3 Feb 2016

Maid terminated contract without any penalty

Content page - All topics
Maid/FDW's dental and medical
Maid with personal mobile phone
so many Bruises on my girl
Domestic maid's Off day

Winter:  HOME (activist) goes all the way to protect and help FDWs, whose there for employers?

Police wasted their time and resources to find a runaway Indonesian maid.  Employer lost her recruitment fee and still required to pay for her runaway maid to go home-sweet-home.  Indonesian new maid claimed ill-treated yet could use her employer's computer and do sneaky things so is she a liar, scheming her way (terminated contract without any penalty and her name, as well as picture not shown.) to get home at her employer's expense?  No matter what type of bad maid you've employed, the unfortunate the employer will have to bear the losses, inconveniences and headaches.... not forgetting finger pointing from activists like HOME.  

Maid can still come back to Spore to find another unfortunate employer because MOM won't blacklist her.  Runaway or cheated employer is not a crime.  Fair to make employers bear the losses when maid decides to terminate her contract eg miss home, cannot work as FDW (wrong mindset, too pampered), etc?  Our money is not hard earned money, can be wasted?  Are most FDW's employers running companies, earning big bucks and not salaried employees, not high fliers like me?

Police spend 8 hours searching for Indonesian maid, Mypaper, 3 Feb 2016
An employer, worried for her runaway maid's safety, called the police, who reportedly searched eight hours for her in a jungle, only to find out that she had gone to a shelter for maids.

The 60-year-old employer, a housewife who gave her name only as Madam Ye, had woken up on Jan 8 to find her maid missing, Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.  The Indonesian maid, 25, whose name was not disclosed, had worked for less than a month.

She left behind a note, in which she repeatedly apologised to her employer, saying that she decided to leave as she could not bear the stress.  "She kept saying sorry, saying that she'd taken jam, bread and an old watch, which she shouldn't have. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry reading it," Madam Ye told Wanbao.  Later, a backpack belonging to the maid was found at the back of her bungalow in Bukit Batok.

Afraid that the maid had ventured into the nearby jungle, Madam Ye called the maid agency for help, and was told to wait 24 hours before calling the police.  She informed the police on Jan 10. She said two teams, accompanied by police dogs, searched the jungle from 9am to 5pm that same day.  Finding no leads there, the police checked closed-circuit television footage from nearby shops and determined that the maid was not in the jungle.

The next day, the police discovered that she had been taken in by non-governmental organisation Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home).  After negotiations, the maid requested to be sent home and Madam Ye paid for her plane ticket.  "I did not mistreat her at all. There were many things she couldn't do. I would even help her out," she said.  She added that she spent about $5,000 hiring the maid and does not dare to employ maids anymore, as they "just up and leave, leaving me dejected and wasting my money".

Madam Ye said police investigations revealed the maid often used her employer's computer to access Facebook.  She thanked the police for their efforts and professionalism for "working on a hot weekend".  A manager at the maid agency, who gave her name only as Ms Zhang, told Wanbao that it is uncommon for maids to run away, with only about 5 per cent of the maids at her agency doing so.But she added that many maids think they can handle the job before coming here.

Asked why the maid had run away, Jolovan Wham, executive director of Home, told My Paper yesterday that she had alleged ill-treatment but "did not wish to report it as it wasn't serious".  She also claimed she was "scolded a lot".

Ensure responsible maid employers are not penalised, 16 Dec, ST Forum
There needs to be a discussion on the employer-maid working relationship.

While there are laws to protect the welfare of foreign domestic helpers here, there also needs to be laws to protect employers' vulnerable family members from being abused by maids.  There is no foolproof process to assess a maid's character, reliability and sense of responsibility. For the employer to select a good domestic helper, luck is involved.

Maids may also lie in order to find an easier job, for example, saying they are afraid of animals so that they will not need to care for pets.  They may also change their minds when they discover the work environment is not to their favour, such as having to serve a huge family. They may then choose to break their contract.  This has a tremendous impact on families who require help urgently.

If the maid decides to break her contract, are there laws to protect the employer?  The authorities should come up with a fairer employment contract, with the aim of protecting maid employers from being caught in a jam when their maid chooses to break the two-year contract.

For instance, if the maid breaks her contract, she should not be entitled to an air ticket home.  This would be fairer as it does not lean so much in favour of the maids, giving them the chance to break their contract at any time. Let us not penalise responsible maid employers.

Ada Chan Siew Foen (Ms)

Stroke sufferer on problem maids: Why must employers bear the cost of their misdeeds5 Nov 2013, STOMP  
STOMPer May is a stroke patient who was forced to employ a domestic helper to help out with chores.

According to the STOMPer, the first maid she employed got pregnant, while the second demanded to leave after her loan period was up.

The STOMPer wrote:
"I am a stroke patient who had no choice but to employ a maid to help out with daily chores.  "My first maid was with us for one and half years before she got herself pregnant so we had to quickly send her home.

"Then it was a rush to get another maid.  "In all, we had to spend about $4,000 for the flight ticket, agency fees, insurance, admin fees, loans for the maid.  "In this saga, the first maid and her lover was not penalized and all expenses had to be bourne by me, the employer.

"It's so unfair!
"Now in the case of the second maid, she just passed her loan period and immediately asked to go home.  "We the poor employers are asked to bear the air tickets, as well as the fees for getting the next maid.  "Again, this is unfair for the employer.

"Who will pity us poor employers? Not everyone who employs a maid is rich, sometimes it's a necessity that we cannot avoid.

"Can MOM help us in this matter?"

July 2014
Winter:  When your domestic maid wants to leave, can you stop her?  

No!  She has her 'human rights'.  She or the activists will fight for her to leave, they'll bite you!  Her mouth and all the friends are available to complain and bad mouth you.

Extracted comments from Straits Times - Facebook: Employers of maids also need protection
Herlina Ng:  As Employer always in the wrong.. even Employer paid a lot of $ to agency.. 
When the maid suka2 end the contract 
Employer must paid again for hired new msid.. employers can't ask the maid or deduct the money from the maid. . MOM should help the employer too... must help both side..
Don't always help the maid..
Must be fair to both. .

Sandy Heng:  reduce chances of getting lousy maids...instead of "recycling them" by labeling them as transfer maids...such maids shld NOT be receiving approvals for their work permit for the next 24 mths (min) after breach of contract!

Azyuni Ratna Dewi:  I was telling my husband, my maid obviously earns more than average people here in Singapore. Her pay is close to $600, and she does not have to pay: food, bills, housing rent, etc. At most, each month she only fork out max $30 for her daily necessities and calling card. How many of us middle income, average Singaporean can have $600 to spare every month. After her contract ends, she can buy a land + a house, just by working here for 2 years.

If people said to increase the salary, fine, but please take a look at the employer's side of story too and the contract should not be one sided (pro-domestic worker)

Alfred Lee:  How about I pay you $600 a month, you work for me, on duty 24/7, minus sleep time and one off-day per week?

Azyuni Ratna Dewi:  1) my maid is not on duty 24/7
2) she gets sleep time, in the afternoon
3) she choose not to get the off day, and in fact, on weekends, she does not have to do any housework

I hope you don't have a maid, because if you do, i'm sure you will ask her to work 24/7.. and that kind of employer should be banned of having one.

Mitch M. Pasaway:  maybe you're just an good employer madam but its sad to say that not all employers are good like u..

Sheryl Chong:  that's why we who are working know that it is difficult to get good employers/colleagues therefore we don't abuse the maids that work for us unfortunately it is good always be reciprocated.

Azyuni Ratna Dewi:  Sheryl Chong: agree, but the case is always like, if the employer is too good, the maid will take advantage, then comes the very mean employer who gets all the good and obedient maids. oh what a life..

I have my flaws too, but i tried to give leeway. I had my fair share of maid, stealing my mom's money, running away because she don't like the environment in my home, because at times I told her off (correcting her mistakes).. etc.

Juvivai Jam: No nid take maid lah if u cnt afford to pay,u just do urself that's all..600 x 24 minus s not enaf U know U cnt pay the homesick of just 600,f ur not happy to pay den don't get a maid...

Nina Hilmi: True!!! Just recently my maid insisted to go back to her hometown before her 2 yrs contract end!! U noe wat, when i call MOM the officer told me tat i have to bear all her flight expenses n giv her full month salary!! 
The reason of her wanting to go home is tat she miss her Hubby!!!!!
So its not fair for me u see tat i have to take a new maid n bear all the expenses such as new insurance , agency service charge!!!
Gov really have to be fair to us too!!!

