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Schemes available to help lower-income employers and senior citizens hire migrant domestic workers

  • Lianhe Zaobao (7 Jan 2022): "Please grant me an exemption to hire a maid"

Schemes available to help lower-income employers and senior citizens hire migrant domestic workersLianhe Zaobao, 15 Jan, 2022

We thank Mr Ng for his letter (Please grant me an exemption to hire a maid, 7 Jan) and empathise with his situation.

The qualifying income is to ensure that prospective employers have the financial means to hire, maintain and upkeep their Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW). This includes the worker’s salary, levy, food and other expenses. Prospective employers who are unable to meet the qualifying income can also consider hiring an MDW under the Joint Income or Sponsorship scheme. This allows the employer, with the joint sponsorship of a family member and the placing of a security bond, to be eligible to hire an MDW.

The Ministry of Manpower has contacted Mr Ng and advised him on the available options. 

Saksama Djingga
Director, Customer Operations
Work Pass Division
Ministry of Manpower

Please grant me an exemption to hire a maid - Lianhe Zaobao, 7 Jan, 2022

I am 62 years old and I make a living as a delivery man to support my family of three. My family includes a 55-year-old wife and a 29-year-old mentally handicapped daughter.

On 28 Oct 2021, my daughter was tested positive for COVID-19 at a special education school. As she is mentally handicapped, she depends on her parents for everything. She is dependent and therefore cannot self-isolate. My wife takes care of her 24 hours a day. However, my wife is a chronic patient and had a kidney transplant. Taking care of my daughter was risky, but I had no choice. Sure enough, my wife was also tested positive later.

After her wife was diagnosed, she stayed in the intensive care unit for more than a month. Although she had improved, she was transferred to the general ward, but the problem came. She had been lying in the hospital bed for too long and was unable to walk. She needed physiotherapy treatment.

My challenge is that, according to the doctor, the wife may not be able to take care of her daughter after she is discharged from the hospital. My family of three relies on my work to support their living. I cannot take care of two people by myself. The only way is to get an MDW to help me out so that I can work and earn money with a peace of mind.

For more than a month, my daughter can only go to school three days a week, and I would take care of her for the other days. However, I still have work to do and so my daughter would follow me to work to deliver goods every day. I can't balance work and taking care of her and I felt really exhausted. 

I learned that MOM stipulates that employers who hire maids should have a salary of more than $2,000 or pay the security bond. Our family does not meet these two conditions, so the application will not be approved.

any exception case? My six siblings will help me with the MDW's expenses, so their fees are not an issue; the problem is that my family's financial situation is not eligible to hire an MDW.

Doctors have certified that my wife and daughter are currently unable to support themselves. I beseech the authorities to approve my application. Without a maid, I really can't think of a way to take care of them both.

Before writing this letter, I had checked with a maid agency and was told that my chances of getting an approval are very low. I really hope the authorities can help me out.

Ng Chye Hock