The demand for transfer maids in Singapore has been on the rise. According to an article by The Straits Times, more families are changing their preference to hire transfer maids instead.
Transfer maids refer to maids who are already residing in Singapore and have worked in Singapore before, and they seek to transfer from one employer to another.
In this article, we will be going through some essential transfer maids topics:
- Why you should consider hiring a transfer maid over a new maid in Singapore
- How to transfer a maid to another employer (without an agency)
- How to interview, shortlist and choose a transfer maid (for hire with or without an agency)
- How to hire a transfer maid (without an agency)
- Some questions you might have
If you are looking to hire a transfer maid through an agency, here is a good maid agency hiring guide.
You can also hire a maid by yourself.
Reasons for hiring transfer maid over a new one
1. Lower costs
Hiring a transfer maid is considerably cheaper compared to a new maid. This is because you do not have to pay for the expenses that accompany hiring a new maid.
Expenses include airplane tickets to Singapore, work permit fees, pre-employment medical check-up fees, mandatory courses conducted by MOM and other miscellaneous fees. Usually, these fees are already part of the overall costs by agencies when hiring new maids.
So, for a new maid, you will roughly spend about $2500 to $3500, with a 6 to 9 months salary cut on the maid.
For a transfer maid, the agency fee is much lesser, only a few hundred bucks. The transfer fee will be borne by the transfer maid which is equivalent to 1 to 2 months salary cut on the maid.
2. Transfer maids have been trained
You do not need to retrain a maid that has experienced with her previous employer.
Usually, you will need to provide training to new maids such as:
- Purchase groceries
- Getting around Singapore
- Cleaning the household well such as washing the dishes, cleaning the floor
- Meeting the expectations of the employer
- Communicating well
- Proper use of electronics and appliances in the house
- Taking care of children or elderly in the household
These are the tasks that you most likely will not need to worry about when hiring a transfer maid.
3. Adapted to living in Singapore
Transfer maids are less likely to suffer from homesickness as they have been living in Singapore for a while. They would have already adjusted themselves to living away from their families. Also, they would have gotten used to the culture in Singapore.
4. Availability of employment history
For transfer maids, you can always find their past employment records through MOM. You can also enquire through a maid agency or ask the previous employment directly.
You may want to avoid maids that have job hopping history i.e. they have changed multiple employers within a short period of time.
Some new maids may have done work outside of Singapore in other countries. In this case, you can ask details about the training or enquire more details from the trainer, even though it might be bias.
5. Able to establish personal interviews
One key benefit is that you are able to conduct an interview with the transfer maid face-to-face. A personal interview allows to gauge her personality and abilities to ensure a better fit for your household.
Interview with the new maid is done through a webcam or a phone. Not seeing the maid face-to-face may cause some discrepancies in your expectations.
Reasons for hiring new maid over transfer maids
Nonetheless, there are also reasons why some employers are choosing new maids over transferred ones.
1. Less demands
New maids are likely to be less demanding. Transfer maids are used to the life here and have had a lot of experience with past employers. They usually know how to negotiate for a better arrangement with you.
2. Higher control
Most transfer maids have friends and attend activities during their free day. You may not be able to control what kind of friends she hangs out with and activities she does.
A new maid is unfamiliar with socializing in Singapore. You may even get her to work on her free day if she is agreeable, in which you would need to pay for the extra day of work.
How to transfer a maid to another employer (without an agency)
When you have found an employer to transfer your maid to, here are the things that you need to do:
- Send the maid for the usual 6 months medical examination
- Sign declaration form (provided by new employer)
- Ensure that you pay for her levy until the transfer date. This applies even if the maid is no longer working with you.
- Within 1 week of transfer, you need to return the work permit card to:
Work Pass Division
Ministry of Manpower
18 Havelock Road
You will be informed once the security bond is released 1 week after the date of transfer.
How to interview, shortlist and choose a transfer maid
Sources of transfer maids
- Recommendations from your friends and family
It is always a good idea to get contacts and recommendations of transfer maids from your closed ones. You can get trusted reviews of the maid’s past working history.
- Search online
There are many online sites such as Anisya and Familiz. These sites contain a wide variety of online profiles of currently available transfer maids in Singapore. You can filter to your preferred transfer maid based on online reviews, ratings, skills and stated requirements.
Interviewing the transfer maid
Without a maid agency, you will need search, filter and arrange an interview with the maid by yourself.
First, you check the FDW’s employment history, by heading to WP online, and logging in using your Singpass and FDW’s Work Permit number.
Here are questions that you can ask the transfer maid:
Basic questions (get to know her)
- How long have you been in Singapore?
- Why are you working as a domestic helper?
- What are your plans after working as a domestic helper?
Understanding her abilities
- Why are you leaving your current employer?
- How long have you been not working after your last job?
- What are you best at doing?
- What kind of employer are you looking for?
- What do you usually do with your previous employers?
- What is past salary amount?
- What is your expected salary amount?
- What are you expecting from your next job?
- What do you usually do during your free day?
- Are you able to take care of children and/or elderly?
Explore more maid interview questions here.
Choosing the right maid
Before choosing the maid, it is best to prepare a list of expectations and rules:
- Daily schedule of work
- Cleanliness level for different parts of the house
- Behaviour in the house
- Specific rules to follow in the household
- How long you are looking to engage her for
- Specific advance tasks that she is required to do or expected to learn e.g. changing babies nappies or learning to cook
Second, you need to like her and be comfortable around her. You will be seeing the maid every single day and having a favourable feeling towards her is extremely important. It is also vital to introduce the maid to the rest of your family members to ensure that she is likeable by your other household members.
Finally, get to know her living habits like how much rests she requires, how much break she requires etc.
How to hire a transfer maid (without an agency)
If you are looking to hire a transfer maid, how do you do that without an agency? Here are the details:
- Meet the employer’s requirements set by MOM
- Decide on date of transfer
- Ensure maid has done her 6 monthly medical examination
- Apply for work permit
- Purchase insurance and bond
- Print and sign a declaration form
- Obtain work permit
Please refer to our guide to direct hire a maid in 6 steps.
Some questions you might have
Find reliable maid agencies in Singapore
If you are looking for maid agencies to match your personalised requirements, you can contact SGHomeNeeds for a more quick and fuss-free experience. SGHomeNeeds also offers a list of reliable maid agencies in Singapore in the following areas:
- Agencies offering full time maids in Singapore
- Agencies offering part time maids in Singapore
- Maids specialised for young children
- Maids specialised for elderly
If you have any further questions, you can view our commonly-asked questions hiring maids.
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