23 Sep 2016

Filipino maid's Home Leave (OEC)

All Topics  (content page)
Special Needs Part 1
My 4th filipino FDW (JA)
Who earns lesser than FDWs?
Activist - fighters for migrant workers
Maid's (FDW) employers faced unfair policies

23 Sep 
Modern maids (FDWs) especially those who have off days and holding a mobile phone 24/7... can use any time she pleases, including carrying out her chores or looking after your children.... multi-tasking and deliberately pulling her job performance down, yet felt she didn't do anything wrong.  FDW's purpose of getting a maid job is not solely to help you but to earn lots of money, with very little work assigned and plenty "my time".... holidaying cum income.  

If your clever and demanding Filipino maid tell you the Philippines Embassy legislated that all maids (existing and new) are entitled to home leave every year, would you believe and give in to her?  Or she shot you on your face that you cheated her of yearly home leave, threatens to complain to MOM, how would you feel?

Based on MOM/CASE Spore FDW standard contract, the correct FDW entitlement is: 
"13. Should both parties (Employer and FDW) agree to extend this contract, she (the FDW) shall be entitled to ______ days [recommended 15 days] of paid home leave (inclusive of a return ticket to her City of origin).

Philippines contract expects employer to be liable for 15 days leave yearly. This is obviously showing no respect to Spore, the country that gave FDWs a decent job and plentiful money to feed source countries, as well as agencies. MOM didn't endorse this contract. You work in a Spore company, signed the employment contract and then make a fuss... just because you realised other companies have better terms, are you morally right? Nobody forced you to sign, you wanted a job so agreed to the terms, isn't it? Why push the blame to others because of your itchy fingers?  Being a FDW isnt a label of weakling, overworked and mistreated person here.

We have our laws yet source country is not adhering, bullying the little red dot. This is Philippines Embassy's contract http://www.philippine-embassy.org.sg/wp ... s/SECD.pdf.
For years, before the salary was on par with US$400, FDWs and employers are forced to sign this contract in order to be granted home leave (OEC). Most employers were told by agents to sign blindly, that contract is not binding, it was just to make OEC application a breeze. Our laws are being twisted by foreigners, you feel good? By agreeing to this, it is employer's kindness to give more but don't assume this 15 calendar days for every year of service is correct or brainwashed by evildoers to think you were cheated by employers. 

Based on Embassy contract "9. Vacation leave with full pay of not less than 15 calendar days for every year of service to be availed of upon completion of the contract." Vacation leave was mentioned but not round trip air ticket. MOM's home leave entitlement is available after completion of a 2-year contract, a renewal would entitle FDW to 15 days leave +return air ticket.  Employees in Spore are given annual leave.  Some companies increase the number of leave entitlement by years of work.  Some were given just 7 to 10 days per year, no increment.  All these employee were granted leave and no paid air ticket.  What makes FDWs so special... entitled to so many perks... some are unjustifiable?  Pro-maid MOM won't answer you.  In MOM's eyes, you want to employ a FDW, agree with the terms, regardless how idiotic, harsh or unfair... you're just an ATM machine!

Assuming an experience maid's salary (worked a few years) is S$550 so 15 days is $275. A ticket to Manila on budget airline is about $250 = $525 Sg contract leave benefits. Embassy: 15 calendar days for every year of service = 15 x 2 yr. 30 days is one month so equiv to $550 Philippines contract leave benefits. FDW who chose this ought to buy own air ticket for yearly trip. In conclusion, depends on preference, the home leave entitlement is of not much difference.  Read the terms, don't be coerced to give something you don't feel right or FDW's service simply not worth it.    Tell your FDW the real situation, let her choose and sign acknowledgement.  If you don't give her a chance to make the "right decision", she might think you don't respect her ... ego.  

If your FDW is like mine just satisfactory, need to close eyes at times and you don't feel like getting a new maid (gamble) who might be worse.... weight the pros and cons. If you can afford letting a demanding 狮子大开口 FDW off and get replacement easily, you won't be entangled and forced to lower your expectations. 

FDWs want to work, intend to renew contract to get home leave, above CASE standard contract which was signed by FDWs has to be taken as the right model. If FDWs don't show basic respect to the host country and just want to make trouble, ignored the terms on MOM/CASE standard contract, such FDWs should be fired to avoid headaches. She sings her tune proudly, you can't do anything to her. Nowadays, FDWs aren't vulnerable, they know what are their advantage, protectors/activists and rights. FDWs aren't submissive and easy to manage. :imdrowning::?: 

Signed above MOM/CASE contract but lied don't know in order to be given perks out of contract .... giving in would just make FDW become bold and more demanding. As mentioned, it is employer's kindness to give more but don't assume FDW deserves it.

Personally, I give my FDW yearly 15 days home leave but only the home leave after 2 year completion and renewal is fully paid.  If you have read below, you'll know my FDW took her first home leave when she was half a year with me. She asked me before I hired her. My annual leave are reserved for her absence. 

This year, she wanted to go home in Oct then changed to Dec but due to Xmas high ticket cost, she decided not to go home this year. Also, she kept whining no money, thus, I told her to think properly. This year, my words of advice were strong.  It is irritating that out of goodwell, I let her go home yet was 'pestered/bombarded by her yearly. Told JA straight, your family will be happy to know you've spent a month's salary to buy a Dec ticket home or be happier to see money wired to them?  Waste money or save the money for her family and herself to spend.... as an adult, 38 years old, children in university, she should have the brain to think well, am I right?  Why I have the duty to keep on her on the right track?  Having a FDW is like babysitting a big baby. :rant: Don't forget when FDW is absent, who is taking over the FDW's duties, surely not a temp FDW!

I get really frustrated when JA kept pestering for longer absence eg one month leave. She refused to understand that I have a job at stake if she's gone for too long. This is what we call, give an inch, take a yard.... some FDWs aren't appreciative of what you've done. Yes, you should be kind and understanding but some people just take things for granted, failed to count their blessings (in disguise).  I'm delighted this year, my annual leave is solely used for my pleasure and needs. 

9 Apr
JA said her friend told her there's an online OEC application that cost only $3, anybody aware?  Told JA to check it out.  This is her home leave and it is her embassy's requitement to have compulsory OEC.  If there's an option to cut cost, why not?  JA is net savvy... not sure then spend more time to explore.. still long way to hit Dec.  Want to save money then she has to do research.  If cant find any related info, walk into her embassy and ask. I intend to shake leg, not going to do price comparison for her this time.

