Non-digital options available for maid applications

We thank Mr David Lam Yan Choon (Streamline online maid application process; March 11) and Ms Amy Loh Chee Seen (Provide seniors with non-digital options too; March 19) for their feedback on online transactions for the application of foreign domestic workers (FDWs).

Without the use of technology, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) would not be able to provide satisfactory service to customers. Our online work pass systems process more than two million transactions a year. In 2015, we redesigned MOM's FDW online services and simplified the application and renewal processes to 15 and five minutes respectively.

Last year, 99 per cent (56,000) of FDW employers submitted their applications/renewals online and 75 per cent rated the new online service 5 out of 6.

Nevertheless, MOM continues to provide non-digital alternatives for users who cannot access online services. FDW employers can engage an employment agency to perform the transactions on their behalf.

SingPost also accepts applications at its counters. Otherwise, employers can call MOM for assistance.

In Mr Lam's and Ms Loh's cases, our officers assisted them in their application/renewal process.

Mr Lam's application was approved in three working days and Ms Loh renewed the work permit of her mother's helper within a day.

Mr Lam's case required additional verification or documents for support as he was applying under a sponsorship scheme.

As these are exceptional cases where the sponsor does not reside with the employer, we needed to ascertain the caregiving needs in the household.

Lastly, the two-factor authentication was introduced for SingPass in order to protect citizens from fraudulent transactions while ensuring the reliability of our online services.

As we look to new ways to improve our service delivery, we will continue to assist those who may need additional assistance.

Penny Han (Mrs)

Divisional Director

Work Pass Division,

Ministry of Manpower

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2017, with the headline 'Non-digital options available for maid applications'. Print Edition | Subscribe