The Gen XY Lifestyle

Ministry of Helpers serves both employers and foreign domestic helpers

By  |  0 Comments

Ministry of Helpers is a one-stop e-platform seeking to bring change by tackling associated inefficiencies and non-transparency to the foreign domestic helper sector in Singapore.

The Ministry of Helpers found a connectivity and communication gap between employers and helpers (FDW), with two in three maids not completing their two-year contracts.

The company’s stated mission is to “…equalise the informational imbalance by providing transparency and accessibility to all parties involved, creating better, meaningful connections between them for an ultimately better home.”

The platform seeks to help make the process of hiring a FDW less tedious, and help all parties involved navigate the paperwork, rules, fees and bureaucracy for a successful process and outcome.

We saw the way COVID-19 changed our homes. It went from somewhere
we can unwind to also becoming a hub for working and learning from home. We want to help create a home where things just work, where people connect and everyone can grow – both employers and helpers. Ministry of Helpers aims to achieve that with a structural and meaningful difference by doing business and doing good simultaneously. At the same time, we want to eliminate inequality, inefficiency, and create longer lasting and enjoyable relationships. Residents in Singapore can look forward to a more efficient, effective, and transparent way to manage their homes. Ministry of Helpers is not an FDW agency, but an integrated and inclusive platform to provide progress for all.

Dirk van Motman, Co-Founder of Ministry of Helpers

Launched in 2022, Ministry of Helpers has a search filter for preferences, shortlists for matches, and an interview system. These tools can help speed up the process of engaging the right connections and making informed decisions. Employers and FDWs can easily connect to hire or be hired through the platform platform. This eliminates the hassle and paperwork of working through a middleman.

Its services extend beyond matching and into managing and development for both FDWs and employers.

In partnership with StepUp, the platform offers training and self-improvement programmes as well as financial management and communication tools that are easily accessible to both parties.

These features include a task scheduler that syncs with the user’s calendar and can be used and populated by both helper and employer, comprehensive training programs with over 100 videos and quizzes for helpers that include certifications, as well as financial services that help to manage household expenditures digitally, salary payments and low costs remittances.

Ministry of Helpers

The Active Age had a discussion with Dirk van Motman, Co-Founder of Ministry of Helpers about the new platform, how it earns revenue and what can customers expect in the future.

the Active Age (AA): What was the background and trigger to launch the Ministry of Helpers?

Dirk van Motman (DM): A combination of necessity and disbelief. Necessity as we have another venture called Insurance Market where you can compare and buy insurance instantly and one of the insurance lines is maid insurance. We were researching a more effective way to market this and then stumbled on all the inefficiencies and frankly archaic practices in that industry which in some cases are astounding and inhumane. We thought there must be a better way.

AA: Why the decision to create and be an independent online platform, instead of other formats such as associations, community help groups or collaborating with other FDW agencies?

DM: We believe that often change is best achieved by understanding the industry but that change has more chance if it comes from the outside. It is more incisive, faster, and comprehensive as there are less entrenched positions to work around.

Also using the unique ‘value over form spine’ framework from UN:Ventures
we felt that in order to provide “progress for all” we need to design backwards from the intended experience/outcome. This doesn’t mean that we are not embracing parties within the industry but the prerequisite for any potential partner is alignment with our objective to do both business and good at the same time.

All in all, we consider us to be in the business of home and to help make that run better and more enjoyable for all involved. To start with, with the helper/employer relationship.

AA: How does the Ministry of Helpers earn revenue, and will it be from the ecosystem of services offered, the FDWs or the employers?

DM: We earn revenue from the eco-system of services which for employers can already be accessed comprehensively at an introductory price of SGD 49. (This is) for the first year for a limited period.

There are no fees involved for FDW to register or to be placed for transfer helpers. For overseas helpers, there is only the third-party fees involved in
their home country and possible fees when agency services are involved but we are actively working to reduce these.

AA: What are the key features that the Ministry of Helpers would like to point out that benefits both the employer and the FDW?

DM: We are not a digital agency but an integrated and intuitive one stop platform to match, manage and grow. To make matches that work and have the tools and services to support this. Things like the household scheduler, training programs (videos with quizzes and certs), household debit cards and helper debit cards to streamline household expenditures, digital salary payments and overseas remittances. This is what will make productive and long-lasting relationships.

Ministry of Helpers

AA: What are some future partnerships or collaborations that the Ministry of Helpers is looking for to improve on the services provided?

DM: In line with our goal ‘to provide progress for all” we are constantly looking at services/opportunities that will fulfil this. Some we will create ourselves and some we will through partnerships. (These will be in) areas like training, financial literacy, and anything to improve household management.

Access and pricing

Users can sign up for a free account through the Ministry of Helpers website, or opt for access to the full suite of tools and features for an exclusive introductory fee of just SGD 88.

Images credit to Ministry of Helpers