Written Answer to PQ by Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng on shorter wait times for households who need MDWs for care needs
NOTICE PAPER NO. 738 OF 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON 5 OCTOBER 2021
QUESTION NO. 1897 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER TO QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER NOT ANSWERED BY END OF QUESTION TIME
MP: Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong
To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the Government will take urgent steps to allow more migrant domestic workers (MDWs) into Singapore to reduce the current waiting time for Singaporean households urgently requiring the services of MDWs especially to look after seniors and young children who critically require appropriate caregiving services.
- MOM is doing our best to facilitate the entry of as many migrant domestic workers (MDWs) as possible, within the parameters allowed by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce. We have completed rescheduling MDWs whose entry approvals were postponed in May, for them to enter before the end of the year. We will continue to give priority to households with urgent and very challenging caregiving needs, particularly sick elderly and family members with special needs.
- We will also be accepting new entry applications for vaccinated MDWs from 15 October 2021, for entry into Singapore from 1 November 2021. But as entry approvals continue to be limited for public health reasons, it could take around three to six months before their MDWs can enter, depending on the COVID situation at source and locally. If the situation improves in the region, we can approve more to enter.
- To meet the demand for MDWs, the Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore) (AEA(S)) started a pilot programme in July 2021. Under this commercial initiative, the AEA(S) works with its overseas business partners to implement additional safe management measures prior to the MDWs’ entry into Singapore. Households which need their MDWs urgently can consider this programme.
- The pilot has shown to be effective at reducing the risk of COVID-19 importation. AEA(S) and its partner employment agencies (EAs) are doing their best to scale up the pilot, as well as to expand the programme to include MDWs from other countries. However, they will need time to find suitable business partners to facilitate the ground processes in overseas countries and ensure that it remains effective at minimising importation risk.