7 Apr
Winter: My current FDW JA is planning another home leave.  Initially she told me end Oct to return home so as to attend her son's graduation.  Was told graduation takes place in Oct.  When I thought it was firmed (she spoke to her son about the date) then suddenly, she told me December!  How come graduation takes place during Christmas period?  Also, she told me university will be closed from the last week of Dec??!!??  So she's attending graduation .... a once a life time event that she told me she didn't want to miss?  I have problem understanding her well, can't read her mind.  Sometimes say this, sometimes say that ... 牛头不对马嘴 胡乱编造 可我无能为力也懒得挖事实 

Anyway, I have agreed to let her take home leave at her expense.  Dec is a peak holiday period.  Told JA tickets are very expensive and if she wants to grab any offer, she has to surf airline fare promotion diligently.  I have bookmarked her tablet and showed JA how to check fares via Philippines Airline, Cebu Pacific and Jetstar.  She has to do her own homework using my home wifi.  Philippines Air Sin/Manila/Sin has free 30 kg luggage + hand carry and our recent check, the round trip fare was S$480 = can buy 2 tickets. 
 Oct promo

Reminded JA, my policy remains unchanged.  She wants to take yearly home leave, she has to pay everything herself, no instalment, no loan will be given to her.  Home leave benefit will be calculated and encashed when she has finished her 2-year contract and taking a 2-year renewal.  As usual, I am putting my job at risk so this time, she managed to get hubby to help babysit my girl so that she can take a longer break .... 18 days instead of 15.  Every year, without fail, she didn't stop trying her luck to take a longer break.  Give in this time, next time can I say no?  

I am fine to take care of my princess but being away from work put me at a disadvantage.  My company isn't doing well so retrenchment is taking place bit by bit, not in big scale to avoid creating a commotion.  I really hope to stay in this job till retirement.  I am not young so it is very hard to get a suitable job.... just a few more years to hit 50 years old.  Not many companies want to employ an auntie, paying market rate based on my experience.  Companies are keen to slash and give me a fresh grad salary.... just like what I got when I re-entered workforce.  I've merely stayed home for 5 years and I ended up with a fresh grad pay even though my skills were not lost. Although my salary is not high like some others with similar working experience but I am contented with this job, a very nice boss and can knock off on time.

Also reminded JA to do her OEC since it is expiring this July.  She did a multiple entries via agency because she said OEC can't be processed on Sundays, her preferred off day. 

By the way, JA is going to be expensive to employ next year.  The norm is that Employer give increment when FDW contract is renewed.  Not sure with her performance, should I continue to have her.  Getting a new maid is $500 with off days, definitely cheaper than JA.  An existing maid who is in comfort zone may not be a good catch.  There are some employers who denied home leave partly because the maid wasn't good to keep or they couldn't afford to have a FDW unavailable for 2 weeks or more.  

Heard somebody told me during a casual chat that she sent her maid home (repatriated) because she needed a helper and can't be absent from work.  If employer give you option to take one week home leave and encash the other week, do you stubbornly say no?  Some FDWs are pushing their employers to terminate them by being inconsiderate.  You felt this is cruel?  Don't you feel that it is up to FDW's employer to squeeze the time for maid's absence? Have you forgotten not all employers are housewives and they have a job at risk?  To the FDW's employer, this kind of huge sacrifice can't happen ... jeopardize his/her career.  Losing you and losing a satisfying job, which is more important?  Sometimes, FDW has to show understanding and be considerate.  Does JA know the inconveniences she's giving us by taking long leave ... taking things for granted, assumed she is entitled to it?  Not sure whether JA is grateful that we allow her to go home every year and is doing her best to be my good helper, a dedicated caregiver as a form of appreciation.  

Posted in this page on  4 March
Hi can I check, I read in your write up to renew a FDW that has completed 2 years with you, to do the DIY contract, I have to do 2. One that is localized with the accurate salary and one for the Ph embassy (indicating salary of USD400) for application of OEC etc. is it? 

Also it is not our obligation to pay for the S$104.50 fees for auth of contract, OEC, OWWA membership etc right?

Winter: Question 1 "One that is localized with the accurate salary and one for the Ph embassy (indicating salary of USD400) for application of OEC"
That post was made quite some time ago so is now outdated. Based on year 2016 salary, there isn't any difference between Embassy contract salary and local contract. Using new salary, a newbie Filipino earns S$550 while your going-to-renew contract FDW should be earning about $600/mth (already higher than US$400) with off days. 

As long as Filipino FDW need to apply home leave (OEC) or renewing her passport, employer need to sign the embassy's Standard Employment Contract.  Employer need not sign embassy contract if FDW is not returning to Philippines.  Click:  OEC - Philippines Embassy

Question 2 "not our obligation to pay for the S$104.50 fees for auth of contract, OEC, OWWA membership"
correct!  Up to individual employer to decide whether to absorb for a good FDW.
FDW who has worked less than 2 years and getting OEC will have to apply via a maid agency.  Walk-in or ring to find which agency is cheaper.  Cost about S$340 and takes at least two weeks to process.

6 Jun 2015
Told my colleagues and friends that I have to stay home and be a mummy-maid.  People who heard about my FDW who wants to go home yearly felt I’m too good to her, most said I stupid (你很苯) to allow her to go home each year …. putting my job at risk and go through all the inconveniences.  One of them said her ex-maid was fired just before she completes her 2-year contract because employer cannot afford to let maid be away.  Employer has a job that she wants to keep…. many FDWs refuse to understand this or realize that we need our jobs!  Reminded J, if I don’t need a full-time job, why should I employ a FDW.  One of J’s ex-employer, a Filipino family fired J half a year before her 2-year contract matured.  Reason: to save cost on home leave and the inconveniences.  

Why do I let J go home every year since there are so much inconveniences involved and my job at risk?  There's nobody to cover my office duties and I have to do those dreadful housework and washing up .... worth being nice?  I persuaded myself J needed a break, especially she's taking care of a special needs ... a naughty and rebellious child so a break, totally away from us will make her happier and treat my girl better.

I hope by being nice, J can learn to be appreciative, do a better job and stop testing my patience as well as tolerance level.  Yes, I know most FDWs returned to work with a changed of behaviour and work attitude .... sad to say, applies to J and my ex-maid.  FDWs just felt they deserve the home leave (entitlement, employers owe then a break/holiday) and nothing wrong to show employers some attitude issue.... nobody is perfect.... a very good excuse indeed!

During J's absence, I decided to take a short vacation, read here.  Taipei was so hot, really not a wise holiday location.  The last time I flew was 13 years ago.... so sad, others go for vacation at least once a year whereas I can't afford that kind of luxury.

J is back from home leave.  I was still dreaming when she knocked the door.... days passed so fast with an unplanned holiday in between J's absence.  J came back on time but 'accused' me of not buying a return 20 kg check-in luggage.  I did online booking together with her, she said don't need (she was required to pay her own home leave).  J didn't make use of her 7 kg check-in luggage because she took a huge suitcase that airline can't close one eye to let her pass.  Second day after her return, found out she lost her luggage key, thus, couldn't take 7 kg home grown mango out.  Lucky her son sent her off so was able to bring her luggage home.  

