Before you and your domestic worker work together, both of you will have to undergo special training before your domestic worker's employment begins. Your maid will need to complete the Settling-In Programme and you will need to complete the Employers' Orientation Programme. As of 2012, the Settling-In Programme has become a mandatory aspect of hiring a foreign domestic worker. It attempts to educate the maid about safely living and working in Singapore and it will be conducted either in English or in the domestic worker's native language. The Employers' Orientation Programme will equip you with the knowledge and tools you will need to be a successful employer.
Table of Contents
- Who is the Settling-In Programme For?
- Costs and Requirements
- SIP Coursework
- What is the Employers' Orientation Programme?
- EOP Coursework
Who is the Settling-In Programme For?
The Settling-In Programme is for foreign domestic workers (FDW) who are being employed for the first time in Singapore. This means that they either have no previous employment record with the Ministry of Manpower or they have a work permit record that was not utilised (i.e. she received a work permit for Singapore but decided to work elsewhere). Your FDW must take this training within the first three working days of her arrival. There is no exemption for first-time foreign maids and those who do not attend will not be issued their work permits and will be sent back to their home country.
Costs and Requirements
The cost for this course is S$75, paid by the employer of the FDW. When you send your FDW to the Settling-In Programme (SIP), you have to make sure she has her embarkation card, photocopy of her In-principle approval letter, her original passport and a copy of her educational certificate showing that she has received at least 8 years of formal education.
There are three accredited agencies that host the SIP: Absolute Kinetics Consultancy, Grace Management & Consultancy Services, and NTUC LearningHub. You can check with each centre to see the schedule and when the training will be hosted in a particular language.
SIP Coursework: What to Expect
The course is a full-day course that runs for about 8 hours and covers topics such as: introduction to Singapore, conditions of employment, a 4-hour course on safety and relationship & stress management. A new section regarding terrorism and radicalization was recently introduced, which teaches FDWs how to avoid interactions with possible terrorists and what to do if they witness radicalization of someone they know.
The education will take the form of videos, lectures, and hands-on lessons. There will be demonstrations on how to safely clean windows, properly hang laundry, and how to recognize dangerous situations while working. The instructors will observe your maid as she demonstrates what she was taught and all of their observations will be passed on to you. At the end of the successful completion of the program, your foreign domestic worker will receive a certificate of attendance.
What is the Employers' Orientation Programme?
The Employers' Orientation Programme (EOP) attempts to teach FDW employers about their roles and responsibilities. This is a mandatory course for all first-time employers and costs between S$35 and S$60 for an in-person course and S$35 for an online course. You are also required to take this course if you are someone who switches maids frequently (more than 3 FDWs in a year). If you are switching to your 5th maid, then you have to attend the in-person programme. You need to complete the course at least two days before submitting a Work Permit application.
You may qualify to appoint a representative or sponsor to attend the EOP on your behalf if you: suffer from a mental condition, have a physical disability/unable to walk, are 60 years old and older and suffer from physical discomfort or are a new or expectant mother. In all cases, your chosen sponsor must do the EOP course at least two days before you appoint them online. You can continue with your work permit application one day after your sponsor application is successful.
The EOP is a three hour course that covers the following topics: what it means to be a FDW employer, responsibilities of a FDW employer, understanding your FDW, providing a safe work environment, and fostering good relationships. You do not have to complete the course in one sitting, but you do have to complete it within 3 months of your registration date. The EOP is hosted by two agencies: Grace Management & Consultancy Services Pte Ltd and Nation Employment Pte Ltd.