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“ FROM MOM WEBSITE”  ( 07-05 2011 )

Employer Requirements for hiring FDW ( Foreign Domestic Worker )

Employers who wish to employ a foreign domestic worker (FDW) should be aware of the following requirements and conditions to be fulfiled.

Employers' Orientation Programme (EOP)

The Employers' Orientation Programme (EOP) is a three-hour programme that provides employers with a basic understanding of their roles and responsibilities when hiring an FDW. The programme is compulsory for first-time employers before submitting the Work Permit application, except for those who are exempted. Employers who are applying for their fifth FDW within a 12-month period must also attend the classroom version of the programme.

Registration for EOP

Employers can choose to complete the programme in a classroom setting or online. It must be completed at least two working days before submitting the Work Permit application.

Employers and employment agencies must ensure that all the information submitted in the programme registration and Work Permit application forms are identical (e.g. identification numbers, name, date of birth) for easy matching of records.

Registration for the programme can be made at these MOM-stipulated training centres listed below:

A) Classroom EOP

Singapore Polytechnic


Professional & Adult Continuing Education (PACE) Academy
Singapore Polytechnic
Room T1A12, Blk T1A
500 Dover Road
Singapore 139651



Course Fee:



3 Hours

To register:

Online Registration

Operating Hours:

8.30am – 9.00pm
(Monday to Friday)

B) Online EOP

With effect from 21st May 2007, employers who wish to register for the Online programme are required to use their SingPass for login.
Find out more information and application procedures on
Registration for online EOP  



Course Fee:


Contact No:

(65) 6772 1288

Exemption from EOP

First-time employers can be exempted from attending the programme if they satisfy any of these conditions.

Condition A:
The employer either

  1. suffers from chronic medical conditions; or
  2. is unable to walk (eg.has a physical disability); or
  3. is 60 years old and above and suffers physical discomfort

and a Sponsor or Representative of 21 years of age and above has attended the programme on the employer's behalf.

Condition B:
The employer either

  1. suffers from chronic medical conditions; or
  2. is unable to walk (eg.has a physical disability); or
  3. is 60 years old and above and suffers physical discomfort

and a Sponsor or Sponsor's spouse is or was an employer of an FDW.

Condition C:
The employer either

  1. is expecting and the date of delivery is within a month's time; or
  2. has delivered a child one month or less from the date of exemption application

and their spouse has attended the programme on their behalf. 

Exemption from EOP  

Exemption from the EOP can be made through an online application. A third-party may apply for an exemption on the employer’s behalf. Employers will be notified of the application outcome immediately.

These documents and information are required for the application:

  • SingPass ID;
  • Employer's personal particulars;
  • Sponsor's/Spouse's/Representative's personal particulars (Important: The identification number and name used in registering for the Programme must be identical to that cited in the application for exemption); and
  • Employment Agency's contact details (if applicable).


  • You must ensure that your Sponsor/Spouse/Representative has attended the programme on your behalf at least two working days before submitting the exemption application.
  • If you have been granted exemption, you can only proceed with your Work Permit application two or more working days after notification of your successful exemption application.

Retention of documents for MOM’s audit

If you have been granted exemption, please retain following documents for three months for audit purposes.

Exemption Criteria

Documents to be retained

a) Employer is suffering from chronic medical conditions.

  • Employer's NRIC / Passport
  • Sponsor's / Sponsor's spouse's / Representative's NRIC / Passport
  • Medical documents / doctor's letter
  • Sponsor's / Representative's Certificate of Attendance of programme (if applicable)

b) Employer is unable to walk (e.g. physical disability).

c) Employer is 60 years of age and above and suffers from physical discomfort.

d) Expectant employer's expected date of delivery is within one month from date of exemption application.

  • Employer's NRIC / Passport
  • Spouse's NRIC / Passport
  • Birth Certificate of employer's child / Doctor's certification of expected date of delivery
  • Spouse's Certificate of Attendance of programme

f) Employer's spouse or ex-spouse is or was an FDW Employer.

  • Employer's NRIC / Passport
  • Spouse's / Ex-Spouse's NRIC /Passport
  • Marriage / Divorce Certificate

For queries on exemptions, please email mom_peb@mom.gov.sg or call +65 6438 5122.

Opening hours:
8.30am - 6pm (Monday - Thursday)
8.30am - 5.30pm (Friday)

Changing more than four FDWs in a year

Employers who are applying for their fifth FDW within a 12-month period must attend the Classroom EOP.

Employers who apply for their sixth or subsequent FDW within a 12-month period must attend an interview with an MOM officer before the Ministry processes the Work Permit application. The interview will allow the Ministry to gain an understanding of the employer's practices to assess the application.

Blacklist framework for employers

Employers deemed unsuitable to employ FDWs will not be allowed to apply for new Work Permits for FDWs or renew the Work Permits of their current FDWs. An employer will be debarred if found to have committed offences such as:

  • Physical and/or psychological abuse of the FDW
  • Exploitation and/or ill treatment of the FDW, for example:

- Failing to pay her salary; and/or

- Failing to provide for the upkeep and maintenance of the FDW such as
  adequate food and rest

  • Requiring the FDW to perform dangerous tasks such as cleaning exterior windows of high-rise apartments and hanging out laundry without safety measures
  • Illegally employing or deploying the FDW

Foreign Domestic Worker requirements

A Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) must meet the following requirements:

  • Female
  • From an approved source Country/territory. These Countries/territories include Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand
  • For first-time applicants: Aged 23 years or above, and below 50 years old at the time of the Work Permit application.