On her day of return, I had to handover the duties ... told her to do ironing, J asked "mam, why didn't you iron the clothes?" I replied "why should I, you can do the ironing during June school holidays because you don't need take my girl to school, right?".  Today, she forgot to tie her hair and it dropped on my girl's medicine.  Told J to record her mistakes because I view hygiene very seriously.  Early this year, I found her hair in my portion of food but didn't get J to record.  J didn't want to write, said can't find her rubber band so I reminded her all these mistakes shouldn't happen if she values her job and take my house rules seriously.  There are plenty of elastic bands (for tying food etc) if she remembers I hate her hairs flying/lying around.  She didn't clean up the toilet or basin after use and it really irks me... hubby had been cleaning quietly most of the time. Those mistakes recorded will determine her next salary increment.  I don't want J to accuse me of not giving her a good increment.... all these black and white will show how many times the same mistake was made and which were corrected/improved .... appraisal system.  

5 May 2015
JA has been spending money which I felt unnecessary but JA felt she has to go home each year and buy lots of old/new clothes to send home... shipping a carton home, excluding her 20 kg check-in luggage and 7 kg hand luggage.... every year.  This is her 3rd home leave.  I thought JA will eventually learn to manage her own money (after my 2-year nagging) but she still claim no money .....hoping one day I would be soften and give her extra $.  Each time JA tries her trick, I reminded her:
- You are paid promptly each month, your money is yours, how you spend I don't care.  No money is your fault!  
- You are already 38 years old, a mother of 2 teens and should know what to spend and when to save for rainy days.
- Any money required by your embassy or related to OEC is your duty to pay.  I don't owe you anything as per Spore contract.
- If the salary I'm paying you is too little to support your lifestyle, you're free to find a better employer (this is my message but I word it in a simpler form).  Don't compare me with your cousin (claimed her fresh maid cousin is paid $650) or friend's employer.  What I am offering is as per agreement/contract.  I am not a perfect employer but I don't agree I have short-changed you.

JA pulled this trick again for her coming home leave.  She asked me who pays for OEC.  She's holding a multiple OEC, used once last year and intend to use this year (stated valid till 2016), thought can use but one agency staff said can use as long as there are 4 green copies ... JA has.  Last weekend, another agency staff told her can't use because the new OEC is a piece of white paper.  Advised JA to take half day leave on a weekday, take her passport to the embassy and ask (I'll have to apply leave to take care of my girl during her absence) ... the other half day utilise on her usual Sunday but JA is not keen ... so my problem?   JA made it seemed like I'm not 'helpful' enough.  I reminded JA, any money required by your embassy is your duty to pay.  If your own country wants your money, you want to go home every year, you have to give feed them, satisfy their greed.  I am implying "You have money nowhere to spend, they are ideal receivers.  Miss your family, this is the price you pay."

By the way, after I purchased another airline ticket, there's a Jetstar fare promotion so if I didn't buy early (2 months in advance), I could have save $50 .... which goes to JA.  Seems like Jetstar has lots of last minute deal or special offer.  The reason why I chose another airline is because the flight timings are better.  Not those early morning 6am/midnight flight where taxi is the only means of transport and you sacrifice your beauty sleep.

15 Mar 2015
Question: My maid is renewing her contract after 2 years. May I know how am I going to apply home leave and passport renewal at Philippines embassy? Do I need to make appointment for just visit the embassy? And do I need to apply for work permit renewal and purchase flight tickets first? What does the embassy requires from me or my maid. Please help as my maid need to go back on May and I am still confuse about the procedure. Appreciate it very much.

You can DIY for maid who has completed 2 years (means on her 23rd month with you, using new WP).  Buy a return ticket from any airline at least 1.5 months in advance to present to Embassy, together with Philippines contract +whatever listed in OEC picture and money.

Renewal of passport need appointment.  Home leave is to go and queue, you need not be present to do all these.  Use MOM letter ref to buy insurance ... u should receive that letter about 2 months before maid's WP expires.  Login to MOM work permit website using same MOM ref to do WP renewal. Scan the back of that letter to upload into WP website.

JA is planning to take another home leave although she kept saying she has no money. Told me she'll borrow money to take another home leave 3 months later. She will be getting her home leave reimbursement this month and spending it = no money!!  

Aug 2014
My FDW has returned from her second home leave.  Spoken to JA, she said she prefers to go home every year.  I said I can arrange but not too long eg more than two weeks. I need to work, don't have plenty of annual leave and I'm not a tai-tai (stay home employer) so her absence shouldn't jeopardize my job.  No matter what her friend or cousin 'enjoys', eg away for 20 or more days, she'll not be matched.  I have picked up clues based on her conversation and highlighted that her cousin was away for 20 days home leave after working for 3 continuous years.  JA hasn't completed two years and has already taken more absentism (days) than her cousin.  Yes, I know JA wants to make full use of her air ticket but she has to be understanding too.  I need a job and want to remain in my current employment.  If I don't need a job, I don't have to work and employ her.

Yes I am grateful that she has returned in 'one-piece' and on-time.  The chore to recruit and re-train another FDW is painful... an ordeal I am trying my best to avoid.  There's a chance that I'll get somebody worse than JA, despite the exorbitant fees I've paid.  MOM won't be interested to know I am mentally and could be financially drained just to have a live-in FDW.  MOM will not take pity on me even though I was bullied and had to employ a FDW for 'survival in Spore'.  Life isn't that rosy and wonderful.

When your FDW is away, employer can apply for FDW levy waiver.

Winter:  Philippines authentic contract has nothing to do with Employer.  It is Philippines' demand on its citizens... to earn from its citizens working as Domestic Workers.  In Spore, employers will honour and abide with the terms legislated by Ministry of Manpower.  Employers DO NOT NEED TO PAY FOR FILIPINO MAID EMBASSY'S HOME LEAVE (which includes Philippines authentic contract/OWWA/OEC).  

If FDW wants to take home leave, she is agreeing to feed her embassy her hard earned cash.  If FDW didn't complete 2-year contract and requested for advance home leave, the embassy has tied with Spore maid agencies to earn more from Filipinos.... their own citizens.  US$400 is equivalent to S$500 salary... go and ask the forex exchange and you'll know Employers didn't short-change you.  

If any FDW refused to pay her home leave processing fee, Employer has the option to repatriate a demanding FDW or transfer her out (means she gets nothing, no home leave and has to pay agency to find her new employer).  Some employers don't mind paying, especially the rich or expat employers.  This depends on individual employers.... your work performance usually determine how much employer willing to indulge you.  If you don't believe me, look at the local agency standard contract.  The terms are clearly stated.  Paid home leave is only given to FDW who has returned to her employment address and taking up a new 2-year contract.  Employer's has to pay 2-way air fare and recommended to give a 15 days paid vacation.  

Personally, I will pay air fare but reimburse 15 days leave (half month's salary) when FDW is back to my house.  This will ensure FDW has something to look forward to when she's back from vacation.  If you give her cash in advance, you are at risk of having a no return FDW or a FDW who tries to delay her return.  Changing of flight return date is chargeable.... it becomes your cost if FDW decides to be funny.  Agree on the number of days for FDW to be away.  If FDW expects one month's vacation but you rejected, there's a likelihood she'll try to extend her vacation while on home leave... the play cards will be in her hands if you have paid everything, including half month's salary.  If maid wants a home leave extension, you have an option to cancel her work permit and find a replacement.  

