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Employment rules for foreign domestic workers (FDWs)

Your FDW’s employment must comply with the Work Permit regulatory conditions. As an employer, you will be penalised if you illegally deploy her to work at another residential address or perform non-domestic chores.

An FDW:

  • Requires a valid Work Permit.
  • Can only work for her employer at the residential address declared to MOM.
  • Can only perform domestic chores.
  • Cannot take on work with other employers.

Penalties

  • For illegally deploying an FDW, employers may be liable to pay a financial penalty of up to $10,000. Errant employers may also be banned from employing FDWs.
  • For employing an FDW without a valid Work Permit, employers may be fined between $5,000 and $30,000, imprisoned for up to 1 year, or both. For subsequent convictions, offenders face mandatory imprisonment.

We understand that employers may need their FDWs to take care of their child or parent at a relative’s house.

You must notify MOM before you can proceed with this arrangement. To notify MOM, you must first:

  • Get your FDW’s written agreement to take care of your child or parent at your relative’s house.
  • Ensure your FDW does not perform the full load of housework in both households.
  • If the FDW needs to stay overnight to take care of your child or parent at your relative’s house, please ensure her accommodation meets the requirements.

As an employer, you remain responsible for your FDW’s upkeep and maintenance, which include providing acceptable accommodation, adequate food and medical treatment.