Covid-19 and Rest Days, Medicals and Hirings during Circuit Breaker

 

What is the best arrangement for my helper’s rest day? Should I let my helper go out at all? 

With stricter measures taken at the national level, discuss the current COVID-19 situation with your helper and help her understand safety on her rest days is a priority.

 

All helpers must stay at home on their rest day. You may also discuss taking alternative rest days as well as minimising time spent outside.

If your helper spends her rest day at home without any work assigned for the work day, compensation is not required. However, if she agrees to forgo her rest day to work, you should compensate her accordingly

If your helper has important errands to attend to, advise her to minimise time spent outside and return home once she has completed her errands. Helpers should wear a mask when making essential trips. You and your helper may want to mutually agree on different rest days arrangements during this period. 

If your helper needs to send money back home, note that both POSB and Western Union offer online remittance alternatives on their respective apps and websites.

 

Help her understand this is a temporary arrangement to safeguard her and the family against any possible risks.  You can show your helper the different MOM educational material on COVID-19 in her first language, available here. If you have difficulties in communication, we can also discuss with her directly.

 

 

My helper is due for her six-monthly medical. Am I able to postpone it?

MOM has extended the due dates for helpers’ medical examinations by 3 months.

If you received the 6ME notification letter from 7 April 2020, the extended due date will be reflected on the letter. If you received the notification letter earlier, your helper has 3 more months from the due date stated on the letter to complete her 6ME.

You also may wish to consider using the home-based 6ME service which allows the examination to be done at home. The service provider’s healthcare personnel will go to your residence to collect the helper’s blood sample and 6ME form. You will receive the test results when they are ready, no need to collect them from the clinic.

 

 

Am I still able to hire a helper and / or let my helper transfer during this period? 

 

Yes, we continue to fully operate 7 days a week. If you or an acquaintance are looking to hire a transfer helper in Singapore, rest assured we are still able to complete the relevant processes for a helper to join you as per MOM regulations. We have always worked in a paperless manner, with electronic signature. Everything can be completed 100% digitally.

 

If you are interviewing candidates, we recommend to setup video calls with candidates to minimize face-to-face interactions. Helpers are also able to complete their application completely online. 

 

Our office in Lucky Plaza will be temporarily closed during this period, in accordance with the enhanced measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, but the team is available to assist you in this difficult time and ease the hiring of a helper.

 

We hope this clarifies some of your concerns, feel free to call us should you have any questions at +65 3163 4636 or email us at support@wearecaring.com.

FAQ on the Stay-Home Notice for all helpers arriving in Singapore

The Ministry of Manpower has updated the advisory to foreign domestic workers and employers. See below key answers pertaining to precautionary measures, home leave, and Stay-Home Notice responsibilities for your helper.

1) Should I let my helper go out on Sundays? Which precautionary measures should I take?

With social distancing strongly being encouraged, you and your helper may want to mutually agree on different rest days arrangements during this period. Help her understand that this is a temporary arrangement to safeguard her and the family against any possible risks.

It is strongly encouraged for helpers to spend their rest day at home. You may also discuss taking alternative rest days as well as minimising time spent outside.

If your helper spends her rest day at home, you should not assign work on the rest day. However, if she agrees to forgo her rest day to work, you should compensate her accordingly. You can calculate the compensation here.

If she enjoys her off-day outside, she should:
– observe a good personal hygiene, washing hands regularly with soap
– avoid any contact with people who are unwell
avoid crowded places and gatherings (Lucky Plaza, Paya Lebar, City Hall…)

Safety on rest days is a priority for our agency, we will keep you updated if additional measures regarding gatherings or rest days are announced.

2) My helper is planning to go on home leave, should it be postponed?

If your helper has plans to travel back home, it is strongly advised that you come to a mutual agreement to postpone her home leave until the situation stabilises.

Note that all employers must obtain MOM’s approval before their helpers can enter Singapore, and she must observe the SHN period. This applies to all new (i.e. in-principle approval holders) and returning helpers (i.e. with active work permits) travelling to Singapore from any country.

Please contact us if you wish for your helper returning from home leave to stay in alternative accommodation, and we will help you make arrangements accordingly.

3) Can my helper observe the Stay-Home Notice period from our residence?

For new helpers, they should be housed at an alternative accommodation (dormitories, hostels or hotels).

For returning helpers (with an active work permit), the SHN can be observed at the employers’ home.
If your helper is returning from home leave and serving the SHN in your home:

If you feel more comfortable for your helper returning from home leave to stay in our alternative accommodation, feel free to contact us and we will assist you.

4) Is my helper still allowed to work during the Stay-Home Notice period?

If your helper is her SHN at your residence, she can still work during the SHN period. However, she is not permitted to leave the residence.

Helpers who are serving their SHN in alternative accommodation will not be allowed to leave their SHN residence.

Note the following requirements about salary:
New Helpers
For new helpers, employers are required to start paying the helper her salary once she is deployed to your household. Employers are not required to pay the helper her salary during SHN as she has yet to be deployed to the household.

Helpers returning from overseas
For helpers returning from overseas, employers should continue paying the helper her salary once she returns to Singapore.

5) What are the responsibilities during the Stay-Home Notice period?

All helpers on Stay-Home Notice must:
• Not leave their place of residence.
• Not have any visitors to their place of residence and must minimise contact with others.
• Download WhatsApp on their mobile phones and reply to MOM’s phone calls, WhatsApp video calls or SMSes within 1 hour.
• Maintain a record of persons they come into close contact with.
• Act responsibly based on advisories issued by the Singapore Government.

Please read all of the additional responsibilities on MOM here.

6) I’m planning to hire a helper from abroad, how does this impact my hiring?

If your helper is currently overseas, there will be additional steps before she can join your home.

MOM’s approval is required before the helper enters Singapore, and you must fulfil all additional responsibilities to bring the helper in. We will assist all our customers with the entry approval and SHN arrangements. 

We have already contacted you if this impacts your current hiring. If you are unsure of whether this applies to your situation, feel free to contact us and we will help you with the next steps in your hiring.