Not all employer have plenty of Leave to take.  Not all companies are happy to have employee being away for 1 or 2 months .... nobody doing the work in his/her absence... jeopardize employer's rice bowl.  FDW wants to be selfish and irresponsible, she has to bear the consequences.

If your maid is demanding for full payment or loan/advance spending money .... think... if she is using her 'rights', you know she should be fired because there is no such thing as her rights to make you pay everything!  Keeping an unhappy and demanding FDW will lead to a sour relationship.  Be clear about money and don't let your FDW bite/harass you for something you didn't promise her nor ought to provide as per local contract.  

Some FDWs are simply annoying and demanding.  They fought for rights that are not even accurate.  Tell your FDW nicely, analyse the situation and let her choose.  Ensure your message 'Employer didn't cheat her' is clearly registered in her brain.  If she can find better employment in Philippines, advise her go home, ask her govt to take good care of her in source country... don't stay in Spore to suffer.  Spore employers shouldn't give in and allow activists/FDWs/source countries to come up with more demands.  Whenever the agency fee increased or FDW salary is revised, it signifies a strong FDW demand and activists/agency/source country call the shot.... they list down their unreasonable/greediness.  They believe employers will continue to spoil the FDWs to 'meet the high demand for maids supply' and let them earn easy kopi money.  Do you want to encourage evil profit makers?

If you're a FDW, how do feel about feeding the agencies S$3000 to $4000 as recruitment fee?  (read)  You are parting with 8 months salary!  All your hard earned income ends up in agencies' pocket.  Employer paid timely but the money didn't land in your hands, it went to settle your maid loan that employer has pre-paid for you.  Do you want to be a commodity or a human being?  If you have money nowhere to spend, continue to dream and sign up to be FDW in Spore!!  Anybody with a right mind should not allow herself to become money making tool for agencies and her embassy/govt.  Please don't be cheated by your agency.  If you are greedy, naive, you are putting yourself on 'SALE'.

Copied and extracted from MJ's Facebook..... an Indian FDW employer.
Kindly inform me about the OEC processing at Philippine Embassy here in SG.
My friend told me that if I do it on my own it takes one month, is it true? And I'm going for home leave this 14th of July. 

She said its better to pay the agency to process it for me with $300 charge.

Mahal Jat: That is a LESSON LEARNED. Whenever you renew your contract always demand a written and embassy authenticated contract, make sure it has the salary mutually agreed between you and the employer and make sure to agree with the employer its the contract they follow.  Employer needs to pay for the contract authentication.
For the passport renewal, either you or the employer pays, there is no rule who pays. If employer does not pay for the renewal then you will have to pay. You can try asking the employer to pay for it.

Jovelyn Dominguez Mirambel: It wont take a month if you do online booking for getting an OEC cause it's compulsory to do it online. Home leave cost only $110 if you process yourself. Authenticated standard contract =$42. Verification =$17. OWWA=$42. OEC=3. Pag-ibig fund=$5.50. If you already had an OWWA and still valid you just bring that you can get an OEC straight away. I knew it cause i accompanied my batchmate to our embassy when she's getting an OEC she book online for the schedule date and bring her passport and OWWA only cause it's still valid then she gets two OEC on the same day the other one for her dec home leave.

Flower Rose: July 14 is too late to take an appointment,but you can get in Philippines if you are near at embassy,you cannot get in at Philippines embassy here without appointment.

Angel Singh Samra: Does the processing in Philippines much easier because agency told me its $350 now not $300, Embassy was closed at Saturday and 
And I pay that sum of money but they never guarantee my oec will release before my departure date 

Maricar Lacasandile Munio: wow very expensive, when i went back to philippines last yr i processed my OEC there, my employer gave me 150 SGD for processing fee,i paid less than 100sgd, the amount left,mam asked me to spend for my kids.

Angel Singh Samra: I went home last 2012 December, agency process my oec before, does my oec still valid now?

Jovelyn Dominguez Mirambel: Check your owwa receipt sis might be valid cause it's for two years validity then try to go to our embassy bring that one so that you can get an OEC.

Marilou Llaneta: My homeleave is processed by Hart Consultancy in Lucky Plaza..sg260 consists of standard contract, owwa and OEC..I submitted my required papers last month and till now my OEC is not yet released..I'm leaving on 19th July.

Angel Singh Samra: Me and my sir click that link and the earliest appointment is July 16, i told him I'll process in Philippines but he said its better to cancel my home leave than process in Philippines because theyre worried what if I'll have troubled in coming back here.. I'm so sad.

Marilou Llaneta: Tell ur sir u can get it in the Philippines...just trust u that ull come back to work here.

Angel Singh Samra: I told that to my Sir but he said they're scared I cannot come back. 
I cried when he said maybe its better to postpone my holiday.

Marilou Llaneta: Its hard sis..me too my sir asked me to keep on calling the agency before my homeleave..they r scared too of having some problems of not coming back..

Ronalyn Baesa Corpuz: How about me guys, my mam told she will only pay me half months only..she bring me to the agency the other day to sign new contract,in front of the agent she say I can go home, but now she suddenly change her mind,her reason is the round trip going bck to ph is expensive? ?

Mahal Jat: u demand ur rights, stand up for it. thats it. be firm and polite. Unless you standup for it, they may not give you your rights. Do not be scared to ask for ur rights Len-len Corpuz. Communication is the key, most problems get resolved through proper communication.

Vangie Piano: I just wanted to share my experience. ..I renewed my wp w/out signing a new contract last feb.and my passport expires on dec.this yr...I renewed my passport last month and I paid everything. .from buying a 7k bond as one of the requirements for verification and authentication of contract..I asked my boss to pay for the 7k bond but he refused to pay and he told me that philippine embassy my government asked for it and not mom asked so I should be the one to shoulder all the expenses. ..any payment ask from Singapore government he will shoulder but if philippine embassy ask I should be the one to shoulder everything ..I did even asked my agent who should be the one paying for the 7k bond insurance but they told me its up to me and my employer to decide any one of us will pay so in the end my boss didn't pay so I shouldered every payment made...

Mahal Jat: in future when u take a new job, before you say YES, make sure to confirm with employer that they will make, follow and pay for the POEA authenticated contract or else you refuse the job. Unless you demand and stick to it, system will not change, Pinas govt made the rules and contract but negotiating with employer and refusing if the employers does not follow POEA rules is up to YOU.

Eng Kaw Kurikutasanda: Just want to share a little things i know about renewing contracts. 
First our employer are need to renew both philippine standard contract and mom, but we have to make sure that we can see the declared salary written on it. And before signing see to it that you and employer have a settle salary agreement because employer cannot just anyhow write a declaration on the contract if the helper wont agree for the pay. My fellow helper once we signed the contract and submitted already we have nothing cn do about it anymore. 

