Update on Pilot Advance Placement Scheme for Foreign Domestic Workers

Parliamentary Question, 4 Nov 2019

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/four-in-10-maids-sleep-in-shared-room-poll

Ms Anthea Ong asked the Minister for Manpower since the introduction of the pilot Advance Placement Scheme (APS) (a) how many foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are brought in annually under the scheme; (b) what happens to these FDWs who are not subsequently employed; © whether employment agencies participating in APS are monitored in how they match employers with eldercare needs to FDWs and whether these FDWs are trained in eldercare specifically; and (d) whether there are plans to review the scheme.

Mrs Josephine Teo: In 2016, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) introduced the Advance Placement Scheme (APS) to reduce the time taken for households with urgent caregiving needs, such as eldercare and/or childcare, to hire foreign domestic workers (FDWs). There are currently 32 employment agencies (EAs) on the APS.

The EAs on the APS are carefully selected based on their track record and training plans for their FDWs. In addition, MOM also monitors carefully the number of FDWs placed successfully by the EAs through the APS. On average, about 3,000 prospective FDWs were brought in under the APS each year. The vast majority (90%) of them were successfully matched with employers. For the remaining 10%, the EAs will make arrangements to send them home.

There is another scheme, the Eldercarer FDW Scheme administered by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), which specifically helps households that require FDWs trained in eldercare. There are currently 55 EAs under the Scheme. Households that require faster deployment of their FDWs can also select EAs participating in the APS. There are 15 EAs that are on both the APS and the Eldercarer FDW Scheme.

Since the introduction of the APS, MOM has progressively expanded the number of participating APS EAs to meet the demand from households. MOM will review the APS regularly to ensure its effectiveness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Anthea Ong is a Nominated Member of Parliament. (A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) is a Member of the Parliament of Singapore who is appointed by the President. They are not affiliated to any political party and do not represent any constituency. There are currently nine NMPs in Parliament.)

The multi-sector perspective that comes from her ground immersion of 12 years in different capacities helps her translate single-sector issues and ideas across boundaries without alienating any particular community/group. As an entrepreneur and with many years in business leadership, it is innate in her to discuss social issues with the intent of finding solutions, or at least of exploring possibilities. She champions mental health, diversity and inclusion — and climate change in Parliament.

She is also an impact entrepreneur/investor and a passionate mental health advocate, especially in workplace wellbeing. She started WorkWell Leaders Workgroup in May 2018 to bring together top leaders (CXOs, Heads of HR/CSR/D&I) of top employers in Singapore (both public and private) to share, discuss and co-create inclusive practices to promote workplace wellbeing. Anthea is also the founder of Hush TeaBar, Singapore’s 1st silent teabar and a social movement that aims to bring silence, self care and social inclusion into every workplace, every community — with a cup of tea. The Hush Experience is completely led by lovingly-trained Deaf facilitators, supported by a team of Persons with Mental Health Issues (PMHIs).

Follow Anthea Ong on her public page at www.facebook.com/antheaonglaytheng

A full-time human, and part-time everything else.

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