凤丽:  Some maids just here to get lovers and already planned to work until 1 year maid loan paid off then they quit the job . As a result , the employers have to waste money and time hire another . Maids bio data also some informations are lies . I can say i am good to all my maids , i don't lock them in the house , they have freedom to use handphone and ipad . It is just difficult to know what they want . My current helper is a responsible indonesian .

Agnes Ling:  I started to hire maid since 13 years ago and I can say the quality of maid keep dropping. Most maids now who came here are young and their mindset is to come here earn money and of course enjoy at the same time. out of 5 maids I had for the past 10 years, 3 out of 5 would request to go home and visit their family even before they finish their 2'years
contract. Strange enough, most common excuses used are 1) father/mother met accident in hospital,2) father /mother die,3) brother met accident, 4) brother die, 5) miss family (in fact,they miss their boyfriend more than anything else). wonder how many of their family member kena cursed by them and how many family member die ..seems that their family member forever involved with accident and funerals haha. 

my First 2 maid had the same excuses and initially I let them went home and even paid for their off day when they are back for 2 weeks off day.after they came back, coincidentally I found out that they had loads of photos taken with their boyfriend (date shown in the photo) hugging each other and smiling happily ( I let them go home bcos they say their father met serious accident and is in hospital but they can happily smiling away taking intimate photo with their bf) .trust was since destroyed and after all these incident, I no longer let my maid go home unless they complete, their 2 years contract.

new maids still uses same lame excuses but I will tell them if they choose to go home because of father die mother die brother die and sister die, you can go home straight away and no more continuation of employment or transfer to another employer. my encounter is Filipinos can talk non stop like parrot ,most of my maid can hold the phone and talk talk talk talk talk non stop whole day amazingly when they are doing laundry, I toilet, having their meal,mopping floor etc. i try to give them freedom and mutual respect but normally they tend to abuse the freedom I gave them.

I am so amazed how the hell they can talk non stop like parrot *roll eyes*. there are a lot more incident and the above mentioned is only 1% of what I experienced.mutual respect supposed to be mutual but usually they don't appreciate our gratitude and they tend to abuse the freedom we gave them

Junaidah Begum: If the maid wants to leave, she bears the cost.. Simple,..
If employer do not want the maid, then they bear the cost... This is fair.. See who has more tolerance level

Nina Hilmi: I want Halimah Yaacob to solve this prob!! If she have the guts to implement off dayd for the maid, she also must have the guts to punish maid if they breach the contract!!!

Chris Laurence Lopez: .. and give maids a fixed working hours day or week ?? impossible..? lets started with a 44 hours week..? difficult right.. punish ms halimah yaacob bc we want convenient at our finger tips at the least possible cost and inconvenience..

Faryani Rashid: Yup.. True that.. They can end the contract as and when they want.. Just run off to embassy.. So unfair!!

Sheryl Chong: We should adopt what Hong Kong do when the maids can't work with the employers or vice versa: the maids have to go home (pay airticket themselves) as Hong Kong don't have transfer maids. Another thing: scrap the maid levy so that we can pay the maids higher salary. What does the levy do to the maids as well as the employers? We have to pay everything for the maids (medical, food, lodging, daily necessities such as shampoo,etc.

Sheryl Chong: I have my fair share of such maids too and we have to fork out airfare to sent them back, pay insurance for the replacement maid (no guarantee that they will stay), pay agent fee etc. I am good to them too thinking they are away from their families so I try as much as possible to ease them of homesickness but many of them are not appreciative.

D Eleanor Tan:  there are maids who break everything at home when they decide to leave (before the end of the contract) and employer cannot request for compensation. When they want to end early we have to pay for their ticket - what logic! The law should not only penalise the employer as not all employers breaches the act....there must be an avenue for these to be resolved at a point when both benefits!

Linda Chan: be realistic. Can you get your neighbours, close friends or relatives to look after your elderly parents or newborn? Even a 3year old can understand its impossible. We are talking about daily problems not once-off issue here.

Yong Zhen Edith Chua: Lol, mine was "brother met with a serious traffic accident and is in a coma." Overseas SMS-es kept pouring in, asking my maid to go back. She said she will return after her brother's condition stablises. This brother she mentioned was apparently about to get married that same month he met with the accident. Coincidence?

When she did go back, her facebook profile showed pictures with her and her friends and boyfriend, updating every day. She never returned. No consequences for the employee.

Esther Chia: Currently the total cost of hiring a maid including agency fees , maid settling in program, insurance n bond plus her loan amount to 5k. As compared to 5 years ago , tks to our very generous MP to implement the weekly day off benefit, maids salary have increased to $500 minimum per month. We pay super duper high salary to our government to protect FT's interests n rights only! We are actually the third world victims!

Pauline Yeu: Back in their country they either can't find any job or are earning barely enough to support their family. Over here we give them job opportunity. Yet they still have the cheek to be picky on their employers. They can just happily ask for transfer, of worse still, run away and dun get penalized for such irresponsible acts. Look closely at all the MOM clauses regarding hiring domestic workers and you will realize employers are placed at the losing end. Our law doesn't even protect our own people, only to be abused by these ungrateful foreigners.

Ivy Tay: Basically, if maid does not wanna continue work with us, she pay her own cost. If we dun wan her, den we, employer, pay. Once I had a maid who run away juz 1 night with me, not even started any work. Reason being house is too big (she was informed before hand). In the end, I had to spend time searching for her in the neighbourhood, make police report and even foot for her food and lodging till she get her next employer. So is it fair?

Sonja Meijers: If everyone just starts with giving them a day off a week and respectable working hours and good working environment! Would you be able to work 7 days a week from 8am til 10pm following someones orders? I don't think so. So try some respect towards the girls and i am sure you will get a lot back!

Linda Chan: If you look at MOM website, there's 4 offences which a maid will be repatriated to their homeland if they are found to have committed. However, when my maid committed one of those offences, I was still asked to pay for her airtix! I really doubt the brains behind all these policies. The very minimal you can do is get these offenders to pay for their own tickets back should they breach any of these.

Diana Ng: Totally agreed there is a need to help employers.nowadays maids can suka suka change employer.The most e agency will earn commission from them when they change.should set standards to make sure they complete e 2 yrs contract.

Angela Low Gek Luan: Our gov only protect e maid not us employer, in HK, Taiwan n other country their gov don take levy that's y e maids pay is much higher. Our gov only know how to punish us employer but maid that come in to work for u n e next day just tell u Sorry mum I want to go home we employer have to bare all e cost n even pay for her air fare.

Carolina Koh: I think the current regulations need to be balanced a bit. After all, there are always 2 sides to a coin. While some employers do not treat their maids well, there are maids who take advantage of their good employers as well. While MOM has been putting in quite some regulations to protect the maids, where is the protection for the employers when it is the maid who plays prank? How about the agencies who simply pass off a bad maid to the next employer as a "good transfer maid who didn't click with her ex-employer" just to earn more fees? The more the transfers the better the business, isn't it? Difficult as it may be to implement a balanced system, a blind one-sided system is still not the way to go. At the very minimum, a maid who breaches her contract of employment need to be made responsible for her own flight back home (transfers not allowed, return not allowed, etc.). This will ensure that they will think twice about going about funny businesses and ensure that we get to retain the good FTs (yes, truly good maids are as much a foreign TALENT as the foreign CEO). 

Agents should also be made responsible for the cost of replacements (no more 3 months guarantee only) so that they will think twice about passing on a bad maid to another employer. On the other side of the coin, the maids need better support system and channels of complaint/ help/ counselling/ etc. so that if there are possible cases of mistreatment or abuse (either by employers or agents), they have somewhere to turn to for help and these cases can also be caught early on.

Giesyl Ann Mangao Fernando: Well the maid will not break her contract if the employer will treat her well. Some employers may over used their power against the maid which made the maid think to break her contract. Be good to your helper and you will receive the same respect .

Yong Zhen Edith Chua: Untrue. Our maids always come in skinny and under-nourished, but go back to their hometowns (breached contracts or not) at least 5kg heavier. Not without stealing jewellery, money and other items 

Felix Clarice:  I treated my new maid well but she broke the contract after one and a half months. I won't elaborate but the agent was also angry with her.

Wang Zee: It needs two hand to clap..... Need to address the roots of the situation. Have employer reflect on themselve, are they really treating the helper well??? They thought they do, "giving constant nagging is an encouragement". How many have personally taken care of bedridden elderly.... Not many!!!! It is an uphill tasks, especially bathing and cleaning them. By enlarge, typical singaporean would do, many choose to hand this task by engaging a helper while standing around and give negative feedback.... U can only blame yourself if things are not done properly..... Nevertheless, does the amount paid commensurate with the responsibilities? Fundamentally, helper is an additional hand not a someone we off-load our responsibilities.... 

