DOMESTIC HELPER (AMAH)
Employing an Amah
Many people in Brunei, expats and locals choose to employ an amah for housework and babysitting. If you are interested in employing a foreign domestic worker (amah), you must take out a private license before you officially employing one.
Most domestic helpers are Bruneian and Philippine nationals but there are also Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese amahs working in Brunei. All foreigners require a license, sponsorship, housing and rates of payments vary depending on the job details.
The process of sponsoring an Amah can take up to 2 months from initiating an application. Agents are available to help you through the process for small fees. However, undertaking the paperwork yourself is doable. You do not require a license or have to provide accommodation for local helpers.
An amah who holds a green IC will need a license, accommodation, sponsorship, even if she is already working in Brunei and simply transferring from one employer's sponsorship to another. Before you make a formal offer of employment, you must ensure that the amah's IC (identity card)is up to date and her employment pass has at least three months left to run so she is legally covered during the transfer process. If either document expires before or during this period, the Brunei Government will not allow transfer and she will have to return to her home country and start the application process from the scratch.
Please note : When employing an amah, you must register with the SSO in accordance with your Licence to Occupy SFA.
Amah Bond (Repatriation Cost)
With the demise of the garrison license, each sponsor/employer must provide the repatriation bond as a condition of being granted an employment license. The cost varies between nationalities and simply covers the cost of an air ticket to the amah's home country should be repatriate for any reason.
At the moment, the bond for Philippine nationals is $600. The sum will be refunded in full when the license is cancelled but it can not be sold on to your amah's next employer as they must take out their own license before employing the amah. In the event the you choose to cancel your license, you bond will not be refunded.
Salary and Benefits
Once your amah is formally named on your license, you will be expected to provide her with an accommodation and a negotiable wage for the duties agreed. The ongoing rate among the expat community around $600 per month for a full-time (6-day week) domestic worker.
Should your amah refuses to stay in your quarter, you are not obliged to pay for her housing allowance as the quarter is fully fit for purpose and fulfills your obligation. However if you live in a flat or a quarter without an amah accommodation and are not willing to give her one of your bedrooms, you are then obliged to pay an accommodation allowance. The minimum accommodation allowance payable to the amah is $200 per month on top of the salary.
Termination of Contract
The employer must give a one month notice to the amah before the termination date. One month salary as well as a flight back to their home country will be given to the amah.
For more information regarding employing an amah, please contact
HIVE Information Centre :
Tel: 00 673 3332309 and 00 673 3223809
Employment & Unauthorised Occupancy Of AMAH In Service Family Accommodation (SFA)
A. JSP 464 Tri – Service Accommodation Regulations.
B. License to Occupy (SFA).
1. Everyone is once again reminded that employing an Amah without valid visa and work permit is against the Bruneian Law. Anyone who contravenes this law and is found guilty could be fined up to B$10,000 and imprisoned for a term of not less than six months and not more than 3 years.
2. The question has been asked about Amah’s being employed and sponsored by one Head of Household and working with other households and the cost of employment being shared between two or three households. The advice from the Immigration Department is that this is illegal. Any Amah found doing this is liable to be deported and the sponsor/employer could be liable to a B$10,000 fine and/or a two month custodial sentence.
3. There have been recent cases of Amah’s having visitors staying overnight and some have also been with their children in the Service Family Accommodation. Whilst there is no issue with Amah’s having visitors during the day there are not to stay overnight and they are not to co-habit. Please be warned that as the head of house if you allow this to happen you are contravening your License to Occupy and is liable to disciplinary action taken against you. There are numbers of other issues including security, insurance and Health and Safety just to name a few.
4. In accordance with Reference B, for those occupants wishing to employ Amah is to gain authority from the SSO. “It is also a requirement to update and submit a copy of your amah’s renewal of employment pass and identity card on expiry to SSO office.” Requirement of documents below:
1. Photocopy of Amah Brunei new green ID card.
2. Photocopy of Amah passport (front and back).
3. Photocopy of Amah passport new employment stamp. Application form for domestic helpers can be collected from the SSO Welfare & Housing Office, in Chit Chat Community Centre Tuker Lines.