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Transfer an MDW to a new employer through an employment agency

Due to travel restrictions, you may have difficulties sending your migrant domestic worker (MDW) home. Employment agencies (EAs) can take over the responsibilities for MDWs while finding them a new employer.

Transfer your MDW through an EA

If the EA agrees to transfer your helper to another employer, you can get them to cancel her Work Permit for the transfer.

The EA is then responsible for the helper until she is deployed to a new employer. The EA’s responsibilities will include:

  • Providing her with acceptable accommodation, adequate food and medical treatment.
  • Sending her home if the transfer is unsuccessful.

How to transfer your MDW through an EA

To transfer your helper through an EA:

  1. Check whether she is agreeable to be transferred to another employer.
  2. Contact any of these EAs which are willing to take over the responsibilities for helpers.

If you are unable to find an EA which is willing to take over the responsibilities for your helper, you can consider these options:

  • Transfer her directly to another employer.
  • Cancel her Work Permit and send her home if she no longer wants to be transferred. You remain responsible for her upkeep and maintenance, including providing her with acceptable accommodation, adequate food and medical treatment, until she leaves Singapore.

EAs' responsibilities

If the EA agrees to transfer the helper to a new employer, they are responsible for the following once they cancel the Work Permit for the transfer:

  • Pay for the helper’s upkeep and maintenance, including providing her with acceptable accommodation, adequate food and medical treatment, until she leaves Singapore or is deployed to a new employer.
  • Buy and maintain the helper’s medical insurance with a coverage of at least $15,000 until she leaves Singapore or is deployed to a new employer.
  • If the helper does not find a new employer before her Special Pass expires, the EA must pay for the travel ticket to send her to an international airport or port of entry in her home country, nearest to her hometown.

For more details, please refer to the additional Employment Agency Licence Conditions.

MOM will take action against EAs which do not fulfil their responsibilities, including issuing demerit points.

Additional step for employment agencies: Please get the employer’s authorisation using our FDW eService before you can perform any transactions for them.

To transfer the helper, you will need the following:

  • Current employer’s authorisation to cancel the Work Permit.
  • New employer’s authorisation to apply for a Work Permit.   

For more details, refer to our FAQs and infographic.

Keep the agreement document

To protect both parties’ interest in case of disputes, employers and EAs should:

  • Document their agreement on the transfer of responsibilities (e.g. through email).
  • Keep a copy of the agreement.

An employer who had paid for the costs of his/her MDW’s stay at a dedicated Stay-Home Notice (SHN) facility and related COVID-19 tests, and who is transferring his/her MDW to a new employer can share such costs with the new employer. To do so, they must follow MOM’s Criteria and Guidelines for Sharing of Stay-Home Notice and Related COVID-19 Tests Costs.

EAs who are facilitating transfers of MDWs whose employers had paid for the SHN and related COVID-19 tests costs must refer to the Employment Agencies Licence Conditions for Comprehensive Licence (EALC)  under “Facilitate the sharing of Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and related COVID-19 tests costs between FDW  employers".