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and maid agencies who are not doing its role to ensure both FDW and Employer are linked up as per our requirements.  Most of the time, the match making is wrong.  Our concerns are not important because MOM allows maid agencies to earn unethical money from us. We are the customers but MOM made us look like money making tools, milking cows and 'stupid payers'!

Read more:
Hire a foreign domestic worker (FDW) via ecitizen
Table of Contents - Life as a Domestic Maid's Employer

4 April 2014, by jenny@pinktini
Direct hiring a Filipino FDW
Writing this post in hope it might help anyone who intends to do a direct hire and doesn’t want to pay exorbitant agent fees. (Note: This is only if the maid you intend to employ has never worked in Singapore before.)

When we first decided to employ M, we thought we would be able to handle everything on our own. Then after googling, turns out you cannot process any Philippines paperwork without an agent if she is a first-timer to Singapore. I got M to mail me her passport photocopy as she had no access to email, and we approached a few agents. My request was simple, you handle the paperwork in Philippines, while I will settle whatever was required in Singapore by myself. An agent in Thomson Plaza quoted me $2000, excluding insurance, and another in Toa Payoh quoted $2800, also excluding insurance and loan.

I did a search and came across another blogger who engaged H***, so I gave them a call. Their quote was $1350 and includes:

-   Authentication & Verification of EC w the Philippines Embassy
-   TESDA Assessment
-   OWWA Membership/Seminar
-   Pag-ibig Membership
-   Philippines Health Insurance Membership
-   POEA Insurance
-   OEC / Exit Pass
-   Airline Ticket (one way from Manila to Singapore)

The quote does not include the maid’s personal expenses such as lodging (except for 2 nights during the TESDA), medical tests etc. Advised to prepare about 8000 pesos.

As this seemed to be the lowest I could find, I headed down to their office with all documents in tow. We spoke to H*** (Mary) and paid the full amount. We were advised it might take 5 – 6 weeks from the time M arrives in Manila, before she can fly in to Singapore. All that I have to do now is to apply for M’s IPA, insurance, guarantee bond and Philippines embassy bond, and email the documents to them before they can proceed. Mary also gave me the contact number of her colleague, Joan, who will update me throughout the entire process.

Note: If you are a first-time employer, you need to first take the Foreign Domestic Worker Employers’ Orientation Programme, which can be completed online here

IPA, which stands for In-Principle Approval, can be easily applied via the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s website. You will need your SingPass to log in and have to pay a $30 administration fee.

You can choose to be notified by SMS once the IPA is approved. I applied in the evening and received the approval in the morning the next day. With the IPA, M now has a work permit number, and we can proceed to apply for insurance.

For her insurance, I opted to apply through NTUC Income. You can do the application online, but a customer service officer will still call you up to do the final processing. I happened to have a few queries so I called up their hotline and a very nice CSO, assisted me with the questions and applications. I was confused as there were 2 types of Philippines Embassy Bond, $5000 and $7000. She told me that $7000 is for direct-hire employers like me, while the other was for employment agencies. There were a few options to choose from, such as waiver of indemnity, additional coverage etc.

I chose the MI3E plan ($256.80) which includes the $5000 guarantee bond to MOM and topped up $53.50 to enhance her plan - additional $10000 hospital and surgical expenses (per year). As for the Philippines Embassy Bond, it was another $71.69. In all, I paid $381.99 for her insurance.

After that I emailed the IPA and insurance/bond documents to Mary for processing. I was kept updated through SMS.

17 March – M reported to their Philippines counterpart agency and underwent a medical test.
18-19 March – Certified fit to work and scheduled for TESDA training.
20 March – TESDA assessment
21-27 March – OWWA seminar
27 March – Last day of OWWA seminar, will apply for Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) the next day. ETA in sg the following week
1 April – Updated with flight details for arrival on 3 April

I was pleasantly surprised at the efficiency and constant updates, I truly appreciated it! With the flight details, I can now proceed to the next step..

I chose ECON Careskill Training Centre as it was within walking distance of my parents’ place. Just go to their website, register for an online account and proceed to register your maid for the 1-day programme. Lunch is provided. It costs $75. Your maid must attend this programme within 3 days of arrival.