Angela Low Gek Luan: Ppl who never employ maid before said it easily, Y not try yr luck than come n give comment.

Linda Chan: do you know what are the four offences to begin with? My maid was caught harbouring the intent to bring stranger into my house. Do you think I should continue entertaining her until her contract ends, though it was only 3 months to it. Even if you don't know the entire story between me n my maid, it is still ok. The crux is those offences are serious enough for them to be repatriated at their own cost. What we are suggesting is to set deterrent so that it reduces the inconvenience or unfairness to us. Hope you are enlightened.

Evon Chi: How fair can our govt be? For any maid that break contract its the employer who has to bear evrything. Likewise if a contract is made between us and govt sector and if we break the contract, does the givt compensate us? Nope, in fact we have to fork out an amt to the govt, the employer. 
For maid who come here on loan, and we're talking abt 7-8mths no pay, who benefits frm this mths? The agency! 

When a maid requested to change, why is it that we have to continue to pay the levy? And the insurance refund is base on the datr that MOM discharge the maid which can take weeks to mths. By than, the insurance refund wld hve hit less than 50%. Is this been fair?

I once had a maid and ran away aft a mth. During this period MOM send me a ltr and said that maid work permit wld be delay as there is some discrepancy in the passport name. Thats when the maid ran away. It was bcos she had used a diff name to enter sg again. So in this case who's fault it is? Why am I paying the levy all the way till the day she was departed??

Doreen Lim: My maid wakes up at 6:30 (the earliest) during weekdays because I have to go to work and my son goes to school. Even then, she only wakes up about 20 mins after I switch on the light in the room. She goes to bed before 10:00 every night. She only has housework to do. No need to wash car, no young kids to look after. She's glued to her iPhone all the time. On Sat, she wakes up after 8:00 and goes to bed before 10:00. On Sundays (her off day), she's up exceptionally early to mop the floor and leaves home by 8:00 (latest 8:30) and comes home earliest by 9:30. I put up with her because to get a new maid will cost me 4-5K with no guarantee that she will be good. At least this one is honest.

May Low: first maid was with my family for 1.5years and she suddenly got pregnant, in a flurry, we sent her home and took 2nd maid(transfer maid), she work for us for 3 months and when her loan payment was up, suddenly announced that she wants to go home, meantime we allow her to go but told her we need her to stay until a new maid comes in, while waiting, she told us that she is unable to wait and will run away to Embassy(we understand from the maids that the Embassy will protect them even if they have not repaid their loans), 3rd maid come and worked 1 month and demanded to leave on same day citing the reason that my kids r naughty and she cannot stand them. Who can help us employers in such a case? We have to pay so much to get a new maid and the maid just leave as they like without finishing contract and we have to pay their airfare too.

Jeju Bear Bear: i can fully relate to the ST article. The maid i employed did not finish her contract and said she wanna go home, end up i had to pay for her air tix to repatriate her home and then fork out another thousand plus dollar to the agency to get another maid. I wrote to MOM to ask if it is reasonable that employers pay repatriation cost since it was the maid who breach contract & whether a review shd be done to current rules to protect employers too. MOM referred me to some section set out in the legislation and said i have to bear the cost. Efficient in responding to my query but did not really address what i m asking....

Lyn Edel: I just had a bad experience even with writing to mom to black list or give feedback is useless. Mom acknowledges feedback and says will inform prospective employer. Yet 1 month later she's out in sgp with a new employer. The law and policy only protect the maids. Our money, time lost and trust seems to be our own business or seen as a punishment to us for hiring help at home while we slog hard to bring home earnings

Dhiah Rahmat: I appreciated my agency, SMR. Recently, after 8 months working here with me, my maid requested to go home for two weeks. Prior to that, her family in Indonesia, constantly calling her to come home coz her mum was stricken with deadly diseases and was beyond hope. She cried and asked me to get her a flight ticket immediately. I was panicked but it left me with no choice. Consulted my agency. Coincidently, at that time, all airports in East Java were closed. My agency took her initiative to get the maid's sponsor there to investigate. Her mum is 200% well. The whole family faked the incident so that my maid will come home. After being told she would have to pay huge amount in the event she breaks her 2 year contract here, suddenly her mum told her not to come home.

Pauline Yeu: I believe there are some employers here who are lucky enough to get responsible maids that work diligently without causing much trouble. These people (and maybe some of those who never hire maids before) all agree that if the maid is unhappy working, it must be the employer's fault for not treating her well enough. So these will be the people who agree that employers must bear all the costs. 

On the hand, there are employers here (including myself) that can swear that we never once mistreated the maids we hire. But they probably compare us with their previous employers or their fellow friends' employers and finds that the grass is greener on the other side. So they started giving problems to annoy their employers, or just run away such that they can get a transfer (the greener grass). We trust them to take good care of our loved ones, only to be betrayed in the end. If only we are given superpowers to tell between the responsible from the irresponsible ones.

Ooi U Jen: The law protects them than us, making them irresponsible but us to bear all the costs. And is very unfair to us!!!

Mary Jane Cruz Aquino: Hiring a maid is depends on employer luck same goes on maid. 

Naz Spice: before d maids are even brought to Singapore, they would have been briefed by d agency & also by employer (in certain cases like mine) what is expected of them, how much is their salary & what r their working hours & job scope. In my case, in fact in most cases, they do know what is in store for then when they come. They come in with their eyes open & accept d conditions & agree. They agree to the 'terms' stipulated then after all d payment has been made for them by d employer, they want to bail out. That's not fair.

Rachel Lim Yan Xuan: The errant maid if put under investigation, will be at the cost of employer. As employer continues to pay the levy, a replacement is impossible. For a working couple, this is a force move. So the employer will rather transfer the errant maid. So after a while, the maids help one another to steal. They won't get into real trouble anyway. The Government should be more protective of citizens and workers instead.

Rachel Lim Yan Xuan: Remove the levy. The levy punishes the employer.
Remove the security bond we need to pay. 
Make the foreign worker be responsible for their actions. Punishing the employer financially serves no order of justice except to let the errant maid lalalah on a musical chair employment.

WIndran Neo Lay Teng: I've a very good maid and she has been working for me for 4 years already. She takes good care of my two kids and I make sure to let her know that I appreciate her through small acts of kindness like buying her favorite food when we dine out, giving her a small bonus at the year end and giving her a bigger ang bao during CNY for her help. For Hari Raya, I also give her a green packet too. For her birthday, I bought her a cake and present. We treat her as family. Nonetheless, I also feel that it's unfair when we give our maids off days and we do not know what they're up to. They're free to do what they want and beyond our control but when they get pregnant, we are expected to bear the blame and costs. How is this fair? But for now, I'm just trusting my helper and continuing to be nice to her.

Amu Dorai: If maids have the rights n protections.....as a employer I think government should look at the employers need too.....no matter how well we treat them they're always a back stabbers.

Fong Wong:  My Indonesian maid 's salary at $580 without off day, plus levy $120 , she was here for 1 year and asked to leave because of her family issue . We still have to pay for her air ticket . I also think we need not pay for their levy , air ticket if they the one who quitting . Maids need to pay for damages if they break things too . Some maids are very cruel to the disable elderly .

Tamil Selvi: Yes, employers need to be protected also. I have no issues with my maids as long as they do their work. Yet after 9 to 10 months later, they come up with reasons to go back. And the reasons are not genuine because they come back after 2 months to work for other employers. When you ask the agent, they simply say we have no choice because the maid wants to go back and they even warn us that if the maids go to their embassy, it's going to be a big big problem for the employers. Is this fair to us MOM? Please look into this matter. 

MOM has to be fair to all parties and not just maids who are taking advantage of this employment act. Maids have to honour their contract for 2 years and if they break the contract, they should not be allowed to work in singapore for 2years. This way, no matter what,besides genuine reasons,they will try and complete their contract. This is a win win situation for all. Help SINGAPOREANS first please! Not all foreign workers

Ranjini Das: This is something I would love to hear. Thk u. 
Very very true. Employers need more protection. Firstly a lot of us r hoping to c a more stringent law coming up on this one. They should only be allowed to leave on grounds of abuse, injury and improper safety measures n living conditions in that family. I've noticed a trend among FDWs who promise to fulfil their duties over the phone and yet so easily choose to leave or transfer within a week. Their reply would be 'nobody will force me to stay'. Now there is a limit to this human rights thingy n this lack of fear among FDWs is encouraged by our good ol' laws for FDWs. Agency fee+salary upfront+insurance+food+medical +utilities+LEVY. When you break a bond in a company one ends up having to pay rite? But in this case of FDWs y not eh? Our land is easy goin on them. They shud try doin this in places like Dubai.

