Foreign Domestic Workers – Creating the Better Match
Focusing on the Better Match Between Employer and Foreign Workers in Singapore
Foreign domestic workers are a part of Singapore’s work culture, and ensuring these workers are matched with the right employers is a priority.
The Importance of These Workers
Foreign domestic works have an important supporting role to play in the lives of Singapore families. To date, approximately 250,000 of these workers are here in Singapore. One in three of these workers will complete their two-year contract.
Employers need support in the hiring of these workers. The termination of these contracts can be costly. Not to mention the disruption in the routine once a worker needs to leave. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recognises this need and has introduced a series of new measures to help address these concerns beginning October 2019.
New Measures for Foreign Domestic Workers and Employers
The new measures MOM introduced was developed after a series of feedback from employers, employment agencies and other non-government organisations. 44 stakeholders were consulted back in October 2018. Discussions were held on how to better support employers who needed to hire these workers.
Among the new measures introduced include:
- Dispute resolution services for both employers and the workers.
- Information provided to help employment agencies and employers find a better match.
- Ensure that employment agencies take ownership of the match outcomes to safeguard the interest of employers.
The proposed measures will be progressively rolled out over the next 2 years. These will allow time for all parties involved to make the necessary adjustments. By the end of October 2019, the following changes can be expected:
- Free dispute services provided by the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for School Support and Training (FAST).
Beginning October 2020, the following changes can be expected:
- Employers and agencies will have greater access to more information of the prospective worker. This includes information about:
- Previous work experience
- Length of employment in Singapore
- Key job scope
- Resident and household type and size
- Reasons for leaving prior employment
Beginning October 2021, the following changes can be expected:
- Agencies will be informed once the foreign domestic worker has left their Singapore placement upon completing their contract.
- Agencies will be expected to give employers the option of having at least 50% of their fees refunded if a contract ends prematurely.
- MOM will be engaging with these EA’s to work out the other operational details.
- MOM will be working on distributing communication material to keep key stakeholders informed of any changes.