What do you need to know about bringing a confinement nanny to Singapore? The employment of a confinement nanny during the crucial early period of a baby’s life is nothing new.
This is, after all, when a new mom is at her weakest and, in many cases, most inexperienced. What is new, however, is COVID-19 and the global pandemic that it’s at the center of. Because of that, there are certain precautions and prerequisites that have to be observed.
A confinement nanny is traditionally known as a confinement lady or pui yuet. The typical confinement nanny is an older woman who is experienced in caring for others. As the traditional name suggests, most confinement nannies are well-versed in traditional Chinese arts of care.
At its core, the concept of a confinement nanny boils down to a caregiver for the first few weeks or months of a baby’s life. This is somebody who’s experienced and collected. Additionally, they don’t suffer from the pressure of a familial connection with the child they’re helping to care for.
In addition to caring for the child, confinement nannies are there to make life easier for the new mother. A confinement nanny can help the new mom with things like housework, hygiene, and postpartum care. The idea is for the new mom to relax and ease into being a mother.
There are certain precautions that one has to take when bringing in a confinement nanny these days. This goes double for new moms living in Singapore. Here, there are numerous regulations imposed by government entities like the Ministry of Manpower that must be followed.
New regulations, made to mitigate risk amid the COVID-19 pandemic, are among the most stringent rules. The biggest impact is on the beginning of the journey and the first two weeks in the country.
As a first step, you’ll have to present your nanny-to-be with Singapore’s Stay Home Notice regulations. If the nanny agrees, you must get them mobile phone service. The service has to include internet access and must be a Singapore number.
Furthermore, the nanny’s phone must have WhatsApp installed. This all needs to happen more than two weeks before the nanny is to begin working. From there, you’ll have to go through the normal channels to gain MOM’s entry approval.
Once obtained, this approval is good for 30 days.
When the nanny arrives, you’ll need to arrange immediate transit to the place they’ll serve their 14 day Stay Home Notice. If the nanny recently passed through Victoria, Australia, they’ll go to a dedicated facility at a cost of $1,500.
This includes GST. Similarly, GST is included in the cost of the necessary COVID-19 test. This will cost up to $200.
Nannies arriving in Singapore will serve a 14 day Stay Home Notice in quarantine. This must be done at a hotel or facility. It cannot be done at a worker’s dorm or the employer’s residence. Upon arrival, the nanny will get instructions via SMS.
These instructions must be followed and will include a link to the Homer app. They will use this to report their temperature and location three times per day.
During the SHN, nannies are required to keep their phone turned on and on their person. They will receive communications from MOM and other government agencies, and must respond within one hour no matter what. During this time, they can have no visitors.
They must also log their temperature and location 3 times per day via the Homer app.
At some point during the SHN, the nanny will receive a message from MOM advising them to report to their testing location. This must happen via a designated taxi, not public transit. They also cannot leave their SHN location for any other reason, and must log close contact with others. You will be responsible for providing food, supplies, and other essentials.
Any non-emergent medical care cannot be scheduled during this time. Once they’ve stayed 14 days and completed their COVID-19 test, the nanny is free to begin working.
These strict rules are important to ensure you don’t inadvertently bring an infected individual into Singapore. During their 14 day SHN, if your nanny has COVID-19, they should begin showing symptoms.
If they go this time with no symptoms and pass a test, of course, it means that they’re clean. Should you or your nanny fail to adhere to these rules, MOM and Singapore authorities will impose penalties.
The most basic penalty is the simplest; the nanny will be denied entry into the country, and you will be forced to pay to return them home. Infringing businesses will see demerit points assessed against them. Individuals can have other penalties imposed.
If your nanny violates the terms of their SHN and you facilitated the violation, penalties will apply. Work passes can be revoked, as well.
The good news is that businesses or individuals can contact employment agencies for help. If unexpected complications come up, rendering any party unable to fulfill their obligations, this is the way to go.
Should no satisfactory conclusion be reached, the nanny must return home immediately.