Dhiah Rahmat: We need to voice out. We don't deny there are cruel employers but there are also mean maids. So a balance is needed. So for the time being, let us employers have our moments.

Zijun Lee: Have a "banned/blacklisted" list to deter them. 
Or simply, have a profile for each of them. Education, work experience, past employer comments etc. will help the employers to make a better decision, as well as encourage them to do their best, as employers will definitely pay more for those with good reviews/records etc.

Angie Seet: There Shld be penalties put in place for both employers n employees. Currently the employers bear the brunt of anything that happens. For example, when the FDW runs away, when the FDW breaches the contract, the employer still has to bear the cost of repatriation. I feel there Shld be an investigation. Find out who is at fault. If the employer was abusive, unreasonable, it's fine for them to bear the cost. But in some cases, the employer is clueless AND is penalized. Like when the FDW decides to break the contract, with reasons like I just want to go home. Granted it is difficult to wk in a foreign land but surely they would have been mentally prepared for that. 

When we go overseas to wk, we abide by the rules of the country, the same should apply to them. They should bear the cost of their own airfare back, for example.

Pauline Yeu: And if I'm a maid and I know I can choose my employers this way.. Then I just change and change and change until I get one that I like. Agency will be the happiest, cuz money just keep rolling in.

Hasnah Daeventz: The law now is very lop sided. Whatever happened to the maid, employer have to bear responsibilities. Especially when maid ran away with outstanding loan to maid agency. Employer has to pay the outstanding loan to maid agency, air tix for repatriation and more. No matter how much u appeal, no one listened!

Mareez Reyes: The case is just the same when an employer doesn't like her maid and send her back home without considering the amount the maid spent just to come here and work.Maid works for almost 24 hours,7 days a week,lucky if the employer have the heart to give her a day rest once a week or compensate the supposed to be off day.So,who is unfair?

Tham Mei Kuen: Agree to the article wholeheartedly. Many of us are at the mercy of the maids as result and sometimes thro no fault of us. They found it so easy to breach the contract as there is absolutely no penalty on their end. We have been victims of 2 such situations and some agencies are nonchalant about this As they stand to benefit when this happen.

Joey Tan: That is why employers don't want their maid to get every weekend off, stupid ppl who advocate the 4 times a month is being selfish

Jasmine Goy: I sent my dishonest maid home paying the air ticket so she will not be a trouble to other family . Less than 2 months she is in Singapore again.

Agnes Ling: those whose choose to come to work here should've known that they will be staying over at employers place and they should come mentally prepared and not come here complain and come up with lame excuses and nonsense in order to get off etc. I don't think I am a bad employer as I set a timetable for them everyday they only need to follow the timetable from 8am
to 10pm. My maid can rest at 10pm. I also give them afternoon nap of 1 hour. but they still complain.they are forever complaining and not contented. talking about working hours..ha..how about I give you $650 every
month and rest for whole day? so they will stop complaining? jokers here

Lucy Tantono: Case by case ...if the maid breaches the contract she should bear all the costs. So that the maid would not have alot of excuses....mother sick, son dun want go to school, grand father fall down. I always tell my maid" Are u a doctor if u go back u cant do anything?"

Angela Low Gek Luan: We do e cooking n she help to wash only, 9 plus she went to bed, spoilt my washing machine n dryer by over loading it , we use e dryer for bed sheet n towers, only hang some clothes out and when ask she said she need more time to rest  I work so much harder think she had a better life than me so upon wat she told me I sent her back to agent even when she just work not even 3 mths such a lazy maid I got.

Judith Yang: I had a maid who told me that she was here for a holiday and not really to work. She left after a week. I was obligated to send her back to the agency as she owed the agency money too, not to mention that everything including passport was still with them.

Mikhail Lim: There needs to be a balance between protecting the maid and protecting the employer. If a good maid ends up with a bad employer who exploits her, but she really is a good person with good ethic, she deserves another chance. But then again if a bad maid with a bad attitude works for a good employer who really can't stand her anymore, then she doesn't deserve that second chance. But it's not 100% clear cut nor easily assess-able which makes things troublesome.

Yong Zhen Edith Chua: My family has been employing domestic helpers for the past 30 years, and we have had a fair share of helpers with poor conduct and bad behaviour. We have had those who lied about their personal background (no kids when they do have), became pregnant during their period of employment with us etc. One snuck out to buy cigarettes and beer; puffing and boozing all day when no one is in the house, and still begs our family to let her go after a week of employment. Another one said that she had a brother who met with "a serious traffic accident" and had to return home, and "promised" that she will return after 2 weeks. Guess what, she didn't come back and we showed up at the airport for nothing. Her facebook account showed many pictures of her and her boyfriend. Others periodically stole money and other items. So much for trust. And, we always have had to pay for the replacement costs, and much more.

I want to know if anyone from the government who might read this might somehow empathise/understand when they read of cases such as mine, and hence come up with viable legislation to regulate the flow of foreigners working as DHs, instead of asking us how to solve this issue. You ministers/officials are being paid so much money, yet you are asking us how to do your job by suggesting ideas?

Don't mind me, I'm an impending university graduate, but here are my suggestions:
1. Blacklist those who attempt to manipulate the system or has had a record of deviant behaviour.

2. Ensure that the foreign agents who liaise with our Singapore-based ones are EQUALLY accountable for those who "run away" back to their countries of origin in an attempt to breach the contract, or for other matters such as impregnation, falsification, or theft. This can be done through monetary compensation towards the agency and/or employer.

3. When there is a breach of contract by the employee, she must be made legally accountable for this, since it IS a contract. There is a double standard when the employer has to pay for the damages caused by the other party, hence rendering the contract meaningless since the employee gets away scot-free. Perhaps MOM can look more into this.

Should the 2nd suggestion be implemented, there is no need for the employer to bear replacement costs, and that the application for a new FDH can be done with more ease.

Karen Francise Tey: What is the definition of a "contract"?? Whoever breaches the contract gets penalized.... Right? So where's the fairness when maids run away cos they misses their who who who or they r intimidated by the amount of household chores they have to do (which they have already been briefed before being employed) or they have some personal problems thereby causing the employers to have to (by no choice) fork out money to buy air tickets for them, re-pay agency fees (which is getting more n more heftily expensive nowadays), insurance n health check ups fees (again)... The law should protect both sides n not lop sided leaning towards the FDWs' side... Singapore law should protect Singaporeans no? Not implying that our law should be unfair to any parties but our law should be fair to ALL parties!!

Nina Hilmi: When Singaporean break the bond in the company, we have to pay back but Bloody Maid suka suka end the contract they are being treated like a Queen coz everything their employer have to settle for them!!! Book their flight! Pay their salary full month!! Send them to airport!!! F@#*!!!!

Josephine Thong: I used to hv 3 helpers ... 1st 2 still ok but the 3rd is ...... Seeing fr her look u know she's the kind n soft person .. So as employer,we hv to b very very soft spoken n teach her very very very patiently ... Then after all these been done suddenly she start packing her luggage in less then 2 mths n cry n cry n cry ... Ask her wat happened .. N all I get is silent ... So send her bk to agency .. She starts toking non stop with the agency ppl screaming at her ... Then ... I hv to pay her rtn tix n say bye bye .. Seriously untill today I still dunno wat happened to her when she left us sometimes 3yrs ago ... So.. MOM how can u tk care of me this way ?? Really hoh.. If we the citizens no need to pay so much for our housing loan n etc .. We really dun need a stranger in our home to help looking after our precious .. I've just got a new member in our hm 2mths ago .. N as a working mum I'm going bk to wrk soon .. How leh .. Mum too old to help so hv to gamble my precious with a stranger ... Haizzz ...

Terence Ngor Soo Sim: Totally agreed. Loop hole for all the maids. Nowsaday they are not stupid. They comes all the way to bully Singaporean, taking advantage of our system.

Aidah MrsRash: The best to comment here are for those with maids & if u're not then try not to comment to avoid unnecessary insensitiveness among us. Seriously, only those employers affected will feel it & will deeply think what's the best for both party (employers & maids). Any of them were to breach the contract, then they are the ones to face the penalty...that'll be fair. Govt to at least help employers to remove the levy so they can help employers who really have no choice but to get a maid to look after their kids when they're out to work. Plus, maid agencies to lower down their agency fee & no additional charge if employers were to return the maids and get a new replacement.

Nina Hilmi: Those wif no maid they can jolly well blame us !! Try to have one n u will see how long u can tahan wif their attitude problem!!!

San Shanmugam: Wow maid miss hubby can breach contract and go back! But employers got to get back to work daily, sometimes need to go back to clear work while on mc!

