The Process of Hiring a Domestic Helper

If you are considering hiring a migrant domestic worker (MDW), please take the time to know the process and to understand the responsibilities of an MDW employer under the Work Permit Conditions. For a more comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to hire an MDW and more information on processing matters, please read on:

Before you hire a MDW

  • Cost to hire an MDW: Besides her salary and levy, there is also the cost of her food, medical expenses, air ticket home and other unexpected expenses, for example, potentially large fees if she has to stay in hospital.

  • To provide a proper accommodation: Accommodation should include basic amenities (mattress, pillow, blanket and so on), and provide enough space, ventilation, safety, privacy and protection from the elements (rain, sun and so on).

  • Be patient and provide suitable guidance: It can be stressful for you and your MDW in the first few months, especially if it is her first time working in Singapore. You have to understand and accept that everyone can make mistakes. Be patient to her to build a harmonious relationship between you and your helper.

Choosing a MDW

When choosing an MDW, remember the following:

  • Eligible Age: Make sure your domestic helper is at least 23 years old and has at least eight years of formal education.

  • Approved Country: Take note of any requirements imposed by the country (approved by MOM) she is coming from (if this applies). These requirements are set by the overseas government. You may want to contact the relevant embassy for more information.

  • Communication/ Language: One of the main reasons employer and MDW relationships break down is due to communication issues. Do consider choosing an MDW who can understand the language you speak.

  • Education/ Certificates: Make sure the MDW brings the necessary educational certificates as proof of her education. Otherwise, she will not be allowed to attend the Settling-In Program (SIP) which is necessary for the work permit to be issued.

  • Skills/ Experiences: If you have any special requirements for your MDW, carry out a face-to-face interview with her to get to know her and assess if she has the relevant skills and experience before you decide to employ her.

Knowing the responsibilities

Employers can hire a migrant domestic worker (MDW) who has not worked in Singapore before, or who is returning to Singapore but is not here at the moment, or who apply to transfer and currently working in Singapore for another employer.

Employing an MDW is a big responsibility. The following will assist you in better understanding how to carry out your responsibilities. Your MDW must meet certain requirements. These include :

  • For the first time and returning MDW, Attending the Settling-In Program (SIP) within 3 days of MDW’s completion of SHN

  • Passing a medical examination by a Singapore registered doctor and submit a request to MOM for her work permit to be issued within 14 calendar days upon arrival; and

  • Registering her for fingerprinting & photo-taking at MOM Services Centre – Hall C within 7 calendar days after her work permit is issued.

  • For Transfer MDWs, you must submit a work permit application together with written consent from the MDW’s current employer to transfer her to you as the new employer.

If you are applying to employ an MDW, you must do the following:

  • Complete the Employers’ Orientation Program (EOP) if you are a first-time employer. You can choose to do this online or in a classroom.

  • To avoid misunderstandings, draft an employment contract with your MDW that specifies the terms and conditions of employment, such as wages, rest days, duties, and notice for contract termination.

  • Include rest day arrangements in your employment contract with your MDW. She is entitled to a weekly rest day or compensation in lieu. If you want to change the rest-day arrangements, you must do so in writing to avoid misunderstandings and disputes.

  • Bring your MDW for her medical examination every six months. Otherwise, MOM will withdraw her work permit.

  • Keep a proper record of the monthly salary you pay to your MDW. This involves recording the amount and the date the salary is paid. There should be an acknowledgement by you and your MDW on the record.

  • You should allow your MDW to manage her own salary. Some MDWs agree for their employers to keep their salaries for them. It is not a good idea to do this as it could give rise to misunderstanding if your employment relationship breaks down or when either you or your MDW decide to end the employment relationship early.

  • You must look after the overall well-being of your MDW.

  • To ensure your MDW’s safety, give her clear instructions on what she can do and what she cannot do.

  • If your MDW goes missing and you have made reasonable efforts to find her, you may lose part of your security bond. You must inform the police and cancel your MDW’s work permit within seven days. If you do not do this, you may lose the full security bond.

  • You have to pay to send your MDW back to her home country when she ends her employment with you.

Employing an MDW using Swift Maids Agency

If you have considered to hire a domestic helper and don't know where to start, contact an employment agency . There are over 4,000 maid agencies in Singapore, making it more difficult for you to choose. Swift Maids understands that finding a dependable maid for your family can be difficult, and choosing a good maid agency is the first step in hiring a maid.Swift Maids is licensed and verified by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), and is trusted by over 30,000 Singapore families. Swift Maids' years of experience, placement volume, transfer rate, and retention rate, as well as customer ratings and reviews, are better than the industry average, according to the maid agency's scorecard on MOM's maid agency directory. Our professional consultants are here to assist you, and our helpers provide quality service and special care to those in need of caregiving services.