Archive for May, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Singapore Maid Levy

The Singapore maid levy or Foreign Domestic Worker levy is a necessary “evil” to control the influx of foreign workers into Singapore. [Please see update for 2015 further down.]

Generally,  the levy is $265 per month. However, due to the government’s push for working mothers and other social reasons, a concessionary levy of $170 per month is also given.

The collecting agent is the CPF Board which makes some employers confused. The levy has nothing to do with your CPF. Since the CPF Board has an established “collecting system”, they are just tasked with collecting the maid levy.

Here are some conditions you need to satisfy in order to qualify for a concessionary levy:

1. Your child has to be below 12 and is a Singapore citizen; or

2.  Your parent(s) or grandparent(s) is above 65 and is living with you. He/ she must be a citizen; or

3.  You are above 65; or

4.  You or your family members have disabilities.

Other than the above, you are likely to pay the full normal Singapore maid levy of $265.

Singapore Maid Levy Update for 2015:

Many readers have written to ask about the foreign domestic worker (FDW) levy or maid levy. Despite my busy schedule, I think it is only right that I update this post so that it stays current for 2015.

To recap, the normal maid levy is still $265 per month, and the collecting agent is still the CPF Board. The only change for 2015 is that the concessionary maid levy is now $60 per month and starts in June 2015.

There are also some changes to the conditions of enjoying the concessionary rates. The Government has “widen” the net so that more people can enjoy the rates.

There are 3 main schemes:

- Young child or grandchild scheme
-  Aged person scheme
- Persons with disabilities scheme

1. If the employer’s child or grandchild is below 16 years old, is a Singapore citizen and live in the same address, the employer can enjoy the concessionary rate.

2. If the employer live with an elderly family member (in the same address) who is above 65 years old and is a Singapore citizen, the employer can enjoy the concessionary rate.

3. If the employer or her family member has a disability (defined as needing help in at least 1 basic daily activity like showering, moving, dressing, etc), you can get a levy concession.

The general principles are the person you are claiming the concessionary levy for has to be a Singapore citizen and live in the same address. For the elderly family member, concessionary levy may be allowed if the member is a PR but you have to be a citizen.

Under the disability scheme, if the person has moderate disability, you may claim a concessionary maid levy of $120. Please see Agency for Integrated Care for further details.

Hope this helps. Thank you.

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PostHeaderIcon Singapore Maid Agency Review

Actually, I’ve done a Singapore maid agency review already. However, I think I need to make it more complete by providing even more information. There are also questions about using new unaccreditated agencies which I have some thoughts on.

Personally, I have a preference for CASE accreditated agencies because it is accreditated by a third party consumers protection agency which is "government linked".

However, equally recognised are the AEAs accreditated agencies which you can also take into consideration. These are agencies accreditated by the Association of Employment Agencies which is a self governing body of maid agencies.

In addition, here is a list of agencies which have their accreditation revoked by the AEAs. Stay away from them.

Yet another list to check is whether the agencies are accreditated and do they have any demerit points or not.

Here is the MOM list of agencies…

A few points to note about the list:

1. New agencies do not have to be accreditated in their first year of operation. In their second year, they have to be accreditated to continue operations.

2. Demerit points are issued when the agency infringes the rules and regulations of MOM. Any agency with 12 points are placed under MOM’s surveillance. The demerit points are "reset" after 6 months for the particular infringement. However, if there is a severe infringement like maid abuse, illegal worker, etc., the license will be revoked immediately.

3. Many agencies do not have accreditation in this MOM list because they are non maid agencies. They can be HR consultancies, HR placement companies and so on. Do take note.

A question has also been raised about trying the services of new agencies. There are 3 points to note here.

Firstly, the agency may not be new. It can be a way for "old" and "bad" agencies to circumvent the demerit points system. The old agency’s license may be revoked, but the management wanted to get back into business, so they applied for a new license under a new name. However, the MOM will have checks in place to prevent this. So, are these "recalcitrant" agencies worth trying? I think you know the answer to this.

Secondly, an unaccreditated new agency is a "new kid on the block". In other words, there is no track record. My philosophy is this: let them be successful, and once they’ve proven themselves, then put your money in there. I would not let them risk my family’s well-being as they build their business by me taking a risk with them. But, that’s just me. You can always give a new agency a shot.

Thirdly, there are "new" agencies which are actually old, established agencies doing a conversion in corporate structures. You see, a long time ago many agencies are run by individuals in the form of sole proprietors or partnerships. However, over the years, they’ve grown bigger and better. As such, it makes sense for them to corporatize and become a private limited company.

I think this is the only category of "new" agencies which I will go to because they have already proven themselves from growing from a sole proprietor or partnership into a private limited company. They must be doing a good job to be able to progress to the next level of growth.

I hope this helps.

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PostHeaderIcon Singapore Maid Blog

Finally, I’ve got the Singapore maid blog up and running!

I’m quite excited to share some of the information and experience that I’ve had in this industry.

Personally, I’m an executive in this industry for about 7 years and I’m also an employer of about 5 maids over a period of 6 years. So, I’m able to share with you my thoughts, feelings and different point of views on various matters. Most importantly, I hope this information is useful to you, my reader.

In case you’re thinking that this is a commercial blog, it is not. It is a "passion" blog - it is simply a place for me to express my opinions and have a "voice" on the Internet.

I’ll be covering various topics like how to choose the right maid, singapore maid agency reviews, details on the employment process, singapore maid levy and so on.

While it is common for people to rant or complain about various agencies online, I have no intention in taking part in this because this is not a "complaints" blog. It is an "information" blog.

So, please do not post any "complaint" comments here. If you must, complain to the MOM or CASE.

Neither would I be recommending any agencies because this is a people business. People do change over time, and people are the hardest creature on earth to fathom. (Even young children - see how they throw out one old doll after another!)

So how can I be sure that any good agencies that I recommend to you would work out? I don’t. I can only tell you the factors to watch for to increase the likelihood of success when employing a maid.

Without further ado, here’s my writeup on Singapore maid agency recommendations.

With this first post, I hope you’ll enjoy the blog posts that are coming soon.

Thank you for reading.

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