Important note: Make sure before your maid departs Manila, that she has a copy of the IPA with her. The immigration will not allow her through without it. I ran into a little problem as Hart’s counterpart forgot to do that. I engaged a meet and greet service, who fortunately helped me run into the immigration area to assist. More on that next time!

Also, she must bring her original educational certificate. MOM’s requirements are that she must have a minimum eight years of formal education and possesses the necessary educational certificates as documentary proof of her education. If her certificate is in a foreign language, please have them translate it to English back in Philippines.

Meet and Greet Service by Plaza Premium
Being without an agent, you should be aware that your maid might be a first-time traveller. She might not have any fellow counterparts travelling along her, and she will have to figure out a way to ask for directions to Immigration, to baggage collection, then to meet you outside, and she might not even know how you look like! So what I did was to hire a Meet and Greet Service by Plaza Premium Airport Services.

As it was already less than 48 hours to her arrival, I had to pay the higher fee of $22 + GST, total of $23.54. If you book the service more than 48 hours before, it will be $12 + GST. What they do is they will meet the passenger the moment they come out of the air-bridge (the walkway outside the airplane), accompany them to the immigration, baggage collection, then to their Plaza Premium counter outside, where you will wait and meet them. They do not do any handling of documents. However, M was stopped at the immigration because the agency in Manila forgot to give her a copy of the In-Principle Approval (IPA). Thankfully, the Plaza Premium staff called me and asked me to go to their counter and get them to help me fax a copy of the IPA to the Immigration office. Unfortunately, their fax was not working and the staff had to run in to help out. I am very grateful that they went above and beyond what they had to do for me. So important note is that you MUST remember to bring a copy of all the documents when going to fetch your maid at the airport. Never know if you would need it! Lastly, make sure she still has the embarkation card (white card) in her passport, do not lose it!

Paperwork – Sign IPA & Employment Contract
Get her to sign your copy of the IPA. You’ll need it later for the Ministry of Manpower appointment.

Go through the employment contract with her. Make sure she understands and initials on every single page. It is always better to be clear upfront about everything. Salary, number of off days, which day her salary will be paid (Eg.  if she arrives at your home on the 4th, she will be paid on the 4th of every month), pay via cash or credit directly into bank account etc etc. I used along with a salary schedule to be used. It lists out all you need to go through. Please do not try to shortchange your maid, she has, after all, travelled a long way to work and support her family back home.

Attend SIP
Attend SIP within 3 days of her arrival. Bring along confirmation letter, passport, embarkation card and original plus translated copy of her education certificate.

Medical Examination
Go for a medical examination at a clinic (any GP) will do, within 14 days of her arrival. Inform the clinic that you need a copy of the medical examination results for applying of work permit. Collect the report once it is ready. Mine took about 3 days and cost me $79. Even though MOM site states 14 days, just do it as soon as you can, because you must do the issuance of her work permit within 14 days or she will have to leave.

Issue Work Permit
IPA signed? Check. SIP attended? Check. Medical report out? Check. It’s now time to do the issuance of her work permit. Log in to WPOnline at MOM website.

Choose ‘Issue Work Permit’ under ‘Issue’, and just follow the instructions. They will also ask you to provide an address where you want the Work Permit card to be delivered, if you work, you can consider having it delivered to your workplace, which is what I did. Then proceed to pay $30 for work permit fees. Yes I know, AGAIN? I just paid $30 to apply for work permit, and now I have to pay again to issue it? Shouldn’t $30 be all-inclusive since its all for the same person, ridiculous. Dear Government, I don’t print money for a living.

Before you log off the system, go to ‘Enquire’, click on ‘Security Bond Status’ and print out the Security Bond form. Fill in the blanks and just get any other person to sign as a witness.

You would also have seen a pop up prompt to make an appointment to go to MOM for finger printing and photo taking. Make the appointment and log off the system.

MOM Appointment
You have to bring 1. Notification of Appointment with MOM, 2. Her passport, 3. Embarkation card, 4. Signed copy of IPA, 5. Signed copy of Security Bond form, 6. Medical Report, and 7. Of course your maid la!

