We have the best Agony Uncle at Sassy Mama – Andreas is the author of one of our most-recommended books: Hiring & Managing Domestic Help. It’s an absolute must-have for Hong Singapore mamas and you can buy it here!
This week Andreas, our expert extraordinaire when it comes to all things helper related, tells one mama how to hire a part time helper.
I’m looking for a part time helper, but I hear that helpers can’t enter into another contract if they have one already – is this true? What is the deal with part time helpers and can I hire one legally?
First, definitions. When most people say “helper”, they usually mean a “Foreign Domestic Worker” (FDW) employed under a specific type of two-year contract. This is in contrast with “local helpers”, who are citizens or permanent residents and can work in any form (part-time or otherwise).
In the case of Foreign Domestic Workers, they may only work under one contract and they may only work for that family (and in the residence or running errands for the family). Quoting the Ministry of Manpower website:
FDWs may only be deployed to work at another address if:
i. Their duties in their employer’s home includes looking after the employer’s young children or elderly parents; and
ii. They are at the other address to continue their duty of looking after the employer’s young children or elderly parents.
Thus, part time for other employers is illegal for FDWs. There are heavy fines and even prison sentences for illegal employers of FDWs. In addition, the legal employer who allows an FDW to be “deployed” may be fined and also barred from employing FDWs in future.
If you need part time help, there are many legal cleaning and nanny agencies available – we recommend Amahs on Wheels.
For the only guide you’ll ever need on working with a helper, check out Andreas’ fab book ‘Hiring and Managing Domestic Help’ and buy it here.
Andreas Rosboch was born and raised in Sweden by an Italian father and a Swedish mother. He has been an expat for more than ten years and plans to keep it that way. He has spent most of his career in the information technology field, handling everything from brand management to customer support. He is the author of one of our most-recommended books Hiring & Managing Domestic Help – an absolute must-have for Hong Kong mamas (psst- and you can buy it here). He lives in Hong Kong with his wife, two children and dog.