Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs), commonly known as domestic helpers, play an essential role in Singaporean households and old folks home. Among the diverse group of domestic helpers in the Lion City, Filipino domestic helpers are prevalent due to their dedication and hard work. This article delves into the home leave process for Filipino FDWs in Singapore in 2022, outlining the general guidelines, obtaining an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), and addressing prolonged overseas leave.
Process of Home Leave for Filipino Domestic Helpers
For Filipino live-in caregivers in Singapore, taking home leave is a significant aspect of their employment contract. Home leave is a short-term break allowing these helpers to return to their home country, the Philippines, to reunite with family members and tend to personal matters. Here’s a detailed guide on how to navigate the home leave process:
Key Principles for Overseas Leave by Maids
- Valid Passport and Work Permit: Ensure that the maid’s work permit and passport are up-to-date. A valid passport is a crucial requirement for any overseas travel.
- Employer’s Consent: Seek your employer’s approval for the home leave. Generally, FDWs are entitled to one home leave for every two years of the levy bill. Employers can request the worker to return to Singapore after a shorter period, but it must be mutually agreed upon.
- Schedule the Leave: Coordinate the departure itinerary, book a travel ticket, and inform your employer about the travel dates. Ensure to return to Singapore as per the schedule, as overstaying the leave can lead to complications.
- Registration Process: Visit the Philippine Embassy or the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore, depending on your nationality. Register your departure and provide the required documents.
- Levy Waiver: Some employers offer a levy waiver for the duration of the maid’s absence. This means the employer will not be required to pay the monthly levy while the maid is on home leave.
- Security Bond: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore requires employers to post a security bond to ensure the domestic helper returns to Singapore. This is typically handled by the maid agency or employer.
Obtaining an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)
To facilitate the process, Filipino FDWs need to obtain an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). The OEC is a critical document that validates the legality of working overseas. The following documents are typically required to secure the OEC:
- Authenticated Contract: An authenticated employment contract signed by both the worker and the current employer.
- Passport with a valid work permit.
- Proof of Employment: Provide proof of your current employment in Singapore.
- Medical Examination: A recent medical examination certificate to ensure the worker is fit to return to Singapore.
- Return Flight Ticket: Evidence of a booked return flight to Singapore.
The OEC serves as a travel exit clearance, granting the FDW permission to leave the Philippines and re-enter Singapore.
Extended Periods of Leave Abroad
In cases where Filipino Foreign Domestic Workers need to extend their home leave beyond the regular timeframe due to family emergencies or other legitimate reasons, it’s essential to communicate this with the employer. The following steps should be taken for extended overseas leave:
- Request: Inform your employer of the situation and request an extension of your home leave.
- Provide Valid Reasons: Ensure you provide valid reasons for the extension, such as medical emergencies or family matters.
- Work Permit Card: Keep the work permit card safe to re-enter Singapore. Should the permit expire while overseas, contact the employer and the immigration officer to address the issue.
- KTKLN Card: If you’re an Indonesian FDW, ensure that your KTKLN card is still valid. If not, you’ll need to renew it.
Remember that the process for extended overseas leave may require additional documentation and an understanding employer who can facilitate the extension.
The home leave process for Filipino FDWs in Singapore involves adhering to a set of rules and guidelines while ensuring that all required documents are in order as outlined in the employer’s guide on home leave from MOM. The Overseas Employment Certificate plays a crucial role in facilitating the return to Singapore after a home leave. Communication with the employer is vital in case of any deviations from the standard home leave schedule, especially for prolonged maid overseas leave.
By following these guidelines and fulfilling the requirements, Filipino maids or part-time caregiver working in Singapore can enjoy their well-deserved breaks while continuing to serve their employers diligently and in compliance with the rules and regulations in place.
Exemption from Levies
One key aspect of home leave that concerns both employers and domestic helpers is the levy waiver. The levy is a monthly fee that employers typically pay for the employment of a foreign domestic worker. When a Filipino maid goes on home leave, some employers choose to apply for a levy waiver to temporarily waive the levy fee for the duration of the maid’s absence. Here are a few important points to consider regarding the levy waiver:
- Mutual Agreement: A levy waiver is generally subject to mutual agreement between the employer and the maid. This means that both parties must agree on the terms of the waiver, including its duration.
- Less Than Two Years of the Levy: According to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM), FDWs are entitled to one home leave for every two years of the levy bill. This means that a levy waiver is usually applicable for the period of the maid’s home leave.
- More Than Two Months: The duration of the levy waiver usually corresponds with the duration of the home leave. If the home leave extends beyond two months, employers may need to reapply for the waiver.
- Year of the Levy: Employers should take into account the year of the levy when applying for a waiver. This means that the waiver corresponds to the calendar year and might not align with the exact dates of the maid’s leave.
The levy waiver is a valuable financial relief for employers during their maid’s home leave, making it a vital aspect to consider during the application process.
Additional Factors to Keep in Mind Before Your Helper’s Home Leave
Besides the levy waiver, there are other important considerations to ensure a smooth home leave for your Filipino maid. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:
- Contractual Agreements: Review the terms of the employment contract to ensure that the home leave aligns with both the employer’s and maid’s expectations.
- Appointment at the Embassy: Schedule an appointment at the Philippines Embassy in Singapore for the necessary documentation and registration process. This appointment should be made well in advance to secure a slot.
- Immigration Requirements in the Home Country: Be aware of your home country’s immigration requirements and ensure that your maid’s passport and travel documents are in order.
- Return Trip: Confirm the return flight ticket for your maid to ensure that she can re-enter Singapore smoothly.
- Prolonged Overseas Leave: If your maid needs to extend her home leave due to legitimate reasons, it’s crucial to communicate with the employer and follow the required steps. Make sure to check the terms of her work permit to prevent any complications.
Special Note: Home Leave Procedures for Indonesian Domestic Helpers
For Indonesian FDWs working in Singapore, the process for home leave is similar in many respects. They are also entitled to home leave after completing a certain period of work for the same employer. However, there are differences in the documentation and application process, including the use of the KTKLN card for Indonesian workers. The steps involved are comparable, but Indonesian FDWs need to ensure that their card is up-to-date and valid for their return to Singapore.
The process of home leaves for Filipino maids in Singapore in 2022 is well-structured, with key considerations like the levy waiver and various documentation requirements. Employers should cooperate with their domestic helpers to ensure a smooth transition during the home leave period, and together, they can make the most of this valuable opportunity for rest, family reunions, and personal well-being. Additionally, employers of Indonesian FDWs should be mindful of the specific requirements for their workers.
Navigating the intricacies of home leave for Filipino maids in Singapore in 2022 may seem complex, but understanding the rules and application process is essential for both employers and household service workers. With the aid of the Philippines Embassy, a careful understanding of more than two years of service, and a clear understanding of the processing involved, this process can be simplified for all parties involved.
The privilege of home leave for Filipino workers in Singapore is a valuable opportunity for these dedicated individuals to recharge, reconnect with family, and attend to personal matters in their home country. While employers may need to consider factors like the levy waiver, domestic helpers play a critical role in the lives of the families they serve. In return, it’s only fair that employers collaborate with their helpers to facilitate a smooth and well-deserved home leave.
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