Please note location, this is the MOM Services Centre at Bendemeer Road. Head to Hall C, turn left, scan your appointment letter to get a queue ticket. It will tell you which room to go, eg. Room B. Walk in, queue up, wait for the next available counter, go in, give the staff all the documents and wait at the side. Once it’s done, it will take 4 working days for the Work Permit card to be delivered.

The entire process at MOM only took me 10 minutes.

Work Permit
Accept delivery of work permit, make a photocopy of the card and let your maid keep the original. Remind her to have it on her whenever she goes out.

And this ends the entire process of direct hiring a maid. Hope this has helped anyone out there who needed a detailed process.

JJ1111: My sister employed her ex-phillipino maid. And it is not difficult. She just email the contract to her maid to print out and sign than her maid courier it back to her. She went down to philipine embassy to get approval. Apply online workpermit, buy air ticket, courier all the original contract, approval from embassy and air ticket to her. She applied "exit permit" (sorry forget what it called) and fly over. All done by herself, no agent fee occurred.

So i feel direct hire ex-maid should be easier than fresh new maid.

Direct hiring an Indonesian FDW and "KeLuar Negara" (KTKLN) permit to leave Indonesia
chixchix: hii, i recently hired my 2nd helper & she just came in from Bandung.
Yes she doesnt have the KTKLN as I am not so bothered whether she needs or not. I simply applied with one of the agencys's and they brought her in for me, did the medical and thats it. Basically need to know if the maid passport is how many pages, if its the one that has more than 40 pages, then no issues, but if it is the one that is thinner, then she may have to pay a departure tax at the airport.

anggie78: 1) I did a direct hire with a specific agency (located in Singapore) their price is reasonable, but slightly higher than DIY. overall service is good and I am happy with the end results

2) yes KTKLN is no more "compulsory" from what I know. But the maid can do the KTKLN in SG's Indonesian embassy at a rate of about $30

3) my advise is that by engaging an agency it saves you the hassle at a cost of maybe few hundred, at least they can assure you the completion of the process, my experience is that I try doing DIY myself and ended up with my maid not allow to exit Indonesian and some documentations problems that is why I end up using the agency service

Bells: I asked a few agencies & still getting conflicting info. Some say just need to pay agent fees (almost $2k) and maid no need to take loan. Some say need agency fee + maid still have to take loan again.

Peony: I went to the Indo embassy but was told direct hire is not allowed. Hence I've decided to not risk it and go thru an agency who quoted me the lowest price.  My ex-helper (not the one I'm re-hiring) told me that some of her friends did come in as tourist and then their employers did the paperwork etc. But I'm resigned to paying at this point.

Actually it's up to u and the helper to agree on how to split the cost. Either way, we will be the one who has to pay up front. Decided to let her "pay" one month and I bear the rest. She's agreeable.

POA:  MOM does not require them to cough out $ to use an agent.
I don't see why the Indon authorities insist on the girls giving business to the blood-sucking agents. Whose interests are they looking after? The agents or the girls?
I do see a rationale for insisting that new, inexperienced maids go through agencies: in theory, they would have the agents to turn to for help in case of problematic employers. But in the case of FDWs who have worked here before, and completed their contracts, they already know all the ins and outs. Why make them waste money paying those agents

ST2:  In one of the news reports some months ago, the Indonesia Embassy claims that they need the maids in their database linked up (Indo side as well) for indentification and family look up, like for deaths, crime etc.

I guess it serves all purposes... like their own interest to moniter where the maids are and how much money they are making (contract documents), if they pay their taxes!!!  Everybody wants a piece!!!! The employers' money

Bells:  One agent I spoke to said as long as maid is experienced and can follow instructions from s'pore agent on what to do then should be no problem to arrange direct hire. Just make sure that she doesn't go to a training centre in Indo (where they will hold maid's passport, make her take a loan to pay agent fees, etc).

Rachely1: I called up MOM and indeed it's legal in Singapore. However when I called the Indonesia Embassy, I was informed it's illegal in Indonesia context. No direct hiring allowed.