Sheryl Chong: I had bad experience with Filipino maid (I am not racist or bias). That was in 2009 when I first employed her from this agency: BEST HELPER MANAGEMENT PTE LTD (in Sun Plaza, currently the agency has shifted). When my husband went on leave during Dec, she has the cheek and guts to leave my two kids (then 9 and 4 years) HOME ALONE and tell my neigbhors that she needs to go make phone calls/sent letters (full of excuses) and DISAPPEAR without a trace!!! Had to file police report as she's still under my employment. To cut the long story short eventually the Philippines Embassy called us, agent went to pick up her, no remorse or apology. Best of all the agent expect us to take her BACK into our home again. When I asked the agent "If the maid is such a good worker then why no customer asked for her". She was then transferred to another employer and it was then that I found out prior to working for us she ran away too and she ran away from her employer after us. Such cases are rare but there is no measurements to prevent them.

Faryani Rashid: The ones exploiting us is not employee but rather agencies and governments..

Anna Marie Doe: There are good and bad employer so does the maid. So the law should set to have fair system for both party. We only saw employer are being mean to their maid, but does anybody see that maid are mean to the defenceless or handicapped employer family. Sometime, even the pet that was left to the maid's care are being abused. I know there are many employer who taking advantage of their maid and treated them like a slave, slogging nearly 24/7 without much food and sleep but there are also kind employer who give in so much to their maid and hoping the maid will treat their family well.

何玉莲: I only have one request. 
The repatriation cost should not be 100% employer's cost. This is to instill some responsibility on everybody. 

The bearing of repatriation cost should be borned by the person responsible for the wrong doing. 
Tis will b also reduced recycling of sub standard maids. 

Clear cut wrong doing would be something serious like getting pregnant, harsessmt from their lovers, cheating, lying, stealing.

Harsha Kaur: Yes goverment must do something to protect employers.I had same experience.my maid wants to go back after few days coz she is home sick.rubbish.we spent thousand of dollars to bring them here n wat we get? Home sick reasons ? Not acceptable! Protect maid interest is not enough.we employers also need to be protected.many maids thinking come sg to hv fun enjoy n if dont like can go back.they hv this thinking.goverment have to do sumthing.we need to be save for our side.for those who telling maid are working 10 15 hrs that is bullshit.they relax yoo.they hv their time too.they do watch tv.they do enjoy their meal.what we eat we give them same.for the 1 who abusing yes they deserved punishment.but what abt the 1 who taking care of them like their own family? Till now my maid go out with me..no 1 says she is a maid.all said..is she ur fren? So from here can see how we treat them.goverment must move to protect employers.enuf of protecting maids interest.I hv a filipino with me for 4 years.she is my fren now.a good caregiver.I would not call her maid.

Laleitha Ramah Samy: Maid runaway employer problem, terminate contract employer prob, maid pregnant employer prob.....how many things as an employer MOM want us to do. Give them off days/higher salary but at the end of the day they show us their buttocks... pls lah MOM officers wake up & give employers some privilage....employers are also wrking hard to pay the salary/levy...

Cookie Tan: MoM has not able to manage the FDW. Allowing agency to take advantage of reduced levy, implementing compulsory off day system, employer to bear all responsibility to a unknown human... All these items favor government! Nice to answer to other maid's countries, protect MoM and keep agency with businesses. Maid employer left with begging at their mercy. Since employers are paying levy, what does the government bears? Should the maid held some responsibility to their action, and MoM collect the payment from maid. For the agency, they should held responsibility for the work permit period on any runaway issue or early termination of contract. Why are agency making easy money and clear of all responsibilities and still make more money though out any processes; Hire, replace, repatriate, insurance, air ticket, hostel, meal & etc...

Angelin Lee: I think the maid should have at least some responsibility, like paying back a fixed amount of money back to the employer if they breach the contract

Amu Dorai: Maid should be made clear in any case if they were breach the contract they must pay for their return flight,Half the agency n can only leave after a replacement given....let's see after this any of the maids will dare to leave....agency should give a new replacement without any costs........it's not cheap getting a new maid.

Norriaty Amad: Yes we should have laws to cover us as an employer. I hv experience the same incident myself..

1. When she suddenly do not wish to continue, n want to be sent back to agent, we have to send as they noe, no liability on them only their agent loan will increase. While employers hv to think, who to take care of our children/elderly.. n hv to sacrifice our leave due to them n we can't claim the charges we incurred while finding alternative care

2. We hv to bear the new maid fees + insurance + all other charges involve....while the maid happily trying to find new employer at the agency with more lies to prospect employers

3. When we do not send them back they will make ur life miserable till u can't take it till u feel like abusing them.. making u loose ur patience n this lead to stress to employer

4. You will have to take leave to train the new maid which the leave shud be for quality time with family n we can't even claim that from the ex maid

6. Our young child will have to get use to the newer maid which will not be easy for parents to handle.. This again will cause stress to employer which the govt did not see.

7. When the new maid comes, cycle will start again unless we are lucky that she will stay long

HuiLin Heng: I m a Singaporean currently in HK and this is the system in HK. 
1) either party breaks contract, the party must give 1 mth notice or salary in lieu.
2) helper is allowed to stay here for extra 2 weeks to find new employer
3) employer bears airfare cost of sending helper back no matter who breaks contract.
4) employer also has to pay and annual leave not taken or Sundays and public holidays not taken even if helper is the one who breaks contract
5) helper can easily find another employer as there are so many desperate employers here
6) min wage here of hkd4010 or sgd655
7)helpers here are choosy. They want employers that work full time, older kids, smaller apartment etc etc. best if you are a western expat.
8) if they get pregnant or fall ill, we can't send them home but are obligated to take care of them till they go home on their own accord.

So which system is fairer?!

Tam Ah Hock: It has been long overdue to review the current terms that are lopsided. The employers are at the mercy of the troublesome maid. Provision of penalty must be in place such as a holding of salary at certain percentile from their monthly salary. The salary will be paid when they completed their contract terms.

Kristy Long: Moreover have to pay again for replacement. !!!

Esther Chia: Someone pls tag our 'generous' MP who fights for FW rights rgding this!!!! She ought to know our feelings! See how much damages is done after her unfair ruling! We want answers and solutions!

Han Rizq Zie: Nowadays maid want to work not really for money to help their family. They work to hv fun and just for the sake for getting out from their shell. We employer hv to bear the expensive agency fee. Some maid even lie their age just to get the job. If too young they set at 23 if too old they set at 29. pay the maid salary already high nowadays with days off they mixed ard with men get themselves into trouble and we employer bear all these consequences and the cost too. Having maid back in the 80s is much more better than now.

Clarissa Boo: Chris Laurence Lopez, are you sure that a maid works from 5am to 12 midnight??? You think the maids dunno their rights and allow you to take advantage of them??? I think you need to experience more rather than spending time reading unhelpful articles.

David Ckw: This system advocated by the association & supported by other groups incl the Authorities has no sense of differentiating of what is right & what is fairness to the employer .All the responsibilities go to the employer. The system sucks, & we are being taken advantage of because we need the maids for the houses

Peter Andrews: People in such situations don't break contracts without a reason and that reason is usually because of the unrealistic conditions employers subject their maids to! It doesn't take a genius to figure that out!

Eddie Goh: Make the agency that bring her in responsible and the embassy responsible too. Employer should be able to go to some mediation centre or tribunal to take action against the agency and embassy too

Naz Spice: I have pm-ed Halimah the link. And asked her to come up with another policy to protect d employers. Since she was d one who came up with d one - day off per week for maids, she shd also be a neutral party to protect d interests of d employers too. Let's see what she comes out with.

Sk Ong: Maid also bully employers and make false accusations!!! MOM should protect employers also ! Perhaps government should supply free cameras for employers also !! Protect both maid and employer !!

Happy Taurus: Maids and employeers are human...but some employeer only agree inside the agencies of the terms and condition but wen they get home they all change what have they signed...if u are a good employeer surely the maid wont run away or brech the contract...so please to the employers..we are human created by God equally and treat us with due respect bcoz if not for us ur house will be a big trash...we need also to a have a peace of mind even just for awhile...to enjoy ourselves..we are not here just to be easy-go-lucky ones..we are here to sacrifice and work hard...

Felix Clarice: Same thing happened to me. My mother had a stroke and I had to hire a qualified caregiver after we sent back the first one. The first one did not know how to handle a stroke patient. So we got a qualified caregiver and paid more for her salary. After one and a half months she broke her contract and we sent her back. Than I get warning letter from MOM. We treated the second one very good but she still wanted to go back. So who is at the losing end here? Off course the employer. These maids can request transfer anytime. But when we change maids we get warning letter. Is this fair or not? Employers must be protected too.