And for renewing passport we need an aunticated and verified standard contract that must be paid by the employer.(only contractp) the passport payment depends only to kindness of employer that they can offer to pay for u.  

Most employers are giving their FDWs home leave, with a 2-year contract renewal in order to have happy FDWs.  Most employers felt this is a form of reward, understood the need for FDWs to go home and spend time with families.  

Expats tend to spoil the market, by giving yearly basis or more than the recommended 15 days every 2-year.  I have seen an expat posted as information for new expats moving to Spore that maids are entitled to yearly home leave, this is wrong!  Local contracts stated 15 days home leave as a recommendation, including recommended 10% salary increment per 2-year contract renewal.  Don't assume it is a must and FDWs have been short-changed by employers if employer bargains from 15 days to lesser.  My current FDW is planning to fly home again.  She hasn't completed her first 2-year contract with me.

JA has verbally mentioned which month she intended to fly home.  One Sunday afternoon, she sms me and expected me to give her instant reply - permission to fly home at her preferred dates.  She indicated 20 days!  I was shocked and asked her when did I agree to that?  Later, she insisted on 12 days although I said it is better to keep to 10 days.   

When JA was happily home, showed me the receipt for her plane ticket 2 months later, I was surprised she purchased Jetstar.  Her previous trip was Philippines Airline.  JA sms me that the travel agent told her the fare offer is only for that day, last day.  After seeing Jetstar, a budget carrier, I immediately browsed its website and showed JA the actual costs. One week later, I checked again, the price is still the same and the total fare is maintained as $80 cheaper than what she claimed as promotion fare.  

I told JA that's the price she has to pay for not discussing with me in face.  The most 'exciting part' is her cousin intended to fly home same time as her but she respected her employer so chose to go home and discuss with them.  The bonus is, her cousin gets a ticket that is cheaper than JA and better flight timings, those 9am type, not 6am which means you must leave employer's house around 3am.  JA chose flight with taxing flight timings.  JA may want to save that $30 but by choosing wee hours, she has to pay taxi surcharge - midnight fare, worth it?  She will make herself more tired (I refused to be tortured and get stressed with her flight choices) with such flight timings and have lonely midnight to and fro airport.  I told JA to go to and fro airport herself.  I will not accompany her and get myself tortured for her wilful pleasure ... also, I don't own a car to pamper her.  

You may ask, aren't you afraid she doesn't board the plane home, go missing or leave for better employment eg Hong Kong?  Yes, I'm worried but since JA is paying the air ticket and home leave application, the costs is on her.  Her reimbursement will come after she has completed her 2 years with me and taking a renewal.  If I find out she didn't fly home, that means I need to get a replacement ... some people say this is God's will so I'll accept it.... no choice, right?  Since JA has a lot of money (missing family is a point that I allowed her to be away again but how true?), I will most likely deduct her absence as no pay before she leaves.  I believe she'll jump up and say she needs the money.  Will only reimburse JA after she has completed her 2 years with me and taking a 2-year renewal.  If she decides to job hop, no home leave entitlement - both advance home leave, she has to bear her own costs, I am not obliged to give her a cent based on her contract.... I don't owe her anything.

JA has applied for advance home leave last year so she is allowed to go home again within 2 years (it works like a multiple entry visa) by paying about $35 for home leave.  Home leave application for Filipino FDW who hasn't completed 2-year contract must be done thru a maid agency, cost about S$250.  JA asked me for her embassy contract.  I told her firmly I didn't keep.  JA doesn't believe, sort of accusing me for taking her contract but not giving back to her.  I repeated, I wasn't keen with all the Philippines Embassy nonsense, including its standard OEC contract. I don't know how it looks like because I don't want to get involved with any insane.  She said it is a piece of paper.  I said I don't have.  I showed her the local contract which is several pages ... she insisted that I pass that to her!  I said no, that's not her Philippines contract.  I reminded her that whatever papers she made me signed earlier (advance home leave last Dec), I signed blindly so that she could go home.  I don't care what was stated or imposed by her Embassy, I will only honour the local contract, adhere to MOM's policies .... I made her write a remark in my notebook last year.  Showed her that remark when she appeared 'forgetful' and like wanted to 'eat' me.

One day, she sms me, "mam I finally found my contract in my luggage pocket'.  I replied, I told you I don't lie, I'm an honest employer.  In my heart, the throbbing stopped, it was a relieved, false alarm.  I don't want to see JA with black face everyday and thinking I owe her or deliberately stopped her from going home. My advice, whatever agreement you had with your FDW, get her to write down and sign.  Although, I have that remark in my notebook, JA doesn't look like the kind who will let me go and place the fault on herself.   Now she's busy buying clothes and stuff to send home (sharing a carton with her cousin) as well as bringing home as check-in luggage.  Passed her some stuff to make her happy and be Santa Claus. 

What to do if your maid fails to return from her home leave
Step 1: Try to contact her first to find out what is wrong
Do it as soon as possible as you will have to pay for her maid levy. According to the link, the maid levy is paid by you at the end of each month.

If you managed to contact her and she refuses to return after much persuasion, you will need to cancel her Work Permit. You can submit a cancellation request via the WP online portal. Do it before 8pm for weekdays so that you can know the outcome of the request on the same day.  If your application is approved, you may want to print the Cancellation Acknowledgement Letter for archive purpose.

Step 3: Keep a copy of her travel ticket or a record of her departure itinerary
This is to prove that the worker has left Singapore.  After MOM confirms that your maid has departed and not re-entered Singapore, you will be discharged of any liabilities under the security bond.

If you maid re-enter Singapore before the security bond has been discharged, you have to arrange for her to be sent home immediately. Otherwise the security bond may be forfeited.

Step 4: Return her Work Permit card
Take note that Ministry of Manpower requires you to return the Work Permit card within seven days from the date of Work Permit cancellation.

Step 5: Cancel her Maid Insurance
Depending on the type of policies, you may or may not get a refund.

Step 6: Check the status of the return of the Work Permit card
Login the the WP online portal to check the status of the return.  If it is successfully returned, you may want to print the Card Returned Acknowledgement Letter for archive purpose.

Allow part-time maids so families can cope better, TODAY online, April 2014
Caring for an elderly relative involves lots of sacrifices and commitment. Yet, support measures to help ease their struggles are lacking. The task is more daunting for carers of the mentally ill.

After my wife’s knee surgery last year, her doctors at the rehabilitation hospital recommended that I secure a part-time maid, as they were concerned that I would continue to suffer burn-out. Despite several appeal letters sent to government agencies, including the Ministry of Manpower, all failed to respond.

During the period when my wife was alive — she died in the hospital recently — I had to take care of her multiple needs single-handedly. It was no easy task as she had mobility problems because of her advanced arthritis.