Just concerned if maid goes back for home leave and having problem coming back to Singapore.

Anybody with direct hire of maid but no KTKLN card and helper no issue of coming back to Singapore after home leave?

dianeingrid:  For all who are interested, I just "direct hire" my Indo maid. Pretty simple and straightforward. All she needs is an agent in Indo. Most maids will have lots of lobangs so no need to worry about that part.

I interviewed her in Singapore and her employer refused to transfer her over and instead wanted to send her off to Batam. So she went there and got an agent that handled her paperwork there. Mine paid her agent about S$100+ to do all the paperwork for her.

In Singapore, all I had to do after her employer cancelled her work permit was
1. Go to MOM website and apply for IPA ($30)
2. Once IPA approved, call NTUC to apply for bond and insurance ($300+)
3. Email the IPA over to her agent
4. Tell her when you want her in Singapore.
5. She'll purchase a ferry ticket and come over with the IPA.
6. Pick her up, send her for a medical (I used SATA @ $60+)
7. Once her medical report is out and approved, go back to MOM website and apply for a work permit. ($30)

My maid def does not have a KTKLN card. I actually asked her to make one but she said no need. Not sure what the agent did for her but I guess it was mainly to help grease some wheels a little so that she could exit more smoothly.  :evil:

I wouldn't suggest trying this with a brand new maid as you have no idea her level of English and if she does not pass the test, you would have wasted a sum of $$.  :sad:

What I did was to ask my previous maid who was leaving to pass the message around to her friends as well as ask my friend's maids for recommendations. I interviewed a few from there and made my selection. Don't discount the maids network esp when they are on their off day. Very powerful and you can get lots of references, provided you are on good terms with your maid of course.

connie_neo:  I'm interested to know the contact for Direct maid hire too. Agency fees these days are crazy at minimum S$2000/-, excluding placement fee. Not to forget there's no Free replacement of maids now. If your maid's giving you any problem, you'll have to bear with her until you fully recover your loan paid advance to the agency. Unless, you can afford to forgo the loan and send the maid back home. Sending the maid back to agent is more hassle and costly. Got to pay S$20/day for food and lodging at max 30 days = S$600/-. If the maid can get a replacement employer, then we'll have to fork out the airfare to send her back within 30 days appx S$350/-. At the same time before a new employer is found, we'll have to bear the FDW levy too.

ksks3mum:  My maid currently back Yogyakarta on home leave. At the changi airport, was told need the contract. My hubby rushed back n get it but my maid went inside and flew off. We thought since can went thru so no problem. Last week went return, she was rejected by custom from Jakarta being w/o KTKLN pass. I have couriered last week the working contract and airticket to her suppose to reach yesterday but till now the OCS courier cannot tell me why is not delivered. I purchased Thursday Airasia 1 way ticket to Sin. Now as i read if salary less than $400 will not be issued with KTKLN am going crazy..........cos her salary only $380. Am totally confused and exhuasted. I unable to communicate to my maid as she stayed 4 hrs away in Yogokarta. The phone line is very bad there. I have a colleagues to help communicating with her there but it is just too much trouble..........how?? really regretted to let her back for home leave!!!

ksks3mum:  let me continue my story:
Couriered airticket + contracts, procedures/instruction for KTKLN card after reading post here. Courier Co promised deliver in 3 days after I faxed them the consignee add. Delivery should arrive 18/6 mon. I tracked docs arrived jkt on 14/6 & but till tue19/6 Courier informed not under their coverage. I forced & pressed sin/jkt Courier office by hook or by crook must hand doc to consignee by wed as her flight is on Thursday morning. (mean while my colleagues in jkt contacted my maid and understand that she do has the KTKLN card – so am thinking why she was rejected at the Jkt custom – it could be officer asked for contract but don’t have, demanded for coffee ***ey but she unable to pay- am not sure) Anyway, after tons of emailing and coordination, finally courier co. decided to meet consignee somewhere pick it up. My maid travelled 2 hrs to pick the docs and she phoned my hubby informed us she has the docs yesterday noon time. In the evening, my hubby called her reminded her 07:35 flight and must reach airport 05:35. I too wrote the instructions for her in the airticket itinerary.
Today my hubby waited in the airport for 1 hr, no sign of her. I called the airline, she did not board the plane. CAN YOU ALL Imaging how fuming I am? After all the ding dong here and there.
Am not contacting her any more but have my colleagues speaking same language to check what’s her issue. And am tuning my mind to go w/o maid after 2 weeks that turning 1 month and now forever……….. oh my 2 luggage that I loan her  :cry: , my $$$ wasted on the airtickets  :cry: ………..My stress and time that we down here busy calling her but in vain and make us Kang Cheong coordinating her to come back

