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Better match for employers in hiring Foreign Domestic Workers

  1. Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) play an important role in supporting families with caregiving and domestic work. Today, there are approximately 250,000 FDWs working in Singapore. About 1 in 3 FDWs complete two years of their contract. More can be done to support employers in the hiring of FDWs, as early termination of contracts is costly and disruptive to both parties. 

  2. To help employers find FDWs who are a good match for their needs, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will introduce a series of new measures from October 2019. These include making available dispute resolution services for employers and FDWs, providing more information to help employers and employment agencies (EAs) find better matches, and ensuring that EAs take greater ownership of their matching outcomes.

  3. These new measures were developed based on feedback from employers, EAs and non-government organisations. MOM proactively consulted 44 stakeholders in October 2018 to take in views and ideas on how to better support employers in hiring FDWs. The new measures will roll out progressively over the next two years to allow time for employers, EAs and FDWs to adjust to the changes.

    Free dispute resolution services for FDW-related issues

  4. From end October 2019:

    (a) The Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST) will provide free dispute resolution services to help resolve issues between employers, FDWs and EAs. Employers can consider approaching CDE and FAST for help to resolve issues instead of ending the working relationship. More details on the services offered by CDE and FAST can be found in Annex A

    Providing more information to help employers and EAs select suitable FDWs 

  5. From October 2020:

    (a) Employers and EAs will be able to access more information on the previous work experience of a prospective FDW, in addition to the FDW’s length of employment, in Singapore. This includes the key job scope, residence type and household size, and the reason for leaving the last employment. This will help employers select FDWs who can better meet their household needs.  

    (b) In 2018, there were about 250 (0.1%) employers who changed five or more FDWs within a span of 12 months. EAs will be able to access the profiles of FDWs hired by such employers in the past 12 months, so that they are better able to advise employers who may need additional help in selecting suitable FDWs.

    Ensuring that EAs take greater ownership of their matching outcomes

  6. From October 2021 (This has been deferred to early 2022. Please refer to our press release on 8 September 2021: Sharing of Stay-Home Notice and Related Covid-19 Tests Costs between Employers of Transferred Migrant Domestic Workers):

    (a) EAs will be informed when the FDWs they had placed left Singapore after completing their contracts. These FDWs are likely to have adjusted well in Singapore and have had good working relationships with previous employers. As such, bringing them back would benefit other prospective employers. 

    (b) All EAs will be required to provide an option for a refund of at least 50% of the service fee charged to FDW employers when an FDW employment ends prematurely (i.e., within the first 6 months). This will ensure that EAs take greater ownership in finding suitable and better matches for employers. 

  7. MOM will engage the EAs to work out further operational details, as well as send out various communication materials to inform stakeholders of the details of the changes.