SINGAPORE: Employers of foreign domestic workers can now refer to a new accreditation scheme to help them choose an employment agency.
The Association of Employment Agencies has launched a Trustmark as part of its efforts to improve service standards and professionalism among its members.
The Trustmark is a voluntary scheme. It gives recognition to agencies with good business practices and transparency.
At the initial stage, 100 agencies will be given a provisional trustmark.
K Jayaprema, president of the Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore), said: "We will be focusing on two important factors. One is the retention rate of placement and secondly the transfer rate.
"We want to encourage employment agencies to do good and proper job matching between the employer and the foreign domestic worker. We want the employment agencies to pay attention to the skills set, the quality, the experience and also look at the job scope of the employer before they do the placement."
To qualify for the Trustmark, agencies have to attain the industry average of 42 per cent retention success rate. This tracks whether maids from an agency stay or leave their bosses.
In addition, agencies have to achieve a 2.5 per cent transfer rate. This monitors how often maids switch employers.
The standards development, audit and certification of the scheme will be done by a Trustmark Board. Decisions of the board will be independent of the association.
The association intends to invite non—government organisations and the Manpower Ministry to be a part of the board.
Employment agencies like Achieve Employment believe the Trustmark will help level the playing field.
Mr Steven Soh, a partner at the agency, said: What we can convey to our customer is that what the bigger boys can offer, we as a smaller player can offer as well. So they will not be short—changed in any situation. Of course, we may even look at our own current processes to see whether have we kept up with the standards they are looking for, so that we work towards getting that Trustmark."
Labour attache at the Philippines Embassy Vincente Cabe welcomed the initiative. He said: "We do hope that such initiatives to improve the delivery of their services for better job matching between the employers and the workers will be beneficial for everybody. We do believe that is a step in the right direction, because it will keep the worker and employer happy and they will have a better relationship together."
The association is also trying to improve employment agencies’ efficiency through an online portal.
The Association of Employment Agencies believes that with the online portal and Trustmark, it is now ready to meet the demand of foreign domestic workers — which is expected to grow to 300,000 by 2030.
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