New, former employers should share stay-home order and Covid-19 test costs for transfer of newly arrived maids: MOM
SINGAPORE — Employers who are hiring transferred migrant domestic workers should share the cost of the workers’ stay-home notice and Covid-19 tests with their former employers, if the transfer occurs within 12 months of the workers’ entry into Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Wednesday (Sept 8).
SINGAPORE — Employers who are hiring transferred migrant domestic workers should share the cost of the workers’ stay-home notice and Covid-19 tests with their former employers, if the transfer occurs within 12 months of the workers’ entry into Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said.
This recommendation is aimed at easing the cost burden on employers when the job contract of a domestic worker is prematurely terminated, either at the employer’s initiative or on the worker’s request to transfer to another employer.
The ministry put out a set of guidelines on Wednesday (Sept 8) detailing how such workers’ new and former employers can share the costs of the worker’s stay-home notice and Covid-19 tests.
In its statement, it noted that an employer who is hiring a domestic worker from overseas is required to pay for her stay at a dedicated stay-home notice facility and related Covid-19 tests.
“While most migrant domestic workers settle in well and complete their term of employment, there are instances where the employment contract is terminated prematurely, either at the employer’s initiative or on the migrant domestic worker’s request to transfer to another employer,” MOM said.
“The employer would have incurred upfront costs related to stay-home notice in these situations.”
If the change of employers occurs within 12 months, MOM recommends the new employer to share a portion of the costs for stay-home notice and related Covid-19 tests incurred by the current employer for the worker’s entry into Singapore.
MOM also called on employment agencies to help the current and prospective employer come to an agreement for the sharing of costs.
Employment agencies will be required to inform both current and prospective employers about MOM’s cost-sharing criteria and guidelines.
This sharing of costs can only occur if:
The worker is transferred within 12 months after she completes her stay-home notice
The current employer does not receive more than what he or she had paid for the costs of stay-home notice and related Covid-19 tests
Both the current and new employers sign a written agreement on the amount of costs shared
Furthermore, employers are only allowed to share costs arising from stay-home notice and related Covid-19 tests, and any such arrangement should be discussed and agreed upon before the employer gives consent for the worker to transfer, MOM said.
The current employer should bear the costs proportionate to the duration that the worker has worked for him or her within the 12-month period.
Separately, MOM said that the implementation of a new service fee refund policy for employers of domestic workers, to help improve matching between employers and the maids, has been deferred to early 2022 to allow more time to factor in feedback.