Maids in Singapore are divided into two categories: transfer maids and maids that can be hired by an agency. The former are in high demand and they are referred to as foreign domestic workers (most of them hail from Malaysia and Indonesia). They tend to be highly experienced maids with a proven track record and they move from one employer to another.
Unlike new maids that are often first-time applicants coming into the country, they are already working in Singapore and reaching an end of the current contract. They have higher salary demands and switch employers for several reasons, such as employer hiring a new candidate or simply finding a better of opportunity. So, here is how it all plays out for the parties involved.
Benefits Of A Transfer Process
In Singapore, maid transfer is a growing trend and for good reasons too. These helpers already reside in the country and are able to get down to business right way. They do not have to go through the lifestyle adjustment period or overcome language barriers.
The transfer procedure itself is fairly straightforward and simple, provided that strict protocol is followed with utmost care. Namely, a little extra effort and due diligence go a long way toward preventing any unpleasant surprises and bottlenecks. Modern technology certainly helps a great deal, as most tasks can be performed online, with just a few clicks of the finger.
The amount of paperwork is minimal and the days of standing in lines for hours for all eternity are over.
As we have indicated, domestic helper for the family can be hired without agency involvement. Bypassing this middleman reduces the time needed to complete the process and the steep fees associated with it. Some agencies charge around $2,000 for assisting an employer and doing background checks. They also impose waiting times of ten or more weeks, which is not something busy families are prepared to do.
Doing The Spadework
For the aforementioned reasons, many employers decide to deal directly with the transfer maid and her current employer. They usually turn to online hubs for hiring helpers in Singapore because these websites quickly connect maids with employers. HelperPlace is one of the platforms that enjoy great popularity and make many employers’ life easier.
But, there are still some steps that must be taken in order for everything to go smoothly. First off all, employers who are not keen on bothering with an agency have to do research on their own. Most often, they ask family members, friends, and acquaintances for referrals. Another option is to utilize online forums or social media ads and groups and obtain valuable information that way.
Furthermore, transferring maid contract is a two-step procedure that calls for cooperation on the side of ex and new employer. Both parties have specific tasks to carry out before the transfer can be seen through. This close cooperation is an essential condition that when met, streamlines the whole transfer process. Short of it, the procedure prolongs or fails altogether.
Of course, the success hinges on how the candidate holds up in the eyes of a new employer. It is quite common for employers to hold face-to-face interviews to assess candidates for transfer maids. They may also schedule a meeting with a previous employer for additional reassurances. It goes without saying that skills, work ethics and work history play a key role.
The scope of the challenge ahead may seem daunting, but we have broken down the tasks for your convenience.
First off, current employers do the following:
• They send for medical examination and confirming that the maid is not pregnant or has an infectious disease.
• What is more, they sign the declaration form in which agreement to transfer is stated. This document is addressed to the Ministry of Manpower and the work permit card is to be returned to the same instance within one week after the transfer takes place.
• Paying a levy up to the date of the transfer may be required as well.
• Former employer sometimes also checks whether the maid has a passport with minimum 6 more months of validity.
As for new employers, they need to go through the following sequence of tasks:
• The first one is cross-checking medical examination, which needs to occur at least 30 days before the maid’s old work permit expires. The next medical should not be required within the next six months.
• Secondly, they have to apply for a new work permit on behalf of a transfer maid. The application, which is submitted via Ministry of Manpower website, should include the mention of intent to transfer her from a current employer.
• In the next stage, the new employer waits for the outcome of IPA (in-principle approval), typically for a week or so. After that is sorted out, both employers and the helper sign the declaration form. This step allows a new employer to print a temporary work permit and IPA letter and then hand them over to the maid.
• All that is left is for the Ministry set a transfer date. This date is most often one week after official approval, but it is possible to alter this date via Ministry’s official website. However, that can happen only if both employers agree. Otherwise, delaying the transfer is done by extending the in-principle approval.
• The final step is to log in online for a pass. Note that to access WPOnline, the Ministry’s online system for applying and issuing maid passes, one must have Singpass Login credentials. This official resource can also be used to double-check the maid’s history of employment.
• Upon finishing the sequence, the previous work permit is automatically canceled and maid can apply for FDW Insurance and Bond. In other words, she can get to work immediately.
As you can see, there is a lot of ground to cover before the maid transfer procedure comes to a close. Preparation and planning of ahead of time are crucial to avoid any unnecessary headaches and setbacks. Also, remember that everything needs to be mutually agreed upon ad all documents in place. To navigate this whole sequence of procedures fuss-free, adhere to this step-by-step guide and you should be fine.