Michelle Low: I TOTALLY agree. Am facing with this issue now. In fact few times already. They just suddenly call it quits due to home sick. Then we employers have to bear ALL cost. Not very fair deal . Law shld also protect us.

JC Jasz Chan: Singapore is often a stepping stone for most domestic workers as they often wished to work in countries like Taiwan & Hong Kong but they don't accept domestic workers without experience.. So here they come work for 2 years or less then they cook up with all sorts of excuses to leave... My previous maid also stole money & some personal belongings by passing it to her friend through the window so we can't catch her red-handed.. Luckily for CCTV.. Sent her back n wrote a letter to MOM to deter her to be back here to steal her next employers possessions but I don't know if it works.

Suryakenchana Omar: While the employer and FDW suffers whichever way, the agencies still earn from both.

凤丽:  If possible i also don't want to get a maid to help but my i need someone at home with my parents when i work oversea .

Eddy Lau: If I can manage on my own, would not consider a maid. They create problems to your problems and not all are reliable and efficient. Even tho they are,as time goes by they pick up trick from somewhere to hanky panky.

Anthony Wong Swee Fung: Your plight is sad. Lucky you can find the money to solve your problems. Also what's the purpose for having a maid if she cannot be legally binding by law of contracts for liabilities and responsibilities?

SiongHuat Koh: I have a terrible experience recently.
I hired an Indonesia maid, after she works in my house for two weeks, she told me that she wants to go back to agent and look for new employer. The reason given by her is she doesn't want to look after young children. When we ask her why she accepted the job offer, because we did mentioned the job scope include looking after young children. She told us that she is persuaded by the agency in Indonesia to accept the job offer, so that she could look for a more ideal job when she is in Singapore.

I left with no choices but sent her back to the agency, but I still need to pay for her lodging fees and all the admin fees if I want to hiring a new maid because of the MOM law. I feel this is unfair to me, I tried went to CASE trust to complain, but 'Nothing could be done, because this is government law' is the result.

Connie Chew: This had been a long time issue... Finally ST brought it up. It is REALLY unfair to the employer when the maid breaches her contract... Employer have to pay again & also pay for the air-ticket if maid decided not to work for us... I hope maid agencies will bear all these costs since they are at fault for letting underage or untrained maid to work here.

Naz Spice: maids go gallivanting with their boyfriends on weekends n get pregnant, we r d ones victimised. So let's wait and see. But I just have this feeling that I'm going to wait long long for a reply & even longer for any changes to be made... Haiz!

Sk Ong: Maid agencies should be held responsible for lying about their maids profile!
Make employer pay and pay for mismatched maids. My agent keeps giving me only experienced maids which nobody wants! Each time choose new maid, wait few weeks then agent say cannot come etc etc and then make us pay each time changed mismatched maids! 2 maids came to my home for 'holiday'! Like stay in hotel only! $1.4 commission(agent)fees, plus change maid pay again placement fees! MOM and case should look into these practices of maid agencies and protect victims like us without a choice! Maid is not a luxury for us! Maids who worked for over 8 years in Indonesia are passed off as worked only 2 years in Indonesia! Be careful!! These maids manage employers and have plenty of tricks to fool innocent employers!!

Pauline Yang: The agent/agency that has brought the maid in should share responsibility with the employer for the entire period of the maid's 2 year contract in the event of an errant maid.

Raja Vassanthan: I have faced with similar problems with maids wanting to go back in 6 months stating family conditions like, son admitted in hospital, mother fell down and fractured her leg and so on. In most of these cases, the agency also is on the maid's side and when we ask for replacement they send a person with very less qualification. Then when we ask for a change, they charge us....this is very infair. Year 2012 an 2013 I had seen this happen to my family.

Sk Ong: Ya, levy should b removed and subsidies given to households who have no choice but to get maids! But government still make us pay levy even tho I'm main caregiver, unable to work as undergoing medical treatment for cancer!!!

Lee Kee Seng: To prevent mistreatment of workers, MOM should interview everyone of them every 3 months. After all, the government did collect worker's levy.

Bessie Liong: How about the insurance company that sells the coverage to the employers, loop in this cost of breaching of contract?

Advoco EA: Singapore Hiring a maid most importantly is Employer need to see themselves as a employer, Also have to learn how to manage them. Need to draw a line when she is over the line. Off cos is not a easy job to manage.. But it will learn alone the way.

Jimmy Wan: I think it's time for MOM to act. In the past, MOM find them vulnerable but now with the relevant a rules to protect them, it's time to have fairer game.

Mohd Luqman Abdullah: Employer should be given the right to withold part of their salary, as a deposit should the maid run away.

Agnes Ling: please la..they have timetable 8am to 10pm doesn't mean they have to work 8am to 10pm! timetable is to cater to keep routine in order.in between if she has nothing much to do or complete the chores I allow her to rest,watch tv or she has her own time! must I spell out everything so clear so that you will understand? it is people like you ang
mos that is spoiling the market. when they want this and that you all allow th.talking about human rights but must be wise! it is a two way respect but most of what I've seen is not.

雯芯: Maid bear the full cost. Teaching the "clever" maid to have a sense of responsibilities.

Clarence Lim Ho Leong: It should be break down all cost to agency, employee and employer whatever cost break down to 33% evenly so this will make every parties make the commitment. 

Maureen Gan: i agree, some maids are cocky and they find all sorts of excuses and creates lots of problems. As for the maids, they just pack up and go home, leaving the employer in the lurch. So, employers - be clear with your maids and reward and discipline accordingly so that they know what is right and wrong

Jing Wen: There seems no penalty on maids' side if they want to leave before completion of contract... We have treated her like family, but she will still miss home one day and suddenly asked to go home... In the end I think it's better to hire hourly worker to do cleaning...

Mui Mui Ang: The Agency is just a hideous as a Moneylender.... either way they make the most money... from the Employer and worst of all, from the job seeker!!!! Why is the Govt allowing this practice?

Yogo Mojoo: Once the maid is taken the agency is free from all liabilities.This is ridiculously wrong and no gov agencies or unions dare to act against this unfair practices.Why?

Val Soh: MOM collect monthly levy for the public to teach them what to do???

Tulip Says: I reckon the agency should be held accountable too. Maybe then a through evaluation of both employer and employee will be made. IMO a breach of contract should be borne by the employee unless of course there is proof of abuse and it's for the agent to investigate this. If a maid chooses to break her contract just because, why should the employer bear the cost? How does this ensure the employer is not taken advantage of by both the maid and the agent. Likewise if the employer breaks the contract, they bear the cost unless of course the agent did not do their due diligence prior to placement, then the agent has to bear the cost. If a maid has a bad record of staying with employers it's apparent she is not suited for the job. Send her home?

Rosnani Konali: Have a more detailed employment contract, one tt will list e usual potential breaches by either party n who will be liable - FDWs need to have e ability to bear their financial liabilities should they be responsible for breach of contract - so best to buffer such costs in their employment loans before even setting any employment in SG. After all, as employers, we are already undersigning such probable financial losses shld we breach contract 

Ralyn Llantejero Tenorio: Working as a foreign domestic workers needs a lot of patience and thats the first things my agent ask and told me. I finish my first contract and i learn a lot from them which makes me a strong and more patient fdw.

Mohammad Yusoff Bin Salleh: Its a very delicate situation, the only way to easy the burden on both the employer, who needs a maid and the maid who came were to work ,not knowing what 's instore for them (working enviroment ), i think the maid agencies should be held reponsible, the brought them here and should know them better. 
Any dispute, bring the case up at family court..

Maisie Chung: Prior to accepting the new maid, put her on trial for a month in order for us to evaluate her and decide thereupon to accept confirmation. From there we employers will bear the replacement cost but only half of it while another new employer bears half as well. Sounds fair?

Maisie Chung: u have a point but mostly, they are here to make a living so employers are paying them? Therefore they have no choice. Same logic goes to us employees working force we will never know how good our employer is until some time. The key point here is, making a living 

Ravi Nambiar: employer generally has more resources ($$) than the employee. take your time, choose one who you feel will be mutually beneficial. never, never, mistreat or disrespect a person. lay down the rules, read it and explain to yourself and your prospects, so there is no ambiguity. treat people as you want to be treated. it works well in the long run. some cultural , common sense is sometimes not so common. try to remember they raise your children or help your parents.

YangYan Zheng: i dont expect anything to be done. the foreigners with fake education backgrounds (is someone going to accuse me of having anti-foreigner agenda again? or faking news? oops) took stat boards long enough to catch. the issue of maids has been around for far longer and nothing has been done. 

