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 Singapore mamas and you can buy it here!
This week, one mama who has to suddenly return to her home country for good wants to know what to do for her helper…
My husband and I are being repatriated to our home country at the end of August. Our helper’s contract still has over a year left to run. What do we have to do to with regards to informing immigration, and can she just go straight in to another job or will she have to fly home first? She’s concerned that she’ll get stuck at home for 2 months like she was before she started with us. Can she just go to Macau instead? What do we legally have to do in terms of flight home, redundancy pay etc? When should we start all this?
The Ministry of Manpower does not publish guidelines specifically for the situation in which an employer leaves Singapore mid-contract. However there are guidelines for changing employer. The helper can indeed go straight into the new job.
The guidelines are quite straight forward and stated as follows on the Ministry of Manpower website.
Responsibilities of the New Employer
The new employer must complete the following tasks, 30 days before the Foreign Domestic Worker’s (FDW) Work Permit expires:
- Obtain consent from the current employer by completing Part 5 of the Work Permit Application Form.
- Ensure that the current employer has sent the FDW for her 6-Monthly Medical Examination if required. The next medical examination is due if the last one was done five months ago.
- Submit a new Work Permit application for the worker.
The worker can start working for the new employer only after the new Work Permit is issued.
Responsibilities of the Current Employer
The current employer must:
- Ensure that the current Work Permit card is collected before initiating a transfer to the new employer.
- Continue to pay the levy up to the day before the new Work Permit is issued.
- Send the FDW for her 6-Monthly Medical Examination if required. The next medical examination is due if the last one was done five months ago.
If the FDW’s transfer is unsuccessful and the Work Permit is cancelled or has expired, the current employer must repatriate the worker within seven days from the date of the Work Permit cancellation or expiry.
The one thing to start doing now, assuming you are happy with your helper, is to help her find a nice new job. Spread the word among friends, acquaintances and work mates.
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.
Do you have a question for Andreas? Email [email protected] with the subject line “Ask Andreas” and we’ll make sure it gets answered on the site!
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.