A part-time maid could have helped and I am sure there are others in such a predicament.  As it is now mandatory to give foreign domestic workers a weekly rest day, provision for part-time maids would help families who require such services seven days a week.

Also, when foreign domestic workers go on home leave every year or biyearly for two weeks or a month, working parents would take leave to care for their young children, which would disrupt work at the office.

With the introduction of a part-time maid scheme, there would be less of a scramble to find alternative child-minders. It may even pave the way for more young married couples to have more children.

25 Sep 2013 - Home leave, the Expat way, usually takes place in Dec. Definitely not the usual practice for locals. Did maids show appreciation when they are given long leave? Expats spoilt the market and what did they get in return? Demanding and ungrateful FDWs! How to believe being nice, your FDW will perform better and treat you nicer? When lousy and demanding maids are being kicked out, they cook up stories that made them employable. They even boosted how good they are ... lies and some have recommendation letters that were falsified. During interviews, who will tell employers they want night life or moonlight? Who will tell you she has been kicked due to lies or bad conduct? It is wrong to lie and get a job. You want employer to treat you nicely, you should show employer respect (the most basic you should give to the person who paid for your services as per market rate) and behave like a trustworthy helper, not VIP in the house.

By the way, when you show respect to your FDW, it doesn't mean you need to please her eg she tells you she wants her nights out. By not agreeing, you are acting according to MOM's law. All FDWs must live-in, maids are not suppose to stay out. 2nd, employers are fully responsible for their FDWs. 3rd, don't spoil the local market and insist on doing something different, eg using sickening human rights as an excuse. Think about other employers, don't be so selfish and simply take up Angel roles.

20 Sep - Filipino flying home during non peak, two months advance flight booking, airfare excluding airport tax as per picture. JA can save a lot but it is her stubborn decision to fly during super peak season. Usually, employers will compare and choose the carrier that offers the cheapest fare and suitable timing. Some carriers are flying during wee hours. Could be cheaper but I am not keen. Employers may have problem if they want to suit that kind of flight timings - sending and picking up their FDWs in the middle of the night. If you want to fly by SQ and your employer is rich enough to pamper you, by all means take Spore Airlines to Manila, don't even need to do a price comparison or book in advance.

Flying home during non peak, buy ticket with departure date 2 weeks from today, cost S$250, all-in-price, includes airport tax, definitely no need to pay close to S$500 - Christmas fare (all-in-budget carrier fare, purchase 3 months in advance). Yes, it is Christmas, a big year end celebration. But does it mean flying back during non-peak you can't spend quality time with your family and friends? JA said she missed her family very much but is she really willing to pick up the fare difference without making my life miserable? JA's teen and husband are living together, not working so she still gets to see them if she flies back during non peak. Flying home in Nov 2013 or Jan 2014 are cheaper options that I gave her but she turned down flatly. Fine with me, just don't say no money, twist the facts and go around telling a sad story or pretend doesn't know she has to pay the fare difference of super peak and non peak. I can't stand a helper who kept pushing her luck and assumed I will continue to keep her, accept her demands and bad attitude eventually.

19 Sep - For Filipino maid who has completed 2-year FDW contract, this is your DIY if you want to save some money. It will cost more to do thru a maid agency. When my ex-maid went for advanced home leave Balik Manggagawa (worked 1.5 years), I gave her what I read online, including a copy of my IC (this is about trusting an adult to doing something right) and she did her own home leave via a maid agency in Orchard. I didn’t have to show my face at her agency. My ex-maid compared home leave quotations and noted those agencies in suburb areas cost more.

FDW must have a valid work permit in order for her to return to Spore. In order to get a valid work permit, employer can purchase maid insurance, which includes the $5000 security bond and $7,000 Performance Bond thru one of your preferred insurance company. I renewed her work permit online (MOM website). And the whole work permit renewal process (including a new FDW policy) took me about a week. The only time I need to accompany her (show my face) together with my girl, was to collect her work permit because it is in Tanjong Pagar, not the usual Orchard Road my ex-maid is familiar with.

Step 1:
Visit Philippines Embassy website to read about the requirements to apply for an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) and print out the following forms:–

1. Employment Contract for Household Service Worker (Direct)
2. Undertaking of Employer for Employment of HSW
3. OWWA Information Sheet
4. OFW Information Sheet (OEC)
5. Pag – IBIG Membership Registration Form

Fill and sign all the forms. For Filipino domestic helpers, their government requires that FDW apply for an OEC as proof of employment before they are allowed to leave the country. This is crucial otherwise your helper cannot come back after their home leave. Therefore, it really puzzles me why maids have to pay again (official contract, OWWA), eg in the case of passport renewal (less than 2 years in Spore) and home leave.

Some FDWs come to work in Spore, holding a passport of less than 2 years validity, employed thru a maid agency, which is the legal way (should have authentic contract and OWWA)so why Filipino FDW need to pay again? See the costs for passport renewal. Based on her passport, FDW’s work permit and insurance will be only be one year instead of the usual 2-year term. Also, I noticed maid agencies are withholding the authentic Philippines contract (with a red seal), why? I thought maid and/or employer paid placement fee so why the originals were not given to us? Is this how maid agencies make easy profits .... from the poor?

Step 2:
Type out an employment contract detailing FDW’s work scope, revised salary (salary increment), number of off day each month, home leave entitlement, termination clauses, etc. The old agency contract is no longer valid so you can go online to download the standard AEAS/CASE foreign domestic worker contract and amend accordingly. Both you and your FDW must sign.

Embassy is more interested to see their own Philippines standard employment contract which stated the US$400 minimum salary. The local contract is solely between you and your helper which Embassy doesn’t honour it.

Most full time working employers are not that crazy to pay S$600 (those who are too rich certainly don't mind) for an inexperienced filipino FDW. Most maid agencies will remind employers and maids this Embassy contract (US$400) is just to please the Philippines Embassy. So although paying more to engage a maid agency, most maid agencies will tell FDW the salary offered is localised. This will reduce the chance of your FDW hating you and thought you've cheated her! All FDWs' employment terms will be as per MOM guidelines, which is the locally recognised contract. The Embassy contract and the recommendation or terms stated have no legal bearing in Singapore. This is Spore, we follow MOM's rules and regulations. Not happy, you know where is the airport to fly home and don't return. You do not need to submit the local contract to apply for home leave. Once everything has been explained and your FDW looks happy with the new contract, buy her a ticket.

Note: the currency conversion of US$400 = S$497, not S$600. Wonder where Philippines Embassy employed 'super brainy people' who created such a disputing contract (US$ conversion) as well as an excuse for maid's grievances. This will just give pinoy maids opportunity to vent anger on employers ... a difference of S$100 each month, it is huge. Pinoy maids felt they are superior people, want higher salary, even though it is inaccurate! Anybody can browse the web (currency converter) or go to a money changer to ask US$400 is equal to how much S$. Not the first time Filipino fought for 'nonsense', chose to live in a world of illusion thinking they are not treated fairly and severely underpaid. Looks like anything to their advantage, they and/or activists will blindly go for a 'bloodshed' fight. Instead of advocating a world of peace, crafty/nothing better to do people like to cook up stories or spread something distorting to make people angry/sad and resulted in fights/unnecessary disputes. Some people just like to live in a chaotic place, can't stand people living in peace and contentment.

