What is this Entry Test for first-time FDW's?
From 1 January 2005, foreign women may work in domestic situations in Singapore only if they have at least 8 years of formal education.
In addition, from 1 April 2005, they will also have to pass an Entry Test in English. Failing this, their provisional work permit will not be confirmed and they will have to go home.
This will burn a hole in someone's pocket, usually the agent's. If the contract stipulates that the maid Agency should repatriate the unsuccessful FDW, its risks are increased and it appears likely that it will have to mark up more to avoid a loss.
However, if the employer recruits the FDW directly and merely appoints the agent to do the work permit submission and other tasks (arranging for her flight to Singapore, etc.) then it will be the employer's responsibility to repatriate the maid.
With this additional Entry Test requirement, costs go up and the agent will either pass on the additional cost to the employer or to the domestic worker.