Maid agencies must conduct post-placement checks within 3 months as part of new licence conditions
SINGAPORE: Maid agencies will soon be required to conduct at least one post-placement check on foreign domestic workers and their employers within three months of them joining the household.
This will be mandatory under new licensing conditions for employment agencies.
"The check can be done via a telephone call or an in-person check-in," said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a media release on Thursday (Oct 28).
"This will be applicable for all migrant domestic workers (MDWs) who are placed in households after Dec 1, 2021."
As part of efforts to better support migrant domestic workers, MOM previously announced that post-placement checks by employment agencies will be implemented by the end of this year.
It noted that employment agencies are "key intermediaries" in facilitating matches between maids and employers, so it is important for them to check if the domestic workers are settling in well.
"Employment agencies can also play a role in clarifying with MDWs and their employers on norms and standards for MDW employment," said MOM.
The ministry said in July that employers will have to provide maids with one rest day a month that cannot be compensated away, which will take effect at the end of 2022.
In August, it announced that employers will no longer be allowed to be present during their maid’s six-monthly medical examination as part of measures to help detect abuse. Home-based examinations are also not allowed.
On Thursday, MOM said it has drawn up a set of guidelines that maid agencies can use when conducting post-placement checks, noting that some agencies have already been checking in on the domestic workers.
Agencies will have to complete a mandated checklist and maintain relevant records.
"MOM will conduct routine audits, during which employment agencies will be required to furnish the completed checklist, to show that the checks have been completed properly," said the ministry.
It added that enforcement action will be taken against agencies that fail to comply. Those found to have breached licensing conditions could be fined up to S$5,000, jailed up to six months, or both.
Depending on the number of demerit points accumulated, the ministry may also revoke their licences and forfeit their security deposit in addition to court-imposed penalties.