One out of five families in Asian countries like the Philippines has at least one member of the family who works abroad as a domestic helper in Singapore. People resort to working abroad because the minimum monthly salary in the Philippines is not enough to support their whole family. Even a regular 8-hour shift job will only earn them enough cash to pay their monthly bills and daily expenses like transportation fees. Although working abroad provides better opportunities, staying miles away from the family can be very lonely. That's why FDWs are granted a month of vacation leave so they can visit their loved ones.
To better protect these FDWs working in Singapore, all employers are required to take up a security bond for their hired help. Certain embassies may also require additional bonds or set a minimum sum for the bonds. As such, it is always good to check the MOM website for the most updated information on security or performance bonds.
Since these bonds can be quite costly, some maid insurance policies like MaidPlus will offer to pay for them. In this article, you will learn why these bonds are required by MOM when hiring an FDW.
What is Performance Bond for Maid?
A performance bond is a contract between the employer and the embassy to ensure that the FDW gets proper and fair treatment while working in Singapore. The bond is also required when your FDW plans to go home to their country. Every domestic helper should be granted this perk for every two years of employment. When renewing your FDW’s work permit, you should also renew the bond.
Hiring a maid from the Philippines or Indonesia will require employers to deposit $5,000 to $7,000 in security bonds to MOM before their maid arrives in Singapore. The security bond is usually an optional coverage in a maid insurance policy. We do recommend adding it to your insurance policy to save you any trouble when your helper takes her home leave.
Maid insurance will offer to deposit the security bond fee by writing a letter of guarantee on behalf of the employer. This will then free the employer from accumulating the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) bond in its entirety. In the event that the employer forfeits the bond, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will come after the insurance company first. The insurance company will then collect the bond fee from the employer afterwards. Employers cannot compel their FDWs to pay for the bond.
If an employer cancels the work permit of their FDW without breaking any conditions, they will no longer be responsible for the bond. Also, when the helper fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the bond, the employer is no longer responsible for it. However, if the employer fails to provide medical coverage for their domestic helper or they didn’t pay their helper’s salaries on time, they will need to pay for the bond. Every employer is also responsible for sending their helpers home after her work permit expires. Failing to do so will result in paying for the bond.
In the event that your foreign domestic worker goes missing and you have done all you could to find her, you will only be responsible for paying half of the bond. You should avoid breaking any of the conditions to save you time and money. Also, it is good to inform your helper of the conditions and violations before hiring her so she knows what she should and shouldn’t do to keep her job.
How much is the Maid Performance Bond?
Hiring a Filipino maid in Singapore will require the employer to deposit a $7,000 bond to POLO. Since the bond is a requirement from the Philippine government, employers are obliged to purchase maid insurance that will support the fees for the bond. The Philippine Embassy bond will serve as an assurance that the employer will comply with all the bond conditions, such as providing medical coverage and paying the salary on time. Employers are also not allowed to keep their domestic helper’s passport without their consent.
You may opt to purchase an optional MaidPlus cover for this $7,000 Insurance Guarantee Bond to POLO for just $80.25* (inclusive of GST). MSIG will provide a Letter of Guarantee for this security bond to POLO on your behalf.
Unlike the Phillippines, Malaysian and Indonesian embassies do not require an additional security bond for their citizens to work as maids in Singapore. However, Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) requires a mandatory $5,000 security bond for all FDWs working as domestic helpers in Singapore. The bond will serve as a binding pledge of the employer to MOM in ensuring a fair working condition for these FDWs.
*Price correct as at 13 July 2020