Step 3:
Book a return ticket back to domestic helper’s source country. MOM has amended one of the terms in the standard FDW contract. Employers just need to send your FDW to an international airport (similar to repatriation term), not her village or city of birth. Most agencies are still using city of origin as the place of return/repatriation, thus, conned the employers to pay for internal transport such as domestic flight, train or bus.

If your FDW is an Indonesian, employer usually buy her a Sin/Jakarta/Sin ticket unless she lives in Batam, then you get her a ferry ticket. If your FDW is a Filipino, employer should buy her a Sin/Manila/Sin ticket – an international airport for major carriers. Look out for fare sales. E-ticket must be presented for home leave application.

Step 4:
Go to Philippines Embassy located at 20 Nassim Road to apply with all the relevant documents signed. Do take note of the opening days and time.

Present the maid insurance with S$7,000 Performance Bond. Bring along the OLD work permit and make photocopies of FDW’s work permit, passport and employer’s NRIC. You will be issued receipts and when to collect the ‘official license to fly home’. A new work permit will show new 2-year term, this happened to my ex-maid whose work permit was valid for one year when she worked for me. A renewal means a new start date of a 'brand new' 2-year, based on the date of new work permit issuance, also a 20% salary increment which I gave out of goodwill and her performance.

To avoid any problem with Embassy, eg incur more fees, it is better to show old work permit or copy of it. The non-peak home leave (exit pass) processing time via agency is about 1 to 2 weeks. Saw one forumer posted "whole process took about 90 mins, queuing and waiting. Had to go to 5 different counters in total. Collection of contract is done few days after". I think this is DIY method. If I'm not wrong, those expensive documents are valid for 2 years which means if maid goes back again within this 2 years, technically FDW can use back the same documents to apply for Home Leave at only $5.50 (the exit pass, valid only for 2 months) as well as passport renewal, if any. But whether any foul play involved, I'm not sure. If done through maid agency, means those expensive documents were not given to FDW, it could be another chance for agency to make another round of easy money. Based on appearance, if maid is taking home leave and renewing passport, try to kill 2 birds with one stone - do together, don't get cheated by your own people! Filipino maids, you want to show how smart you are, try outwitting the devils (your agent), leave employer alone, we are not part of this.

While FDW is away for home leave, employer must maintain a valid insurance and prompt payment of levy. Employer may claim levy waiver when FDW is back.

17 Sep - Last Sunday, JA went to her agency to check how much they are charging her to apply home leave. She failed to get her agency to do for free. For FDW who hasn't completed 2 years of continuous service, any filipino FDW who wants to take advance home leave must get an agency to process home leave application.

If filipino FDW who completed 2 years of continuous service (same employer) she can do home leave application herself. The cost is S$104.50.

The cost to do thru an agency is about S$270, fee varies so filipino maid can walk around and compare, do cherry pick. Did you notice that filipino maids must pay for authentic contract and OWWA, both for home leave application and passport renewal? Yes, all the filipino maids are here thru proper channel, that is maid agencies. So why these poor people have to pay (again) for authentic contract and OWWA?

Home leave application, to me is a way Philippines emabassy works with maid agencies to earn money from their own citizens (the low wage earners and less educated filipinos). Philippines embassy will not look at filipino FDW's passport to see when she arrived and start counting 2 years from the day she arrived. Embassy turns away FDWs who wants to take advanced home leave. Philippines embassy will not entertain you even if the FDW's husband has REALLY passed away. Cold blooded to their own citizens ... nothing is free in this world. Filipino maids, wake up, you're just money making machines for your own government and agencies. They will not pity or sayang you because your husband or dearest family member has passed away. Money, just give them money, understand?

I remember my ex-filipino maid showed me an official receipt of S$5 for leave application. Why Embassy and Agency must make another round of profit from the poor maids? Ask your own country! Don't blame your employers for not paying. We don't owe you anything!

By the way, maybe last time the Embassy has some symphathy and charged just a nominal fee for family members who died but because filipino FDWs are great liars, nobody dare to trust you! So, filipino FDWs, you better stop your lies and don't think lying is part of you. Lying is unacceptable. JA's lying has become a reflex, a habit. I have to show her evidence but she continued telling lies, refused to agree she's in the wrong. Don't say I didn't give JA enough chances, she blasted all my trust and hopes. JA made me feel like giving up and find a replacement, hire somebody more trainable and willing to be my helper.

Back to home leave, as per the standard contract, Employer just need to pay return air ticket and 15 days Leave.
Therefore, I emphasized to JA she is supposed to absorb her ridiculous home leave application fee. Since JA hasn't completed 2 years of continuous service with me, I do not need to pay anything for her, no cash advance or loan (in case she didn't return, I am not rich to absorb her costs). JA can get reimbursement once she completed 2 years of continuous service and after doing a contract renewal.

If her services is terminated due to her bad performance or JA decides not to renew contract, I am not obliged to pay her a single cent. It is JA's choice to go back during Christmas (=2 weeks no pay leave), the most expensive season. It is not my duty to pay JA whatever she incurred since she was the one to insist returning in December 2013, whereas she was recruited in March 2013. If JA had been a great helper, co-operative and problem free, I am likely to reward her eg pick up her home leave fee ... but I have a feeling our relationship won't last that long. To 'qualify as a good helper', it is continuous not just a few months. JA is not the kind of person who will bend. My words and training are just nonsense to her.

I am surprised to see certain maid agency websites that stated "There is no obligation for the employer to give any paid leave or home leave. However, after the end of a 2 year contract, it is common practice and it is recommended by the Standard employment contract of the Association of Employment agencies of Singapore (AEAS) to offer to the Domestic Helper a return ticket to an international airport, in her country." Since it is just a common practice, more like a recommendation to retain a good FDW (make maid happy) so is this good news to Employers who are not that rich or unhappy with their FDWs' performance - teach those stubborn FDWs a good lesson, make them learn to be appreciative and stop giving attitude problem ... sounds good! FDW can go home but not funded by Employers, good idea for those who can afford to kick maid, especially those who can find temporary help while hunting for another FDW! Teach maids don't take things for granted. Maid can break contract or treat your Spore contract like shit so Employers can pay you back with your own coin? Fair, right? It is unnecessary to provide links to these websites because I think most employers would follow the common practice in order to have a happy return maid.... no guarantee better maid's performance but they will still pay.

