From May 1, hiring a Filipino maid in Singapore will get more expensive.
Hiring a Filipino maid in Singapore costlier
According to Channel NewAsia, on March 31, the Philippines Embassy’s Overseas Labour Office (POLO-SG) revealed that the minimum salary for maids from the Philippines would be raised from S$550 to S$570.
The last major revision for Filipino maids happened in 2012, when minimum salary was raised from S$500 to S$550. According to the embassy’s Labour Attache Ramon Pastrana, the current raise is to keep up with the “fluctuation of exchange rates of the USD” with respect to the Singapore dollar.
Apparently, of the 240,000 maids or domestic helpers in Singapore, some 70,000 are from the Philippines. Filipino maids are preferred by employers for their skills and language abilities.
Impact on hiring Filipinos
Responding to whether the current hike in salary would irk employers, the President of The Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore), K. Jayaprema, has been quoted as saying, “Singapore employers are kind of price-sensitive, whether it’s about employment agency fees or salary. And it’s not just about the basic salary. There will be a little bit increase in the compensation rate for the rest day.”
However the move has found favour with some maid agencies here, as it is likely to attract more Filipinos to Singapore, who might otherwise be drawn to countries like Hong Kong or those in the Middle East, where they would get paid more.
What do you feel, readers? Will this hike in salary make you think twice before hiring a Filipino maid in Singapore? Let us know in the poll below:
Stricter measures against employment agencies
Apart from the salary hike, employment agencies in Singapore have also come under fire for ‘illegally’ deducting up to 8 months of a maid’s salary on the pretext of ‘placement’ fees. Placement fees refers to the charges paid to an employment agency which includes paperwork, negotiation with employers etc, in order to facilitate smooth employment.
Under Philippines law, no such ‘service charges’ are to be paid to the employment agency. However Ministry of Manpower (Singapore) allows a deduction of up to 2 months of a maid’s salary for placement purposes. Agencies have a choice to not deduct any amount for the same as well.
But some employment agencies have apparently been misusing this clause. According to Channel NewsAsia, the Labour Office has mentioned in its notice that it “received reports that employment agencies in Singapore continuously charge Filipino domestic workers placement fees through salary deductions of one to eight months.”
“Due to this alleged blatant disregard of Philippine laws and regulations and despite the many briefings conducted by POLO-SG to address the situation, POLO-SG hereby announces the following policies to take effect immediately.”
Agencies who collect such placement fees through salary deduction now face ‘immediate suspension of documentary processing’. All agencies will henceforth be required to submit the updated name, contact details and salaries of maids, together with the name and contact details of their respective employers.
Also READ: Tips for choosing a maid in Singapore!
(Source: The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia)
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