sponsoring a helper

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daytripper65
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sponsoring a helper

Post by daytripper65 » Sat, 21 Mar 2009 1:34 pm

Hi,

We've had a Filipino woman who babysits for us on occasion for about 5 years now. She wants to bring her 28 y.o. daughter to Singapore now and recently asked us to sponsor her under the following terms: She will do all necessary paperwork; daughter will pay her own "levi", no financial obligation by us; Daughter will clean/babysit for us in exchange for sponsorship once a week.

Are there considerations we should be aware of before agreeing to engage in this process? We've never considered a "maid" situation before, but we are fond of this woman and would like to help her and her daughter if we can. In fact, we've converted our "maid room" into a laundry/pantry and would not be able to house someone. However, it seems that she just needs our sponsorship, and plans to obtain her own employment once she gets here.

Our concerns are:

1) Is this a legitimate arrangement? Or are sponsors supposed to employ the person full time? 2) If she is unable to obtain full time employment, would we need to compensate her? 3) If we do go through with this: We don't feel right accepting complimentary cleaning and babysitting, but are there financial obligations (aside from levi) that we are not aware of?
4) Mom mentioned a class we need to take, is this an actual weekly thing we need to attend, or an on-line type of thing? 5) Does sponsoring someone infringe on anything like our family being out of the country for a period of time, etc?

Any information and experiences are appreciated.

Thanks!
Let your soul and spirit fly
...into the mystic--VM

skye
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Post by skye » Sat, 21 Mar 2009 7:10 pm

Where to start? Lots of domestic workers do this but it is illegal both for her and for you. For "sponsor" substitute "employer" because that is what you will be as far as the MOM is concerned. When you sign the work permit application you agree that she will only work for you at the address on her work permit, which will be your home address. That is also the address where she is permitted to live. You are responsible for her healthcare, health insurance, a $5000 bond that she will conform to the work permit conditions and leave the country when her WP expires, sending her for 6 monthly medicals, the list goes on and on, although I assume her Mum plans to take care of all those costs. If she doesn't pay the levy (about $290 per month) you will be chased for that as well or her WP will be cancelled. You have to pass a one-off safely test, as does she, if you haven't employed a domestic helper before. Personally, I have a lot of sympathy with the women who want to try this as the whole maid thing is such a lottery on getting a decent employer, but no way would I get involved. The penalties if either of you get caught are severe.

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QRM
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Post by QRM » Sat, 21 Mar 2009 7:55 pm

After having so much trouble with the local helpers. Our helper in UK asked if we could bring in her daughter-in-law who worked as an x-ray technician in the Philippines, ( We thought she might glow in the dark when she got here :D ) Went to a reputable agency who handled all the paper work.

She had to do a maid course and test which asked such scary question like, Do you put an electric kettle on a gas stove? :shock:

You as employers have to do a test but that's done online, and has scary points like not letting the maid give massages to male members of the household and at least provide them with some form of screen should you let them sleep in the hallway.

She had to stay in the local maids dormitory during all the tests, which was the most horrific and degrading experience of her life, all standing around naked and a bucket of cold water to wash with, with just rice and bread for food.

She actually failed the MOM health check, lets just say she had one too many chicken curry, and had high blood pressure. Normally she would have been sent back at that stage but as she was a direct hire, we signed a form saying we are aware of it and will cover all medical expenses and she was let through.

Now shes working with us and so far everyone is chirpy,

Though that does mean she is working and staying with us, not sure about coming in and working independently.
Last edited by QRM on Sun, 22 Mar 2009 8:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

cbavasi
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Post by cbavasi » Sat, 21 Mar 2009 10:05 pm

The best thing for you to do is go to the MOM on Havelock Rd and tell them your situation at the counter downstairs (don't bother getting a number for upstairs - just go to Customer Service counter). They are SUPER helpful and can really sort out all the details and exactly what your obligations are. You don't need to give them any of your information - just tell them what you have been asked to do and what your obligation is and if it is legal. If you go early in the morning there you'll be out in a couple of minutes. (Don't bother trying over the phone - you'll be on that automated system for hours!) HTHs.

skye
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Post by skye » Sun, 22 Mar 2009 1:38 am

It's not legal, no doubt about it and not worth a trip to the MOM. Up to you if you want to help, but know the risks. QRM was fine 'cos he/she wanted to hire the lady personally. What your babysitter is proposing doesn't happen legally, though plenty of it goes on under the radar. Unless your babysitter is PR or has become Singaporean, she's also working illegally it you want to be picky about it. Usually no worries unless the condo guards or other maids shop you or her to the authorities - it does happen now and again.

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daytripper65
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Post by daytripper65 » Mon, 23 Mar 2009 4:49 pm

Thank you for all the information, it was very helpful.
We have decided that the potential risks of a not-quite-
legal situation is not worth getting involved.

Thanks again
Let your soul and spirit fly
...into the mystic--VM

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