jenlee:  My maid return on home leave recently and she tried to apply KTKLN card at Yogjar office which cost only IDR18K but she can't cause she didnt have the employment letter with her? When returing to SG at YOG airport, the customs officer ask the maids how many years they work in SG then ask them to pay accordingly- my maid wk for 9yrs and had to pay SGD200.

Imp75: My maid did her KTKLN at Semerang airport nearby during the Hari Raya period, I think about S$100. She came back successfully, need to show passport, valid Spore work permit, employment contract from Indonesian Embassy in Spore

tanjack77: Without the KTKLN, the immigration officials in Jakarta will make it hard for her to exit the country if she is going back there on holiday. Usually, the maid agency should have helped the maid to apply for one before coming to Singapore but some agencies apparently cut costs by conveniently omitting this.
The KTKLN card is only good if she is still coming back.

oceanx:  To apply KTKLN  or go to local office
I suggest bring 2 copies of each document to quicken the process at KTKLN office.
1. FDW’s KTP card ( similer to Singapore NRIC)
2. FDW’s KK card ( Birth Certificate)
3. FDW’s Passport - 2 photocopies from the Identification page and the last page if the Employers
address is chopped from the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore
4. 2 passport size photos (white background colour photo)
5. Pay for 2 years insurance at KTKLN office (approx 290,000 RP)
6. if officer ask for kopi money... just cry hard

I also noticed the requirement for an employment contract.
7. Employment contract endorsed by Indonesia Embassy in Singapore.

rini803:  So here what I did. For both new and renewing helpers WHO R IN Indonesia can be done. (I am not responsible for any law breaking, mishaps or other matters. What I did is proper procedure and legit), these are personal steps. Agencies will not be happy with this. Yes, Indonesia government do not allow us to hire helpers directly but since its still do-a-ble, then there is still flaw in the system that they need to strengthen. But like I said, anything that happen, I am not responsible.

1) Get hold of the helper that you wish to bring in. Make sure they are suitable for you and your family or sending them back is additional cost for you. And age must be align with MOM ruling, they have ways of falsifying their passport though. Other stuff like criminal records or how many employers they previously have can be checked through MOM website, applicable for experience helpers who came to Singapore before, just need their previous WP no. New helpers so far are the same, only difference is they are new WP application. Be warned that they can falsify their documentation there. So strictly inform them that if their records here in Singapore are based on their thumbprint not on the documents they send you. So if they are coming in again under a different name or identity, to avoid their previous records, they will definitely be detected.

2) I know in many cases most helpers are financially incapable to pay for any fees that their indonesian government charges, but they have to finance themselves. Do not under any circumstances that you send any money to them, even for returning helpers. Poverty can lead oneself to do all sorts of things. There are ways of doing it like mortgaging assets, etc. Either they do that or they work 8 months through agency without pay which is alot worse.

3) Get her to send in their WP no (returning helpers), passport info page. They can fax, email or any means that is available. Get their next of kin information, required by MOM for new helpers for registration.

4) Prepare contracts in Bahasa Indonesia and English. A must for them to do their KTKLN. State everything clearly. What I did was translate the whole MOM contract. Took me awhile but it's worth, fyi, although I am a malay, Bahasa Indonesia is still alot different.

5) Apply her IPA (In Principal Approval) @ MOM website. I did everything online. Approval duration varies.

6) Upon receiving the IPA, book a flight for your helper. All these are under your expenses and not the helper. Better this than agency fees.

