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     FrontPage Edition: Fri 3 September 2004

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Minimum age for maids to go up to 23 in 2005

Source: www.mom.gov.sg 

To raise the quality of foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in Singapore, MOM will raise the minimum age for FDWs and introduce minimum education requirements for new FDWs.

With effect from 1 Jan 2005, the minimum age requirement for new FDWs will be raised by 5 years, from 18 to 23 years old.

Older FDWs are generally more mature and better equipped to provide full-time domestic care for young children and elderly parents.

They are also more likely to be able to take care of themselves, shoulder responsibility and pose fewer management problems for employers. This will benefit both employers and FDWs, and help reduce the likelihood of unnecessary friction in the employment relationship.

MOM will also introduce minimum education requirements for new FDWs in 2005.  From 1 Jan 2005, all new FDWs (ie, those who have not worked in Singapore before) will be required to show documentary proof that they have had 8 years of formal education before they are allowed to work in Singapore.

Entry tests will be administered to verify that new FDWS can understand basic safety instructions and have some numeracy and literacy skills to perform household tasks.

The measures are being phased in over the next few months to provide time for the Employment Agencies (EAs) to make the necessary adjustments.  There is ample supply of FDWs who can meet the new criteria from the various source countries. MOM will work with the EAs to raise the quality of FDWs brought into Singapore over time.

MOM will also introduce new requirements for employers who change their FDWs frequently. Frequent changes of FDWs are often a reflection of difficulty in managing FDWs on the part of the employers.

Hence, MOM will require all employers who change their FDWs 5 or more times within a one-year period, to attend the FDW Employers’ Orientation Programme.

They may also be required to attend an interview with a Ministry Official from MOM to better understand the circumstances behind the frequent change in FDW. Employers who persist to change FDWs frequently thereafter without satisfactory reasons, may have their applications for FDWs rejected in future.

Public Enquiries

Members of the public with enquiries may call MOM’s One-Call Centre at Tel: 6438 5122 for more information.

Source: Ministry of Manpower Press Release 2 Sep 2004

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Public Holidays DEEPAVALI is the next public holiday. It falls on 11 November 2004.