SO…once you’ve decided you want to bypass an agency, you’ve interviewed candidates and are happy with your choice (see part one for my experiences https://blackgirlinspore.com/2015/06/26/hiring-a-helper-without-an-agency-part-one/), here are 10 important things you should do:
Get your FDW’s employer to agree a start date asap. Get him/her to put it in writing, and correspond by email. Keep in mind that they pretty much have all the power and can change their minds about the start date or if they want to let their FDW go at all! In fact it can be a good sign if they’re reluctant to let her go because she’s become a part of their family. Still, you don’t want to be messed around. Make sure they really are leaving/have to let her go, and be courteous but firm about your start date. While you wait…
Do the E-learning course on hiring a helper. It’s compulsory to do this course if it’s your first time hiring a helper and MOM will ask for proof before you can apply. See below for where to register. https://mycems.sp.edu.sg/psc/ppct_public/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/S_AD_MENU.S_AD_RGST.GBL?Page=S_AD_CTE_SRCH_PG&Action=A&
- Be realistic with how long the process will take. I suggest 4-6 weeks because the process is detailed and MOM’s website doesn’t make it clear what order things need to be done. I thought I could multitask by setting up a direct debit for our levy payments and applying for insurance at the same time, but MOM prefers a more snail-like pace. You’ll also be surprised at the number of things that can go wrong and delay you. We discovered that MOM had saved my personal details wrongly so we wasted a week uploading documents and waiting for them to be updated. So be a good girl/boy guide and be prepared.
- Make sure your FDW’s medical checkup is up to date and all levies paid up to date. It can be very annoying to be so close to the finish line only to get blocked by the online system. The medical needs to be done every 6 months. You will need to liase with the previous employer but make sure you ask! Don’t assume.
- Set up a SingPass. This is an online password that you use to log on to MOM’s website to apply for the WP. This will take a few days (it’s posted to you) and then you can start the application. It only takes a day for the application to be approved but no message will be sent to you. You need to log back in and download the In Principle Approval Letter (IPA) https://www.singpass.gov.sg/sppubsvc/req1.html
- Move swiftly! You only have 2 weeks from the application date to get all your ducks in a row and issue the permit or your approval will be REVOKED and everything will come down like a house of cards. MOM isn’t playing. You, your FDW, and their previous employer must sign the relevant parts of the application form and have the form uploaded back to MOM. If you’re running out of time, you can extend the IPA deadline. But bear in mind that the WP Portal is not available evenings and weekends. http://www.mom.gov.sg/eservices/services/wp-online-for-employers-of-fdws
- You need to find insurance. This isnt difficult, you can shop around online, the prices are the same but you need the IPA first. You also need a WITNESS and a (separate) GUARANTOR. They must be Singaporean and the guarantor must earn over a certain amount. They need to sign the insurance papers. Once youve uploaded the docs back to the insurers, they’ll contact MOM and issue a bond. This bond covers you for the FDW’ s medical, accident and repatriation costs. You choose when you want the cover to start.
Upload the remaining documents. This includes a Security Bond form which you and a witness need to sign. YES, a completely separate form that needs another witness.
Be extremely careful to sign and fill out the right places. If you make the smallest error, MOM will send you a message asking you to refill that page again and this can cause more delays. Not the end of the world but when you’re getting close to the end, it can make a difference.
Deliver the WP to an official address. You can’t choose when it’s delivered, so have it sent to an office to avoid missing it. Otherwise, you’ll have to go pick it up.
I hope this has been helpful! It is quite a time-consuming process and the relevant websites can be a little confusing so take your time.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were times I wanted to dump this on an agent but it CAN be done.
If you get stuck, give MOM a ring. They’re surprisingly helpful! And I’ve pasted some useful weblinks below…
http://www.mom.gov.sg/eservices/services/isubmit (This is useful for submitting extra documents)
MOM Tel no: (65) 6438 5122