The above are essential questions to be answered before hiring a maid in our current times!
Previously, the Government of Singapore bore all COVID-19 medical bills for helpers unless they left Singapore from 27 Mar 2020 (despite the prevailing travel advisory then).
Since 1 January 2021, the ruling has changed.
Depending on the period of which your helper contracts COVID-19, the following applies:
1. From 1 January 2021 onwards, if your maid develops COVID-19 symptoms or contracts COVID-19 during her Stay home notice (SHN) period, the Government of Singapore will no longer cover her treatment costs.
This is regardless of when she previously left Singapore.
Hence, as an employer, one is fully responsible for the treatment cost of Covid-19 for your own helper(s).
2. For all other locally transmitted cases, the Government will continue to pay for the COVID-19 treatment for all helpers
Additionally, a New Entry Requirement for Maids has been introduced.
From 1 January 2021 onwards, as an employer of a helper (foreign domestic workers) who is entering Singapore to work, you will need to buy a 14-day COVID medical insurance to cover your helper
The medical insurance must meet these requirements:
- Has a coverage of at least $10,000 for medical expenses if your maid develops COVID-19 symptoms or test positive within the first 14 days of arrival in Singapore; and
- Includes coverage for your maid on In-Principle Approval (IPA) Letters.
- Once you as the employer or your agency has obtained MOM’s entry approval, you (or your appointed maid agency) must buy the insurance before they arrive in Singapore.
4 Key Things To Note
1. The entry approval request forms will require employers or your appointed maid agency to declare that employers of FDWS (Foreign Domestic Workers) will purchase the appropriate medical insurance before your maid arrives in Singapore.
2. Hence with regards to the cost of COVID-19 treatment starting 1st Jan 2021, the cost will be covered by the employer through the purchase of the insurance policy instead of the costs being borne by the government.
3. If you have hired a helper through a maid agency, it is the employer’s duty to check in with them to check that you have purchased the appropriate medical insurance.
4. As the costs of the COVID-19 treatment is fully borne by the employer, you should check the different coverages of different insurance plans as you might want to purchase an upgraded insurance plan that covers higher medical expenses for your helper.