From 1 June 2022, employment agencies have to provide a refund option of at least 50% of the service fees paid by the employer, if the MDW’s employment is terminated within the first six months of employment.
What is it
If an migrant domestic worker’s (MDW’s) employment is terminated within the first six months of employment, the employment agency (EA) engaged by the employer is required to provide a refund option of at least 50% of the service fees paid by the employer.
The policy is applicable:
- For up to three MDWs placed by the EA to the same employer, and
- If each of the MDW’s employment was terminated within the first six months of employment.
The employer is not entitled to a refund, including service fees paid for earlier MDWs, if:
- Any of the MDWs’ employment lasted more than six months, or
- A fourth MDW was hired through the EA.
|Employment duration of MDW
(placed by EA to same employer)
|Does refund policy apply?
The MDW’s employment was terminated within the first six months of employment.
The 2nd MDW’s employment was terminated after six months.
All 3 MDW’s employment were terminated within the first six months of employment.
The employer hired 4 MDWs through the same EA.
When does it take effect
The policy applies to contracts entered into between employers and EAs on or after 1 June 2022.
What is ‘service fees’
‘Service fees’ is all fees paid by the employer to the EA, excluding:
- Costs of local requirements related to the entry and employment of MDWs such as work permit application and issuance, Settling-In Programme, medical examination, one-way air or ferry ticket for entry into Singapore, prevailing SHN and tests.
- Costs of requirements imposed by the government of the MDW’s home country / region such as the fees payable for the Overseas Employment Certificate (Philippines) or the fees payable for the Employment Contract (Indonesia).
- Fees charged by third-party providers for training provided to the MDW at the request of the employer.
- The MDW’s placement loan.
Unless specified in the exclusion list above, all other fees paid are subjected to the refund policy.
When is it applicable
If an MDW’s employment was terminated within the first six months of employment, EAs are required to provide a refund option unless:
- The employer engaged the EA to perform only administrative work relating to the hiring of the MDW and the EA did not provide any matching services.
- The employer breached any employment law or committed an offence against the MDW.
- The MDW was hired as a caregiver and caregiving is not needed anymore. For example, the person being cared for has passed away or has moved to alternative care.
If the MDW was hired as a caregiver, EAs should ensure that it is clearly stated in the service agreement that the MDW was hired to care for specific dependants in the household. Otherwise, it would be assumed that the MDW was not hired as a caregiver, and the EAs would have to provide a refund.
How to get refund
Employers can approach their EA if the conditions are met. To help the EA understand the reasons for termination and improve their matching, employers have to allow the EA to speak to the employer and the MDW, before terminating the MDW’s employment.
EA must provide the refund within 14 working days after:
- the employer's written request for the refund, or
- the MDW's work pass is cancelled, whichever is later.