Isabel Lim Shin Ping: i appreciate it if mom can do a survey or studies of maid retention after they allow helpers off in 2013. did having off give them more motivation to work and less problems to employers. thank you

Christabel Koh: Recently, I had to return helper to Agent as she was employed to look after my grandchild but found to be v dirty and unhygienic. 
I needed a replacement maid as there wasnt anyone at home to take care of him so after getting one, i sent off this first helper. More than a week after, I was told by the Agent that I must ensure the first maid is employed by certain cutoff date which is about three weeks or else the MOM will penalise me for having two maids. I was appalled and afraid . Wonder what is the reason behind this and shouldnt the MOM ubdestand why before they just fine the employer. Also lost agent fees and have to pay daily $18 to feed the maid if she is not employed upto max 30 days. If you add up it costs employer alit of money. Mind it if there is a choice I won't want any. How can seek appeal?

Janeshtha Vaswani: Maid should not be allowed to come back again if they fail to complete their contract. My last maid did not complete her contract and was sent back to her home country. In less than 2 weeks she found her way back to Singapore In a new job. Also those that fail to complete the contract should pay for their own repatriation back. Many maids keep changing employers for lousy 10-20 dollar increments within the contract period because they keep in close touch with their agencies.

Ralyn Llantejero Tenorio: Not all fdw loves day off. In my case i just takes one off to send money for my kids then go home. Whenever i leave the house i keep on thinking my undone work so i go home immediately. I keep on thinking about the kids i take care if they eat already, take a bath etc........

Liew Serene: Hopefully, one of d upcoming Our SIN Conversation covers this topic that has significant impact on working motherS
Have been voicing out domestic helpers' issues for more than 10yrs lo
It's stil d same.... Nop, it got worse, frankly...

Zeenath Nisha: I feel its not fair for the employer to bear if they are not in fault 
If this employer don't give job then this maid has no job to earn
before coming to work here the maid should think twice all about their difficulties and how to over come it
nother come here then give headache to employers

Lynx Ng: We can set up a board that handles each case, hearing from employers, maids and also the agencies.

Initial costs should always be borne by the agency, who have to prove they did their due diligence to provide proper matching.

Fines paid by the offenders can be used to sustain the board, and also fund awareness and education programs.

Adelina Lim Wui Heng: That will never happen. Government will say" you hire them it's your baby"

Timothy Tan: What does the insurance covers? If the maid walk out on you... If she fallen ill and needs to be hospitalize. It should be on both party. Does these maids covered for themselves if something happen to them so that their families back home has something to fall on. Our bosses has to buys insurance for their staffs if they are working at a high rick environment. The government needs to do something are this. Not just collecting taxes.

Jonathan Lee: Maybe the government should step in as the main provider of maids. Also take over the management of the foreigners quarters. Security wise and with its endless resource will be good for everyone 

Dominic Lim: The first fault lies with the foreign agent that recruit them. 
Some of them came from up up country where there are no tar roads no tiles at home no washing machine no soaps or washing powder no ironing etc etc. To them in any modern living house even if no cleaning for a month is still clean to them! 
So what ya all expect lol

Lee Fernandez Barnacha: how if the employer break the countract of her maid too are they willing to pay also the rest of the months or yr for her countract, lots of employer sent back home there maid without any notice is tha being fair also, thts way there is agency in between to handle the prob. both parties

Karen Moke: Depending on the breach, basically if the fault lies with the maid's side like leaving without informing or abusing the ones at home, then the fault lies with the maids. Agency should be the one compensating the one who have hired the maid home. Why not? This is because the agent is the middlemen between both parties. Further, they are responsible in sourcing of good and reliable helpers.

Sheryl Chong: Karen, most agents don't compensate and they don't provide reliable bio data because there is no way of verifying. Sources said the maids can bribe the village head in falsifying their ages and other information. Not such if you remember the case where the maid killed the elderly lady in Serangoon Gardens when she just worked with the family for a couple of months. When the investigation team went to the maid's home town and that is where the investigation team digged the information about her true age. Most agents these days are just wanting to make a quick buck. So far of so many agents I employed the maids, I only have ONE reliable agent!!!!!

Ernest Khor: If the problem is so serious set aside manpower to apportion costs to extent maid is herself to blame

Extracted comments from Facebook maid's page:
Indhay Marzskie Magbanua: they must follow like the hk rule if the mployer not happy with the maid..the mployer will terminate the maid and pay for one month salary...
based of my xperience here in singapore and i have a lot heared story between.mployer and the maid..if the maid cant get along with the employer and the maid ask for change employer instead they allowed the maid to transfer they will send back to the home country.. is it the right thing to do to ur maid? why the employer dont have pity on the maid...why they didnt think that the maid spend so much money to just come here to work...in the end if they not happy they will send back the maid...

Joy Neis Vallejos: hi marlin. thats what exactly im thinking now. how the M.O.M . can help us regarding that matter.. i was send back home before with my employer coz i dont want to renew my with her. so what she did wad send me back home when she knew about my financial issues. she just want to get even with me. employer just want "revenge" thats why they sending their maid back home. coz they knew how hard it is to get back here and we need to spend more money again.. they just want us suffer for not renewing our contract with them. they are heartless and unreasonable. i hope the M.O
M. will look to this matter.

June Tan: May I ask what happens say maid just completed 9 months here. ( just finish the loan a week ago), then says she want to go home cos mother is sick, then who pays? As an employer, I have to fork out SGD 600 extra to agent for the extras ( agent's fee and insurance) . Agent says my maid must pay for ticket.

Lynn B. Nillo: Mr tan, my agent last time 2002, it pay them for 6 months salary deduction after that every month they deducted again $100 in 5 month, i ask they agency why they told me that if incase i cant finish my contract with them and i want to go back to my country for my own reason they used to by my plane ticket so, im not realy sure about it,if she want to go back home for own reason she will for it,unless you want to help her sir...

Linda Tay: Maid pregnant.. outside fool around with man.. employer also must pay for air ticket? Place put yourself in employer shoes, will u pay?

Paul Chuah: The employer does NOT set the employment law for their helpers. They are to abide by the employment law of Singapore.
The agent does NOT set the employment law for the domestic helpers and the employers. For posing to be the authority, they can be charged in court.
Kindly inform all the helpers that NO employer or agent shall act on behalf of the authority of the Ministry of Manpower.

Alex Tan: Maid pregnant pay for her trip back? Might as well pay for her hospital bills too.

Paul Chuah: Matters regarding repatriating of domestic helpers are to be referred to MOM should there be doubt. No employer or agency shall take the Law into their own hands. Any disputes are to be settled at MOM.
Any agency or employer or domestic helper found flouting the law must be reported to MOM.

Cathy Domingo: Maids should be repatriated on their country of origin...thank you for sharing!for that we've learnt our rights.

Paul Chuah: Foreign workers have to abide by the laws too. Any disagreements must be settled and handled in a proper way. No one shall take the law into their own hands. Neither the employer nor the employee. regardless of whether one is a Work Permit holder or S/ E pass holder.

Zul Wdlnds: So if the maid breaks any rule like getting pregnant... Too stupid to learn... Too lazy to work... Fuck boyfriend in their employers home etc etc they will get a fee ticket home? How great...

FB Maid: employers Kanya Ramesh most of the time, the FDW is cheated to bear the cost of the flight back home, but it is against the law. You are right that not all situations covered by MOM, but the website talk about the cost of repatriation to bear by employer, 

Ain Rain Far: I reckon that since there are laws to protect FDWs, there must be laws to protect employers as well. If an employer treats you well enough, and you still want to leave due to whatever personal reasons without finishing your contract, then the employer should be able to sue you. What do you think? Would that be fair? Cos you didnt hold up to your end of the contract? Just saying this could be a possible scenario if FDWs expect a ticket home without valid reasons to not complete their contracts.

FB Maid: employers Sure can sue. Can get money is don't know.
I wrote truth. And it is also true that more maids get bad deal compared to employers.

Ain Rain Far: I see where you are coming from. But if you could word this post better, what you are trying to convey to the other ladies will be more effective. 

Saying things like "no need to talk so much, it's a simple rule, getting pregnant and bringing boyfriends home" are very misleading. To me, it sounds like u are saying; hey it's okay if you jeopardize your own rice bowl, you'll get a ticket home anyways. And at the same time you are singing to the tune of how your sisters loan alot of money to come here to work. This contradicts your mission. 

When you are trying to be informative, and share important knowledge with the ladies, it's better to leave emotions out. Though i can understand and often hear the disappointments and frustrations with the stories where the others are get mistreated. Which is understandable.

Boparai Shubh: i am also going back my home country after 11 month in my contract now my employer should pay my air ticket ?? plz rply soon....