I typed the cost, presented in Excel worksheet, highlighted costs that JA is supposed to bear and what she'll get after 2 years of continuous service and a contract renewal with me. Just as I suspected, she played forgetful/I don't know games again. Asked me why she must pay and why she has 2 weeks no salary.... not working and expects me to pay her, dream on! I reminded JA, I showed her the agency contract as well as the airfare for peak and non-peak period. It is her decision to fly home for 2013 Christmas and I wasn't able to change her mind. I made JA understand the costs and signed to acknowledge what I have explained, nothing hidden. I got paranoid so I also have a handwritten copy of what she understands about advanced home leave.

Hubby is worried whether JA will return. To me, I believe JA will return because she has to pay for all the necessary expenses and I am not giving her any loan ... to minimise my risks. I doubt JA wants to waste almost S$1000. What I'm worried is will JA turn from bad to worse? Will she become more forgetful and tell me (again), she is not perfect, 'forgetful also cannot is it". She has been reminded regularly to write down if her memory is no good. Nobody is perfect nor has excellent memory but using forgetful as an excuse is not right. Once my tolerance is up, who knows I'll kick her out before her Christmas home leave.

If JA is really interested to keep this current job, she has to learn to be a good helper and stop getting me annoyed. Nobody is perfect so I am just a human who has emotions/mood. I hope JA doesn't push her luck. I am unwilling to accept her bad attitude ... JA knows but pretend or felt she can press me further down. Just because I haven't turned really nasty, JA thought I can be bullied... just wait, one day when the volcano erupts, don't regret. Don't I have the rights to be angry and start screaming or kick JA out of my house instantly??

I felt really lousy that JA turned her back on me on two occassions. She purposely forgot things/instructions or deliberately do things her own ways so when I wanted to talk to her, ask her why don't refer to her notes and avoid mistakes, she walked away! JA claimed she is not being RUDE to avoid a confrontation or any discussion about her conduct. If JA does this the 3rd time, can I take it? She must have used such attitude and forced her nice filipino employer to fire her after working for 1 year 7 months.... completely gave up on her. The Chinese employer before me could only tolerate her for 2 months. I don't want to sound like not giving her enough chances or looked like a hard to please employer trying to catch FDW doing wrong things everyday but when it became too obvious and frequent, I know JA deliberately did it. I don't like the way JA treats me, no filipino maids of mine had ever did this to me.

My past filipino maids (all married women), when scolded for their mistakes, they didn't turn their backs on me. Two were younger than JA by 6 years old but both didn't behave as childish and stubborn as JA. They argued or shouted back but amazingly, I liked the 2-way communication. They said sorry and I can see most of the time, they tried to avoid doing the wrong things. They listened to what I wanted to say and at most hide in the toilet to cry after being reprimanded. They have their pride/ego so crying helped them to release some steam. The next day, my ex-maids still greeted me 'Good Morning', followed by a 'Good night'. This is the training they received at the maid agencies. JA hardly greets me nor seek permission before entering my bedroom but it doesn't really made me blow up as long as my girl is well taken care. It is just a matter of whether I am willing to close one eye. JA's kind of body language is displaying 'accept me or fire me, up to you, don't pin any hope on me to change'. JA said sorry because employer wanted to hear it, it didn't come from the bottom of her heart and most importantly, she felt she did nothing wrong!

My boss asked me how is my FDW, I sighed and said I am tolerating JA's attitude. I've verbally informed my boss that I'll be taking two weeks' leave at the end of this year. Everything looks confirmed, just waiting for JA make her payment.

I hope I can meet Cambodian transfer maids while JA is on home leave but I know quite unlikely to find a Cambodian transfer maid because there are only 400 who took part in the pilot plan. Who knows JA managed to find a sponsor or a special way to get a job hop and disppear .... better play safe, FDWs (any nationality) are mostly smart, could be smarter than you so don't think they are stupid.

Note: If you have an Indonesian maid .... I saw some Indo employers posted it only cost S$70. Get a KTKLN card for the Indo maid who requires home leave (less than 2 years service or after completed 2-year). There is a contract to be signed at the Indo embassy - compulsory document when maid wants to get her KTKLN card. Different source country has their own set of tools to reap a profit from the poor, their own citizens. Other FDW nationality seemed like will be taxed when she returns. So FDWs .... don't point your fingers in the wrong direction!

1 Sep - JA is pestering me to give her advance home leave. I mentioned somewhere in this page that I told JA cannot yet she is back with requests. Knew the reasons why I said no yet so pesistant. JA simply doesn't feel what she's doing is annoying her employer or previous employers. Her mind is filled with she has the rights to do things the way she pleases. She hasn't reached a state where she does her best to be the employer's helper - right hand man, if possible.

JA said she wants to go around Christmas period. Told me her cousin said buy ticket now, it will be very cheap. I browsed Jetstar, TigerAir and Cebu airline websites. Showed her the costs after taxes, she still thought the airfare could be cheaper than what I showed. Told JA, she has data plan, so does her cousin, they can browse the airline websites and compare the prices quoted online. I don't want to help her check because she doesn't believe me.

Can I refuse JA flatly? I cannot refuse her knowing her character and for the sake of my girl.

Highlighted to JA that since she hasn’t completed 2-year contract, she has to foot the full cost, not giving her any loan. She said she’s aware. I doubt so. I elaborated that she has to pay airfare, embassy cum agency home leave processing, 2 weeks no pay leave, etc. JA insisted Christmas period which is peak season so means airfare could cost around $300 (if buy now) and embassy cum agency home leave processing cost around $250. Airfare and home leave is reimbursable if JA has fully completed 2 years of service and renewed contract – continue work for me, as per her contract terms. If she failed, at least S$700 fly away … she must absorb costs related to her immaturity or poor performance. She looked shocked. Anyway, I pushed her out to her agency. JA's heart and mind is not opened for reasoning, also she thought I'm frightening her with fake figures so I said if her agency willing to do free service and her cousin could get her a really cheap air ticket, let me know. JA has to provide proof that she is being offered good treats to take advance home leave. She misses her family. If she had provided good performance to her ex-employers, she wouldn't be in such state. She could have taken her paid home leave one year ago. JA has to pay the full price for being super stubborn, un-cooperative and not following employers' house rules/instructions to deliver chores .... kept thinking she is not in the wrong, just bad luck for not being able to get an employer to accept her bad working attitude.

If JA insists on taking home leave, either I grant her wish or muster some courage to train a Cambodian maid - replacement. At least, in Spore, Cambodians are scarce so a new Cambodian maid will not run into another girl from the same country so easily, gossip or share tips to manage me conveniently. If she talks on the phone, likelihood would be her real family, relatives (not fakes) and friends, not Tom, Dick or Harry whom she met in the neighbourhood. Due to language barrier, I'll face a big problem, thus, I need to spend months training this maid on the simplest chores and put in triple patience. I don't want to waste time and money to hire another maid but the reality - the high costs of living is something I cannot pretend it doesn't exist or life will be better eg PAP wakes up and realises special needs parents are having a tough time surviving in Spore. This wish is too hard to come true so I better count on myself.