All non-Malaysian foreign domestic workers in Singapore are required to have a work permit and security bond. There are approximately 250,000 foreign domestic workers in Singapore. If you have decided to get a foreign domestic worker, you need to make sure all the documents are ready before your worker arrives in Singapore.
The security bond costs $5000. You can get a bank guarantee or get one from an insurance company. Read more about security bond requisites and information here.
When should you get a security bond?
Once you and your incoming foreign domestic worker (FDW) agree on the terms of employment, including the salary and terms of employment, it is best to start processing the work permit.
The security bond will be attached to the work permit. So, the Ministry of Man Power (MOM) will require the bank or insurance company to send in details of the security bond before processing the work permit.
How long does it take for a security bond to be ready?
It usually takes three working days for a security bond to be processed. However, this depends on how soon the insurer starts the process. It is, therefore, important for you to follow up with your bank or insurer to ensure the security bond MOM is ready. The work permit will then be processed.
When the security bond is ready, you will receive an acknowledgement letter. Ensure your worker gets a copy of the security bond. Without the security bond and work permit, the FDW will be denied entry into Singapore.
What happens when the services of the FDW is no longer needed?
Singapore usually gives two-year work permits. However, if you need the FDW for a shorter period, you can request a work permit for the required time frame. However, the cost of the security bond remains $5000, irrespective of the validity of the work permit.
Should the FDW work through the expected period, or if you terminate the services before the expiry of the work permit, you should inform MOM of your intentions. The Ministry will then cancel the permit. The FDW is expected to leave the country when she no longer has a valid work permit.
When you should expect the security bond to be refunded
The security bond, as the name suggests, is to serve as security. It is an agreement between employers and the government. You are basically saying you trust the FDW will meet the terms of the work permit. Should there be an issue, the government will fine you, and you may lose part or the entire security bond.
If, however, the FDW meets the terms of the work permit until it expires or until that point when you cancel it, you will receive a full refund of the security bond MOM.
The security bond is usually discharged at least a week after the FDW has left Singapore. So, as an employer, you still have a responsibility beyond cancelling the work permit. You need to make sure your worker leaves the country for you to receive a full refund of the security bond.
When are you at risk of forfeiting the security bond?
There are several circumstances where you may be forced to forfeit the security bond. They include;
- Failure to pay your worker’s salary as agreed, either the amount or within the agreed period.
- When you or your worker go against the conditions of the security bond or work permit.
- Should you fail to send the worker home when the work permit is revoked, cancelled or expired.
- When the worker goes missing from your home, and you have no idea where to find her.
You may be exempt from liability should you report a violation of the work permit conditions as soon as you discover it. If you prove that you discussed the terms of the work permit with the FDW, the MOM may refund the security bond even when the worker fails to fulfil the terms of the work permit.
Even though MOM understands that there is so much an employer can do to ensure the worker fulfils her obligations, you are expected to carry out due diligence when employing a foreign domestic worker. Hiring a person of integrity will save you money and your reputation as a reliable employer.
In future, you will find it easier to get a security bond if your workers comply with the terms of the work permit.