7) Send the original Bahasa Indonesia contract, copy IPA and flight details to her. I did through DHL. You keep the same copies except the contract with you is in English and there is also the safety agreement that you need to fill up too. All contracts and agreement can be found in MOM website.

8) On her side, upon receiving the documents, tell her to get to the ktkln office and apply for insurance there first and then apply the ktkln. Price varies for different areas. My helper spend about 800,000 rupiah in all not inclusive of transportation. If she is using a fake passport, do not bring any KTP(NRIC) with her or they'll know she falsify her documents. Fake passport is easily available if you know the right people. Just bring the documents you sent and passport. That's it. If they all for KTP (NRIC), she can say she forgot. Sometimes they ask for 'kopi' money. Definitely alot of negotiating skills required here.

9) Upon receiving the ktkln, just wait for the arrival time. Ask her to bring along all the documents. You on the other hand can go apply for a suitable FDW insurance. I used AVA @ Bukit Timah Shopping Ctr. You can make it effective 1 day before arrival date.

10) Upon arrival, just follow the MOM procedure like check up and doing the WP. I won't go into details for this. New helpers require to go for course. All this info you can visit MOM website.

I repeat... I am not responsible if anything were to happen during the process that you go through, this information is based on my experience only. Read all properly and read at your own risk.


  1. "I did a search and came across another blogger who engaged H***, so I gave them a call." I am trying to do a direct hire; can you provide that agent H contact details? Thanks!!! I can be emailed at: denisezuriel@hotmail.com

  2. Hi,

    Im trying to direct hire my ex helper from Philipines. May i have a copy of the contract which your sister used. My helper mentioned that she need contract & working visa, may i know where to get this visa.

    Thank you.

    1. I think maid wants the contract issued by philippines embassy, google Phl embassy in Sg. The standard Sg FDW contract can be downloaded from AEAES/CASE website. No need visa... have not heard of this.

      Read this pg (above) on direct hiring.

  3. Hi,

    I am trying to do a direct hire for an indonesia maid. Can you provide me with the agency contact details please? I can be contacted via whiteavocado@gmail.com Many thanks

  4. I am trying to do a direct hire for my ex indonesia maid. Kindly advise share employment contract.

  5. I would like to direct hire a maid from Indonesia. Is it legal ?
    Please advise. Is it better to go through an agency ( how much the fees? ) or DIY? Kindly advise.
    Thank you.

  6. To above posters
    I have no experience doing DIY, both Indonesian and Filipino.
    I believe it is possible to DIY (benefit yourself and maid because no maid loan or agency fee) if you have a recommended FDW to bring in. Look at MOM website on the steps to employ fdw.

    Read above about direct hiring which I COPIED elsewhere.

  7. Hi,

    I am thinking of bringing my ex FDW over myself. Is it possible to do it wif no agency involved? can i have the contacts of H*** so i can call them? Thanks!

  8. Hi can i do it on my own to direct hiring of 1st time filipino maid into singapore without involving any agencies. I had done on my own before for indonesian n they r no issue. Pls advise thk u

    1. Yes you can but when granting home leave, she need OEC. If she's not taking the legal way (as a tourist), she may not be issued home leave to go home for vacation by Spore Phil embassy.
      If maid can get OEC before coming will be better. Direct hire Save money for both you and maid.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Hello
    I like to direct hire a ex Singapore maid. You mentioned in your post your sister DIY all by herself. Can u elaborate step by step for me? Thanks

  10. Different country, direct hiring is a bit different, example filino must get OEC. Remember seen MOM has a guide on what are the requirements-Spore employment... find n read.. my sis learnt from that diy.
    Also she did a few years so not that accurate now cos source country kept popping up new rules... so call to protect their citizens... threatening people if not done correctly, maid on home leave cant return.

  11. Hie, did your helper renew her passport in Yogyakarta? If she did, does she have the contact? My ex helper went to an agent and was told it will take 4 months to renew her passport??? I hope u can help. Thank u so much

  12. I missed the 30 day cut off to apply for a permit for my prospective helper.
    Do you know what are my options and the best way to go about it to get this particular helper? I would like to avoid for her existing employer having to repatriate her back to philipines.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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.