Replies: Entry into Singapore

Forum: Employers and returning maids can get agencies to help

A foreign domestic workers preparing a meal on April 27, 2020.
A foreign domestic workers preparing a meal on April 27, 2020.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

During the circuit breaker, there were many challenges to facilitate the entry of foreign domestic workers (FDWs) into Singapore (Allow maids an easier return to Singapore on case-by-case basis, Nov 17). There were only relief flights, or none, in and out of Singapore, and entry approvals for FDWs were scarce.

However, gradually, during phases one and two, the restrictions have been relaxed, and, over the last few weeks, applications for both in-principle approval and entry approval have been processed faster.

FDWs have to take the polymerase chain reaction test at source before they return to Singapore, though it might be onerous for an FDW to handle these processes on her own.

This is a requirement that employment agencies welcome as it reduces the risk of importing positive cases into Singapore.

It also reduces the risk of inconvenience to FDWs and employers as they can avoid the prolonged wait for an infected maid to recover.

An employer should consider contacting an employment agency in Singapore, or the FDW might want to approach a licensed recruitment agency in the source country to guide her through the processes to ensure a smooth arrival in Singapore and to serve the stay-home notice (SHN).

Employers should also ensure that they understand the SHN requirement, related cost and their and the maid's responsibilities.

An employer may want to consider other options available in Singapore to provide care for their loved ones if they have concerns about the cost of bringing in an FDW from overseas.

K. Jayaprema


Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2020, with the headline 'Employers and returning maids can get agencies to help'. Print Edition | Subscribe