We have listed some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from employers about hiring a  Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) in Singapore.
Do contact us if you have other enquiries not listed here at  (65) 9667 7148 or enquiries@cbldmanpower.com.sg and we will be happy to assist you.

Engaging an Employment Agency

1. What does it mean to be a licensed and accredited employment agency?

CBLD Manpower Consultancy Pte Ltd is licensed by the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore and accredited by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia. All our personnel dealing with clients are also registered with MOM. We adhere to strict guidelines and fair practices set by both bodies including how we perform our administration, houses, care for and train our FDW candidates and manages our fees to clients. As a licensed and accredited agency, CBLD is regularly audited and evaluated by the authorities. Our clients enjoy peace of mind knowing that they have engaged a professional and ethical agency with fair and transparent fees and good after-sales service. CBLD Manpower Consultancy is listed on MOM-licensed employment agencies directory accessible here.

Employing a Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW)

1. What are the requirements for a first-time FDW employer in Singapore?

All first-time FDW employers are mandated by MOM to complete the Employer’s Orientation Programme (EOP) to be allowed to hire a FDW in Singapore. The EOP is offered as a classroom-based or e-learning (online) programme which CBLD Manpower would assist you to enrol.
Click here for more information on MOM’s website.

2. What are the requirements to hire a FDW in Singapore?

To hire an FDW, MOM mandates that an employer must be

  • Either a Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or Expatriate with a valid Employment Pass;
  • At least 21 years old and;
  • Have enough room in your home to provide your FDW with proper accommodation
  • Have the mental capacity to fully understand and discharge one’s responsibilities as a lawful employer (MOM may consider your financial capacity to employ and upkeep an FDW in an acceptable accommodation).

3. What are the types of FDW available?

  • Fresh FDWs Candidates who arrive from their home countries with no prior work experience in Singapore. They may however have experience working in other countries.
  • Transfer FDWs Candidates who are presently employed and residing in Singapore but searching for new employers.
  • Ex-Singapore FDWs Candidates who have prior working experience in Singapore but are currently not residing in Singapore.

4. What is the levy for employing a FDW?

Employers are required to pay a Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) monthly levy. Levy charges defers for 1st or subsequent FDW and is entitled to concessionary rates as well, please refer to table below. If she is a first-time FDW, the levy will begin on the 5th day of her arrival (including the arrival date). Otherwise, the levy will begin the next day after she arrives. The levy ends when the Work Permit is cancelled or expires. Levy Payment should be made via GIRO only.

5. What is the criteria to apply for FDW levy concession?

Subjected to MOM’s approval, employers may be eligible to apply for levy concession for their FDW if at least one of the following conditions is met:

  • A Singaporean child/grandchild (16 years old and below) in the household
  • A Singaporean elderly (67 years old and above) in the household
  • A Singaporean with a medical condition who needs help with at least 1 activity of daily living (ADL) in the household
*From 1 September 2019, an FDW employer can enjoy the levy concession if their FDW is employed to care for a member of their extended family or friend, who lives in the same household. Click here for more information on MOM’s website. Inform us if you fulfil one of the above criteria for us to assist you in applying for the FDW levy concession.

6. What happens if an employer does not pay the FDW levy on time?

There will be following penalties for any late payment of levy:

  • Late payment penalty of 2% per month or $20, whichever is higher. (capped at 30% of the outstanding levy)
  • Revocation of FDW’s Work Permit

7. How does an employer request to reinstate their FDW’s permit that is revoked due to levy default?

Employers would be required to pay the levy due and apply for the reinstatement of their FDW’s work permit. A fee of $35.00 is payable to MOM.

8. Can a household hire more than one FDW?

Employers may apply to hire more than one FDW in the same household if at least one of the following conditions is met:

  • There is more than one child under 18 years old
  • There is an elderly above 60 years old
The household will also be assessed on your financial ability to hire and upkeep more than one FDW in acceptable accommodation. Each household can hire up to 2 FDWs.

Knowing your responsibilities as an FDW employer

1. What are the recurring costs of hiring a fresh FDW for a first-time employer in Singapore?

There are various recurring costs such as:

  • Monthly salary and levy
  • Bi-annually medical examination
The above recurring costs do not include meals, lodging and transportation expenses for your live-in domestic helper which employers must also lawfully provide.