    For applicants who have previously worked in Singapore: Aged 18 years or above, and below 50 years old at the time of the Work Permit application
  • Have a minimum eight years of formal education and possesses the necessary educational certificates as documentary proof of her education
  • Passed an MOM-stipulated Entry Test, (if she is a first-time FDW in Singapore) within three working days of her arrival, excluding the day of arrival, and before the issuance of her Work Permit. She will be allowed a maximum of three attempts to pass the test
  • Attend the Safety Awareness Course (SAC), (if she is a first-time FDW in Singapore) within three working days of her arrival, excluding the day of arrival, and before the issuance of her Work Permit
  • Be employed at her employer’s residential address as stated on her employer’s Identity Card (NRIC)
  • Not be related to her employer
  • Not be in Singapore before an In-Principle Approval is given and a $5,000 Security Bond is furnished by the employer (applicable to non-Malaysian workers). This does not apply to a current Work Permit holder making a Work Permit application under a new employer in Singapore

First-time Foreign Domestic Workers

A first-time Foreign Domestic Worker is one who has:

  • no employment record with MOM’s Work Pass Division; or
  • Work Permit records with MOM, but did not collect her Work Permit card previously. This includes those who have worked in Singapore for brief periods in the past, or who have applied for Work Permits but did not eventually work in Singapore.


Initial difficulties

New FDWs from rural areas of their home countries may encounter some of these difficulties:

  • Understanding and communicating in your language
  • Use of modern household appliances
  • Adjustment to living in high-rise buildings
  • Different practices in taking care of children

They will need time to familiarise themselves with your way of life. You can help by taking time to orientate and train her, especially in the early stages of her employment.



A well-rested FDW is more productive. You should ensure that she has sufficient rest, especially during the night. Rest days should also be catered for, as agreed between yourself and the worker.


Where possible, your FDW should be given a separate room of her own. In the event that is not possible, you should ensure that sufficient space for sleep is provided. You are also expected to provide her with basic needs (e.g. food, a bed with mattress, a blanket, towels and toiletries, a fan if the sleeping area has poor ventilation etc).

Some examples of improper accommodation include making your FDW sleep in places where there is little privacy, such as on makeshift beds along the corridor or in the living room, or sharing a room with a male adult.

Medical Care

As an employer, you are responsible for your FDW’s medical needs. You are required to bear the full cost of her medical care should she require medical treatment, including hospitalisation.


  • Medical insurance

For medical insurance policies taken up or renewed on/or after 1 Jan 2010, the insurance coverage must be at least $15,000 per year for each FDW’s inpatient care and day surgery during her stay in Singapore. This is in line with the employers' existing responsibility for the upkeep and well-being of their FDWs, including the provision of medical treatment.

  • Personal accident insurance

It is compulsory for employers to take up a Personal Accident Insurance policy for their FDWs before they can employ the FDW. The minimum sum assured should be $40,000. Any compensation payable should be made to her or her beneficiaries.

Open Communication

The FDW may experience homesickness and loneliness. As her employer, you can ease those feelings by letting her communicate with her family and friends in her home country.

Family Integration

You should try as far as possible to integrate your FDW into your family as she is staying in your home. Do make an effort to understand her background, and to be patient and tolerant when communicating with her. It will go a long way in minimising any disputes and conflicts that may arise and affect her work performance.

Safe Work Conditions

It is your responsibility to ensure that the FDW performs her work in a safe manner. Her work practices must be in accordance with the approved work practices stipulated in MOM’s training courses (e.g. the Employers' Orientation Programme) and relevant safety and training materials.

Employment laws & contracts

Non-Coverage by the Employment Act

Domestic workers, both foreign and local, are not covered by the Employment Act.

It is not practical to regulate specific aspects of domestic work, i.e. hours of work, work on a rest day and on public holidays. For example, it would be hard to compute overtime payments as domestic workers' work/free time are difficult to define and regulate in the same way as employees working in offices or factories.

Employment Contracts

To avoid disputes, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) encourages employers and their FDWs to enter into a written employment contract.

Employment agencies commonly draft mutually agreeable contracts for the two parties involved.

In event of an employment problem or breach of contract by her employer, the FDW can lodge a complaint or file a claim with MOM. MOM will contact the employer and arrange for a meeting between the FDW and the employer to resolve the dispute.


Monthly Salary

A FDW's wages should reflect the scope of work agreed upon. 

She must be paid her due salary each month, no later than seven days after the last day of the salary period. Any salary period agreed between the employer and worker shall not exceed one month.  If the worker so requests, the salary shall be paid via direct transfer into the worker's bank account in a bank established in Singapore.

If it is mutually agreed that the employer should keep the bank account book, the FDW must be given access to the book at all times to check that payments are credited promptly and regularly.

The employer must also keep a record of the monthly salary paid to the FDW, and should be able to produce this record at the request of any authorised public officer.

Salary Adjustment

Where appropriate, the employer should consider giving the FDW a periodic wage adjustment to reward good performance and loyalty in service.

Apart from the monthly salary, the employer can also consider offering her a contract gratuity. This sum of money, which should be negotiated between the two parties, could be paid to the FDW upon conclusion of an agreed period of employment. Such incentives may result in a more motivated and diligent FDW.


Central Provident Fund contributions are not required for FDWs.


A FDW levy of $265 (normal) or $170 (concession) is to be paid by employers at the end of each month. 

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