Skip to main content

Employers hiring FDWs directly need to be familiar with the application process

  • ST Online (14 July 2017): Less red tape please, MOM

Employers hiring FDWs directly need to be familiar with the application process

  1. We refer to the letter by Mdm Lum Soo Peng (“Less red tape please, MOM”; 14 July 2017).
  2. The application process for Mdm Lum to employ a new foreign domestic worker (FDW) was handled by her daughter, Mdm Loke Chuan Yean. The application was cleared, and an in-principle approval letter was sent to Mdm Lum. The letter spelt out what next steps needed to be done, including going online to activate the issuance of the FDW’s work permit within 14 days of the FDW’s arrival in Singapore.  The letter also reminded that the steps had to be completed within the time given, or the in-principle approval would be withdrawn and the FDW would have to leave.
  3. Unfortunately, neither Mdm Lum nor her daughter proceeded to activate the issuance of the work permit. As a result, the FDW overstayed. When Mdm Loke approached the Ministry for assistance, we helped her to expedite the process and the work permit was issued within three days. She had to pay a fine because the FDW had overstayed.
  4. Employers who prefer to hire an FDW directly are strongly advised to be familiar with the application process. They can call MOM if they face difficulties. Alternatively, they can engage an EA to perform the transactions on their behalf.
  5. We review our online services regularly and have redesigned and simplified the application and renewal processes to make it easier for employers to transact with us. Last year, 26,000 FDW employers like Mdm Lum made a fresh application for an FDW directly with us without engaging an EA. Of these, 99.8% completed the transactions successfully. The 33 cases that encountered difficulties were promptly assisted by our officers.
  6. Mdm Lum may be pleased to know that we have planned for and will be issuing SMS reminders to employers who have not completed the process before the deadline. We thank Mdm Lum for her feedback.

Penny Han

Divisional Director, Work Pass Division

Ministry of Manpower

Less red tape please, MOM

- ST Online, 14 July 2017

  1. I recently decided to get a maid without going through a maid agency. I bought comprehensive insurance for the maid and successfully applied for Giro to pay the maid levy.
  2. Not being familiar with the entire process, my family thought that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) would issue the work permit upon receiving the monthly levy and when the insurer premium was paid.
  3. However, I later received a stern letter from the MOM stating that it had cancelled the maid's stay and that she should be sent home immediately.I was very worried and cried. Almost 90 years old, I did not want to go to a nursing home, which is what would happen if I did not have a maid.
  4. Couldn't MOM just send a reminder e-mail or text message two weeks before the deadline? In this computer age, where the Government is pro-IT, manpower is not needed to do this simple task, which will benefit people from the pioneer generation. I had to pay a fine before MOM would reinstate the licence. An MOM officer said: "That's why we always advise people to use an agent."
  5. An agent's fee can come up to about $4,000 and I would prefer to save that money. Senior citizens like me have many rainy days.
  6. Government processes should be streamlined to be more responsive and citizen-centric.