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Singapore Foreign maids

This is a discussion on Singapore Foreign maids within the Domestic Helper, Nanny and Confinement Lady forum, part of the You and Your Family category; Foreign maids snubbing Singapore - Yahoo! By Seah Chiang Nee Kuala Lumpur (The Star/ANN) - The new generation of Indonesian ...

  1. #1
    Female Attendant
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Singapore Foreign maids

    Foreign maids snubbing Singapore - Yahoo!

    By Seah Chiang Nee

    Kuala Lumpur (The Star/ANN) - The new generation of Indonesian and Filipina maids, who are better educated and have a higher expectation of life, prefer to work in Hong Kong and Taiwan as their take-home pay is much higher due to minimal tax.
    The era of cheap maids streaming into Singapore to find work, particularly from Indonesia and the Philippines, may be coming to an end.

    With South-East Asia enjoying better living, Singaporeans - who are among the world's biggest employers - may soon find this supply becoming scarcer and more expensive.
    The new generation of Indonesians and Filipinas, including the rural women, is better educated and has a higher expectation of life.

    Indonesia, in particular, has been growing at a steady pace during the past 20 years; and to a lesser extent, the Philippines, as well.
    With the rise of global jobs and budget travel, their people have more job opportunities at home and abroad.

    Many maids have become salesgirls, hairdressers, office assistants, etc, thrown up by an expanding middle class.
    More are seeking training to move into higher-paying jobs in healthcare, computers and tourism.

    Recently, I attended a Buddhist funeral rite, in which the monks who performed it had the help of a woman who hailed from Java.
    She had been with the troupe for nearly 10 years, speaking and chanting prayers in Chinese.

    On the last night, she was helped by a second lady, a Filipino woman.
    Their salaries were several times higher than what a maid would get.
    Globalisation never ceases to amaze!
    In Singapore, many employers have not realised the extent of some of these changes in the region.

    The older ones still see the maid as an unchanging person left behind by progress, an agency representative said.
    "They dont't realise there is a big difference between the young maids who come to our shores today and those who arrived a generation earlier," she added.
    It is not unlike the gap between two generations of Singaporeans, she said.
    Today's maid from the Philippines or Indonesia is no longer the same as older ones who came in the 70s or 80s.

    She is generally better schooled, has higher ambitions and is probably less deferential to orders rudely given.
    The agency representative said: "You can't work her like you could her mother!"
    Dwindling supply is, however, not the only worry. For years, they have been losing the competitive edge against Hong Kong and Taiwan employers because of a special S$345 (US$265) monthly levy they need to pay for hiring a maid.
    This means that, although the monthly costs add up about the same for the three countries, the maid in Singapore takes home only half of what she gets elsewhere.
    Effectively, a maid who works in Hong Kong and Taiwan has a much higher take-home pay because the tax is minimal.
    For example, a fresh Indonesian maid currently earns S$380-$400 a month, depending on age and experience.

    It is higher than the official recommended salaries of S$280-$320 a month.
    The first blow to the employers here was harder-and-costlier-to-get English-speaking Filipinos, who are widely sought after in not only Asia but also the Middle East.
    When the Manila embassy demanded a minimum pay of about S$520 a month, many employers turned to Indonesia.

    Today, the circle has turned.
    Many Indonesians who have completed a two-year contract are quick to move to Hong Kong and Taiwan, where their earnings just about doubled.
    A Javanese girl who has learned enough English to leave, told a friend: "Sorry 'am, in Hong Kong I can earn in 12 months what it takes two years to make in Singapore."
    She uses a smart-phone and aspires to buy a tablet.
    "I can't afford that in Singapore," she added. Her sister had worked in Bahrain and is now going home to open a small restaurant there.

    This trend is inevitable and a long time coming.
    In the early 80s, former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew had warned that the easy supply of maids would dry up once the neighbours became more prosperous.
    The pace of arrivals has matched, as well as fuelled, Singapore's economic growth.
    By 1988, there were already 40,000 of them, a figure that rose four-fold to 160,000 by 2005 and 201,000 last year. The number of Indonesian maids alone today totals 90,000.
    Seven in 10 new arrivals are from its hinterland.

    In recent years the pressure has forced Singaporeans to seek maids from Myanmar, India and Bangladesh.
    "I doubt if these countries can train enough maids to meet our demand," an agent told a reporter.

    Steadily the noose of high cost is tightening. The Philippine government has stipulated a minimum salary of about S$500 a month, which turned the demand to Indonesia.
    And now the wheel turns again.
    Jakarta wants to see a minimum of S$450 as a starting monthly pay - and employers and the government are reluctant to comply.

    Recently, the government fined 16 employment agencies more than S$150,000 for collectively fixing the pay of new Indonesian maids, raising it from S$380 to S$450.
    They were charged under the city's price-fixing laws, turning down arguments that the hike was a necessary market response to free up supply of maids.
    The next move may be Indonesia's.

    It is increasing pressure to protect the interests of its workers abroad.
    A Jakarta official reportedly indicated that his government may be considering cutting off supply to Singapore - until it agrees on the minimum pay of S$450 a month.
    That could bring the cost of a maid to about S$900-S$1,000 all-in - a monthly sum that could push out many Singaporeans from the market.
    Some see it as a delaying action to postpone the inevitable.

    With the global trends moving at such fast pace, the history of the maid in South-East Asia may end in the longer term.

  2. #2
    Female Attendant
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Re: Singapore Foreign maids

    My office has lots of filipinos - doing admin, accounting, customer service and IT. We've about 25 filipino staff out of total 90 staff.

    dont't believe? Take a walk during lunch time in Tanjong Pagar or Raffles Place, etc and see the truth yourself.

    I experienced posting an admin job online, the number of filipino who email can hit 3oo in a week. They fly into Spore on social pass and I believe they mass email to any job posted online. Some simply walked in and asked for a position.

    How much does it cost to hire them?
    From 1 Jan 2012, the qualifying salary for the Q1 Pass will be increased from $2,800 to $3,000, together with a tightening of educational qualifications.

    S Pass - Mid-level skilled workers, Fixed monthly salary ≥ $2,000 + Foreign Worker Levy
    They actually cost more than a fresh diploma graduate.... no experience too.

    So, is it better to spend a bit of money fly in to Spore and get a highly paid job, stuck in Philippines with a lowly paid job or be domestic helper - burdened with extremely high loan and long working hours? How difficult can office job be compared to outdoor sales or construction/manual workers? A lot of office jobs are 5 day week. Is it really true Sporeans are not keen in such 'easy office jobs'?

    Are you facing your job being snatched by foreigners?
    Are they really experienced or just coming in with no experience but our employers want them cos they claimed they're able to work longer hours and more loyal?

    FDW employers facing lesser domestic choices. What are left on the shelves are mostly rotten apples, coming to Spore to torture us mentally and financially. How many working mums have told you their woes on FDWs? How many were left helpless and had nowhere to cry for help?

    Our levy is too high compared to HK and Taiwan and we are getting the leftovers (rotten apples) even though the employers' hiring cost is almost the same for the 3 countries. Employers here ARE paying HK / Taiwan salaries..... So point your finger in the right direction--> MOM. Stop accusing us of being bad employers who dont pay well and practising slavery.

    Make maid levy as part of their salary or a gratuity for completion of 2-year contract with one or maximum 2 employers.
    Last edited by mummymaid1; 10-10-2011 at 10:58 PM.

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