Engaging An Employment Agency
Some employers choose to hire a maid without employing an employment agency (EA), but there are also those who would like to engage an EA to assist them. This article will provide you a summary of the key things you should look out for when engaging an EA.
How do I know if an EA is legitimate?
- All EAs must be licensed by MOM
- All EA personnel dealing with clients must also be registered with MOM.
How do I know if an EA is licensed?
- There is a list of licensed EAs at www.mom.gov.sg/eadirectory which users can use to verify the license of an EA.
- Licensed EA must put their license number in all of their advertisements.
- All EA personnel must have and produce a registration card with their photo and registration number.
- Below is a sample of the registration card. The identity of the EA personnel can be verified against MOM’s database of EA personnel in the EA directory.
How do I choose an EA?
Visit the Employment Agencies and Personnel Search E-Service page on the MOM website ( www.mom.gov.sg /ea-directory ) and look out for:
- Whether an EA has been issued with demerit points by MOM
Demerit points are given to EAs when they break the rules.
- Ratings by the EA’s customers
These are ratings given by employers who have engaged the services of the EA to hire their maids. The employers are invited by MOM to rate their EA’s services based on a set of questions. The aggregated ratings from the employers are published online to help prospective employers in their EA selection.
- The number of placements the EA has made in the past 12 months
The number of successful placements could be an indicator of the scale of the EA’s business. However, apart from sheer volume, you should also be looking at the two indicators below.
- The EA’s maid retention rates
The EA’s retention rate refers to the percentage of maids placed by the EA who have stayed with the same employer for at least 365 days. This is a possible indicator of the ability of the EA to match maids with employer suitably.
- The EA’s transfer rates
This refers to the percentage of maids who, within the past 12 months, have been placed by the same EA to 3 or more employers out of the total number of maid it placed. A higher rate of transfer could possibly indicate poorer matching.
Taken together, these indicators will give a sense of the overall performance of the EA, and may be useful in helping you to decide when you are selecting an EA to help you to hire a maid.
Terms of Agreement When Engaging an EA
You will need to agree with what you are paying for and sign a service agreement when engaging an EA. However, before signing it, you must fully understand the terms and conditions of the service agreement. Feel free to discuss with your EA on any more situations that would meet your needs and inquire whether they can be added into the service agreement. As a general rule, the service agreement must include the following details:
- The validity period of the service agreement.
- Cost breakdown for hiring a maid through your EA.
- Conditions that will make you eligible for a replacement maid (including the number of maids can be replaced, the timeframe of the replacement to be made and the recourse available to you should your EA fail to provide a replacement for you).
- The available options for resolving disputes.
Review Maid’s Biodata
The EA must present to you the maids’ biodata in details – their names, ages, country of origin, skills, working experiences and so on. You might wish to ask the EA what procedures they have done to make sure the maid’s biodata is accurate. The EA is in charge of making sure they are bringing in maids who comply with the entry requirements such as being at least 23 years old and have received 8 years of formal education to Singapore.
Can my EA withhold my maid’s documents (e.g. passport)?
No, EA are not allowed to withhold your maid’s documents. Your EA must hand over to your maid her travel documents and her Work Permit card once she is deployed to your home. EAs must not hold onto a maid’s documents any longer than the needs of administrative processing, even if employer or the maid request them to do so.