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21 Nov 2016

Keeping your Obligations to your Helper


Building a positive relationship with your new domestic helper begins with keeping your legal obligations.

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In Singapore, employers are legally required to purchase medical and personal accident insurance for their domestic helpers. The law prescribes a minimum of $15,000 a year for medical insurance coverage, and $40,000 a year for personal accident insurance. The medical insurance helps the employer pays for the helper's medical bills if she is admitted to the hospital for inpatient treatment or surgery.

As for outpatient treatment or dental expenses, employers are also obligated to pay for them as long as these treatments are deemed medically necessary by the doctor or the dentist. This rule applies even if the causes are not work-related.

Since the helper works at the employer's home, she is not covered by the Workmen Injury Compensation Act. Rather, the Personal Accident insurance that the employer buys stands in as a form of compensation and is to be paid out to the helper or her beneficiaries in the event of a death or permanent disablement.

As a form of protection, employers should look for a maid insurance policy that extends beyond the requirements set by the Ministry of Manpower. These special covers help the employers to tide over situations when they have to hire temporary help, terminate or repatriate their domestic helper. The grounds of payment could vary from one policy to another, depending if the cause is due to illness, injury, accidental death or permanent disablement. Do read the policy wordings together with the benefit summary.