Anisya welcomes all employers to use the website to manage their own domestic worker hiring process independently. This is in line with our mission to provide as many employment opportunities to workers as possible. If you have a busy schedule and would prefer to outsource this process, Anisya is happy to provide you with these full service hiring packages.
Having said that, if you’re new to hiring a domestic worker in Singapore or have not managed the administrative process of applying for a work permit before, please read this post to set an appropriate expectation around some challenges that might crop up along the way.
Scenario #1 – “A worker has indicated a start date of XXX but can only start work with us one month later, I need her to start on a specific date”
Based on MOM procedures, a worker’s transfer has to be submitted for processing at least one month before her work permit expires. Her current employer could also expect her to complete her contract, which means the worker will not be able to start work with the new employer till a few weeks later. This start date is something that has to be agreed upon between current and prospective employers. In situations whereby an employer is leaving the country for good, then the start date for the worker at the new family is much clearer (before the current employer leaves!) and would be less dependent on when her work permit expires.
Scenario #2 – “I’ve interviewed a great worker but later find that she cannot transfer” or “There are so many workers who cannot transfer, why are they in the system?”
The ability for a worker to transfer is determined entirely by her current employer. Without a signed release paper, the worker cannot transfer, simple as that. Some workers think they have verbal agreement from their employer to transfer but find that the employer later changes her mind.
Does this mean that a prospective employer cannot subsequently hire her? Certainly not. The worker has the option to complete her contract, or quit, and leave Singapore. She can subsequently be hired from overseas and re-enter Singapore to start work with the new employer. This process takes more time than a transfer, and would incur higher costs. However, the future employer can decide that they’ve found the perfect set of qualities in this worker to warrant the longer wait and higher costs. This also explains why we allow workers who have no ability to transfer to create profiles on Anisya.
Scenario #3 – “A worker has agreed to work for me, but her employer has signed her release paper to her maid agency”
An employer can use a worker’s release paper to dictate that she has to use a specific maid agency. By working through the employer’s maid agency of choice, the agency can charge the worker for the transfer (they can legally charge 1-2 months salary equivalent) and we have heard of situations whereby the agency provides a “commission” to the employer.
Kick backs to employers are considered illegal by MOM (but hard to prove), and this doesn’t help the worker avoid a transaction fee of 1-2 months salary equivalent. The employer can also refuse to sign the release paper if the worker refuses to go through the stipulated maid agency. This is effectively blackmail but unfortunately doesn’t present any grounds to file a complaint to MOM with.
Scenario #4 – “I’ve contacted so many workers and few or none have responded” or “Many workers I’ve contacted say they’ve found an employer, but their ad is still active”
We continually encourage workers and employers to be responsive to contacts, as a simple matter of courtesy. We’ve found a prevailing culture among workers where they’re reluctant to say “No thanks”, and would rather say that they’ve already found an employer. This is obviously not helpful for the system and we will continue reinforcing the message of being direct, truthful and responsive.
Scenario #5 – “We met a worker today and she agreed to work with us. The next day, she says she has changed her mind” or “A worker we met today agreed to work with us, but she has since become uncontactable”
Many workers adopt an extreme stance of being agreeable, and might say “Yes” when they have some doubts. They’ll also likely have multiple interviews on their off day and could have found a more compelling employer later in the day. For most workers, nothing is confirmed until they’ve signed an agreement. We do not advocate for employers to pressure workers into signing an agreement immediately after the interview; ultimately, both parties have to be comfortable with the work arrangement for the relationship to be a healthy and lasting one. For employers, you could ask the worker to think about the offer and confirm the next day. We will also encourage workers to let employers know that they’ll consider all options before coming back with a decision.
We hope that this post addresses some of the confusion and frustration arising out of using the Anisya system. The employment situation for domestic workers can be chaotic and we’ll continue to introduce measures to reflect their specific circumstances and to help employers match their hiring requirements based on this fluid mix.