2. When is the Six-Monthly Medical Examination (6ME) for my FDW due?

FDWs are required to go for their 6ME to screen for pregnancies and infectious diseases every six months. MOM will send the employer a letter when your FDW is due for her 6ME. The employer is required to send her for the 6ME before the due date.

3. Who is required to bear the medical expenses if the FDW falls ill?

MOM regulates that the employer should bear the full cost of medical treatment including hospitalization if needed by their FDW in the course of service. Employers are advised to check on your insurance plan’s medical coverage.

4. How often should an FDW be paid her salary?

An FDW must be paid at least once a month. She must be paid no later than seven days after the last day of her salary period. For example: If your FDW’s salary period is from 1-31 May, then for the month of May, your FDW should receive her salary by 7 June.

5. What are the employer’s daily obligations as an employer to the FDW?

MOM regulates that as an employer, you are obliged to pay your FDW’s salary on time, provide her with suitable and adequate food, insurance, medical care and a safe and conducive working and living environment.

6. What are the employer’s responsibilities in keeping the FDW safe?

Employers are responsible for ensuring that the FDW performs her work in a safe manner. She may not be used to working in an urban environment or in a high-rise building. Many aspects of high-rise living that we take for granted may be completely new to her. She must be made aware of the risks involved when performing certain household chores such as cleaning windows and hanging laundry.

7. Can an FDW be asked to work for another employer or to work in a different occupation?

No. FDWs can only work as a domestic worker and for the employer stated in her work permit. It is illegal for any person to ask an FDW to work for another employer or to perform non-domestic work, whether it is on her rest day or not. Likewise, it is illegal for an employer to hire or engage someone else’s FDW to work for him or her.

8. Can the FDW be allowed to take overseas leave?

Yes, it is acceptable and common for FDWs to request for overseas leave to return home to visit their families, subject to the employer’s approval. Employers may apply for a levy waiver for the period that she is on leave and you may defer her biannual medical screening if needed.

  • Before the FDW departs for her overseas leave, employers are to ensure the following: Ensure that your FDW has a valid passport.
  • Verify with your FDW’s embassy on her home country’s immigration requirements.
  • Ensure that your FDW brings along her work permit card and passport when she departs. She will need these documents to re-enter Singapore.
  • Keep a copy of her travel ticket or departure itinerary.
Click here for more information on MOM’s website.

Discontinuing the employment of the FDW

1. Can an employer terminate the contract with the FDW before it is completed?

Yes, either the employer or the FDW may terminate the contract before it is completed by providing notice and serving the notice period as stated in the employment contract. If the notice period cannot be fulfilled, the party terminating the employment would be required to pay the salary amount due in lieu of notice. The notice period may also be waived by mutual consent. Click here for more information on MOM’s website.

2. What should an employer do when they no longer require the services of a FDW?

When employers wish to terminate the employment of the FDW, notice of termination or pay her salary in lieu of notice is required to be given, in accordance with the employment contract. Employers should check if the FDW prefers to return home or be transferred to another employer in Singapore. If she prefers to be transferred, you may contact CBLD Manpower for the necessary procedures.

3. What are the employer’s obligations if the FDW is allowed to be transferred?

  • Arrange for the FDW to complete her biannual medical screening if she had not done so.
  • Complete the transfer consent form provided by CBLD Manpower to confirm that you agree to the transfer.
  • Make payment for the levy pro-rated up to the date of the FDW’s transfer.
  • Wait for the FDW’s new employer to apply and issue her new work permit. Once this is completed, her work permit and levy charges under your employment would seize.
  • Return the FDW’s work permit card to CBLD Manpower within 1 week of the transfer.
Click here for more information on MOM’s website.

4. What should I do if I do not wish to renew my FDW’s employment contract and she would like to return home?

MOM mandates that you would be required to complete the following before your FDW departs for her home country:

  • Ensure that your FDW has a valid passport.
  • Ensure that your FDW’s flight departure date is within 2 weeks from the date that her work permit is cancelled.
  • Purchase and bear the cost of the air ticket (and check-in luggage) to the international airport in your FDW’s home country which is nearest to her hometown.
  • Resolve all outstanding employment issues (if any) e.g. salary
Click here for more information on MOM’s website. (error on link)

Download the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s guide to hiring a FDW.