The Singapore Guide

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Singapore Transfer Maids

Transfer maids in Singapore is getting increasingly common in view of the rising number of maids, or foreign domestic workers as some call them, who pre-terminate their 2-year contracts with their employers before the contracts expire. This also applies to employers who no longer require the helpers’ services. Statistics released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed that about 60% of maids placed by the agents changed their employers less than one year into the job.

Employers can opt for transferring of maids in Singapore and domestic workers can also request for change of employers, with or without going through maid agencies.

Procedure of Transfer of Maid

Employers can arrange for direct transfer of maids without engaging an agent. If there is interest from another employer looking to hire a foreign domestic helper, the current employer can arrange with the prospective employer to interview the maid, as well as share and provide information on the maid’s work history and track record.

Both the current employer and the prospective new employer has to jointly apply for the change of employer to the MOM for the approval of maid transfer.

Taking Over a Foreign Domestic Worker

Filling in the Work Permit Application Form to Transfer Foreign Domestic Worker

If you are taking over a Foreign Domestic Worker from the current employer, you should obtain the consent of the current employer by filling in part 5 of the Work Permit application form “Current Employer’s Consent to Transfer Foreign Domestic Worker to Prospective Employer”. This section must be endorsed by both the new employer and the current employer.

Submission of New Work Permit Application & Sending the Foreign Domestic Worker for Updated Medical Examination

You should also submit a new Work Permit Application for the maid via WP Online of the MOM website, and make sure that the domestic worker’s health examination is done if it is due. The maid has to be sent for medical examination on a 6-monthly basis.

Buying of Foreign Maid’s Insurance & Security Bond

This is followed by the buying of foreign maid’s insurance (personal accident insurance & medical insurance) as well as the government security bond against repatriation expenses for the maid.

The commencement of the Foreign Domestic Worker’s duties is effective as soon as the new Work Permit is obtained.

Current Employer’s responsibilities (prior to handing over of the Foreign Domestic Worker)

Payment of Maid’s Levy

The current employer’s responsibility of paying for the maid’s levy will only be ceased upon the issuance of the foreign domestic worker’s new Work Permit.

Ensures validity of the Foreign Domestic Worker’s Medical Examination Record

During the interim when the maid is still under her current employment, the current employer has to ensure that the 6-monthly medical examination record remains valid. If the next health examination is due to expire before the issuance of the new work permit, the current employer will still be required to send the maid for the medical screening.

Notification of the Maid Transfer

An In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter will be sent to both the current and new employers, informing both parties of the effective transfer date (usually 7 days after the date of approval).

Change in Maid Transfer Date

The transfer date can be changed to a later date amicably agreed by both parties. If the date is postponed to more than 7 days from the original transfer date, a letter indicating both the request for a change in transfer date by the new employer and a letter indicating consent to the new transfer date by the current employer has to be submitted by fax to the MOM Work Pass Division, before the request of the new work permit of the maid by the new employer can ensue.

Advantages of Transfer Maids

You do not have to go through a domestic helper agency if you are hiring one directly via a maid transfer. You may search for foreign domestic workers available for direct transfer on websites, advertisements or even online forums.

Where direct maids transfers are concerned, there is no need to pay the domestic helper agency any transfer fee whether or not you are looking to transfer your domestic helper or to hire one. Some agencies recoup placement fees from the domestic workers themselves, hence direct maid transfers also benefit the domestic workers in assuring them of employment continuity and no loss of income for them.

The fee for transfer maids vary from case to case; it can range from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000. The transfer maid fees are used to cover paperwork expenses of the maid transfer such as work permit applications, travelling arrangement, insurances, bonds, medical check-ups, etc. Hence you can save some money if you opt for transfer maids over new ones as going through the procedure personally will incur much lower costs.

Maid transfers also save the employers the expenses for buying air tickets for the repatriation of the maid.

Transfer maids also mean that the agencies need not spend time and effort in travelling to other countries to source for new domestic workers, interviewing or screening them for their bio data and experiences. For customers who would rather save the hassle of going through the maid transfer procedure themselves, the agencies will just need to arrange for transfer maids who are already in Singapore for them.

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