Lyn Alerta: mine will cancelled since i dont renew my contract even they always ask me to sign again another 2 years and my.boss dont sign my release paper too and exit malaysia..so no choice going back philippines and apply again haizt some employers selfish no heart and cant understand at all  (Winter: place of repatriation is your source country, not any place you want)

Princess Jean Arayan: It depends by the situation.if the housemaid doesn' t want to work and wanted to go home to the origin country,the worker is obliged to pay for the ticket.but some matter if the worker is maltreated,sick,and its out of her hands that she meet an accidents,the second party must help the first party to return the said housemaid in the country
Yes it was written in your contract if the worker finish the contract the employer must pay for the plane ticket going back to its country of origin.

Melissa Austria: What if the maid only works for 8 months but want to transfer to another employer... is this legal.. if the employer agreed to let go of the maid is it possible the employer will send back main to her country even if she dont want to go back..can someone advise

Edwin Calda Afenir: What if the maid work only for 2 months and decided to go back home due to homesick, how much will she pay to the agency or employer. Pls help need advise very badly (Winter:  See what I mean by claiming homesick and hoping for repatriation - free ticket home and expecting employer to bear her loan.  Such FDWs are getting common but MOM is not doing anything to stop princess maids/poor working attitude FDWs from stepping into Spore.  Such maids are not punished.  Just like what FB maid commented, can sue FDW for breaking contract but will she pay you?)

Rita Tjahjadi: I got a transfer maid and after 4 mths said she wants to go hm as she has completed her loan. I was dumbfounded as I paid over $1K of agent's fee to hire her and she only cared abt her side of the loan! Then I found the real reason for her to working abroad. She was upset by her Husband's infidelity in Taiwan where he's working currently and wanted a "revenge" by being a rebel and working abroad. I've been kind to her and grant all her whims and fancy like getting her Hp and then off days when our initial contract clearly stated that she has none. In this case, shld she bear the air tix home? Shld she bear the agt's fee partially too? Pls comments. ..thks!

Can you bargain and offer your FDW a better pay package so that she stays with you?  
Of course you can, that is what she wants!  But how many counter-offers are you prepared to give?

Can you refuse a transfer and repatriate your FDW who intentionally broke contract?
Yes you can.  
It is actually cheaper and better to send FDW home then placing her at agency's boarding house.  When FDW is not physically working for you, you, as an employer is liable for her as well as her daily costs incurred at her agency... till the day her new employer is approved.  If maid gets hurt, you pay! If maid still has outstanding loan, kiss good-bye if you can afford to lose that sum of money.   After allowing my ex-maids to be transferred, I realised it didn't end my fears/worries instantly.  The best 'cure' is to terminate FDW and let her fly home (repatriation- one way ticket to international airport of source country).  Once she leaves airport immigration gate, you're free, that FDW is none of your business! 

FDWs and activists felt you're cruel to send FDW home and not giving her a chance to be recycled - transfer to another employer at your risk. At the end of the day, who may cause you more miseries and losses?  Your kind heart may turn out to be your nightmare.  Some maids simply cannot be trusted to behave and act responsibly.  You surely can't imagine my fears when M, my Indonesian maid was waiting to be transferred, with outstanding loan and her bad working attitude.  It was a relief that agency managed to 'sell her out'.  What I got back was really miserable because agency deducted a lot of admin fee and lodging costs.  By the way, from M's employment history, I noticed she had another transfer after she was transferred out from my house.

If you failed to retain your maid, does that mean you're a bad employer?  
If you've treated your employee, the FDW as per the MOM/AEAS/CASE/Agency standard contract, given her salary on time, let her have at least 8 hours continuous daily rest, allowed her to use her mobile phone, gave her 3 main meals, decent accommodation and off days ... not overloaded or exploited, I must say you're not that bad.  If FDW is trying to ask or hint for at least 30% or 40% pay increment then I see no point in giving in.  By giving in, you mean she'll be satisfied and will complete her 2-year contract?  My ex-maid J hinted a 40% increment, it was a lot, not an acceptable progressive pay hike.  My ex-maid J was recruited at $340 per month. Based on her good performance, I increased to $400 (about 20%) after she joined for only one year.  Before the end of her 2-year contract, we've agreed on a pay increment but she not only played me out, she complained to MOM that she was short-changed (thought she's entitled to a private room) and I forced her to work in a house with CCTV!  I realised she wanted a 40% pay increment based on $400.  If she had the patient to work another year, I would have given her a progressive pay increment, her dream salary based on her consistent good work performance. I try to match market rate although not stated in the employment contract that I must revise salary for an immatured 2-year contract.

What I'm trying to say in this post is that maid can leave you, terminate that good-for-nothing agency contract without any penalty.  Maid can even cook up stories like homesick, father/mother passed away, she's unable to take care of children/elderly, etc or simply runaway.  If she has loan, you can get the agency to find a replacement provided you're able to wait 1 to 2 months.  If you can't wait (not all employers have the luxury to sit at home for 1 to 2 months), then the maid loan is not transferable.  Your agency will deduct whatever nots and give you back a miserable amount.  The ±S$1000 agency fee is non-refundable.  The training and recruitment time is wasted.  Maid and agency has no losses.  It is a sure win tactic for them.

When maids want out, who pays? The New Paper, 2 Mar 2014

Manpower Ministry figures show that only 42 per cent of maids placed by agencies between February 2011 and 2013 stayed with the same employer for at least a year.

Some employers tell us about the quitters:
Ms Choo Sing Nian, 39, who needed help to look after her 80-year-old father, was left in a limbo when her Indonesian maid decided to quit out of the blue. She has to cough up another lump sum to hire another maid.

Then, a civil servant and his wife have had to deal with bad debt after their maid left abruptly without repaying her loan.

Said Ms Choo: “I am a single working-class person trying to make ends meet and taking care of my aged parents at the same time. Why must I fork out a few thousand dollars each time a maid wants to go back before her contract ends?"

Maids tell us why they stay.
One is grateful that her employer has been very good to her and has paid her hospital bills.
Another says she can't leave because she needs to send money to support her family and give her daughter private schooling.

In Ground Zero, heartlanders ponder why there is not more protection for employers too.

Evon Chiang: Some helpers act like employers, if we do have a choice no one wants a stranger to stay at home as well. Helpers complaining about their work but sometimes they need to ask themselves what they do when the employers are no at home the whole day. MOM interview the helpers when they first come and embark into the employers home....anyone interview the employers after 3-4 months on the helper's performance?

Joyce Sun:  I don't agree that a maid quits just because she is being mistreated. I have known of a lot who chose to quit at their whim and fancy or because they want higher pay elsewhere. Not all employers mistreat their maids.

Roger Choo C K: These days, maid quits after getting to know of a better job and pay. Usually from the tips and knowledge shared to them by their own natives working in some cushy office jobs.

To qualify for such cushy jobs is not a problem when they have landed into our shores. All they need is to produce some certificate like a "degree" or a "diploma". Once they are confirm to get that cushy job, they quit or dishonor their contracts.

And so what if they dishonor their contracts? What cha gonna do employers? Maids these days quitted are not because of abuse from employers, but it's because, our government are opening plenty of others job opportunities for their kind or their nationalities.
It's that simple.

Dhay Joy: Maid is human!!!

So if u treat your maid like animal who like to stay longer for this kind of emp.
Think about it!!!!

Aine Wong: I have changed 2 Philippines maid. One has no interests working. Spent 6 months teaching her and with special guidance from my folks to look after my baby, the lady cannot cook, clean and make milk for my baby. It's either too cold or not hot. Plus, she break things and putting it back on the shelf as though it's fine. The other one cheated us on the 1st day she came. After working for a month, she went to the Philippines embassy. She wrote an apology letter told us she has no intention working here and she do not want to pay her loan. Told us her girlfriend taught her to go to the embassy, they will help her, house her and send her home. For both cases, I have to pay additional $2k to change maid. The agency is all out to earn your money everytime you change a maid.

Illa Rahmad: Paying a maid not cheap. Bond during their stay will be fair. Many times employer do not want them to end before contract.

Winter:  It all boils down to modern FDWs placed fun and personal pleasure as top priority.  They have been paid for a job as FDW but in their hearts, off days (Sundays especially), usage of mobile phones, find boyfriends, get sexual pleasure etc are their real desires.  These means maids have no heart to work.  If she can afford to pay agency 1 to 2 month salary to search for an angel employer to please her, she is not poor, she is rich and need not take up a 'dirty/low class job' as maid.

Any employer who is willing to please his/her maid, giving in to FDW with the excuse "She's human, maid needs a break, she should have friends including bedmates"... blah blah ... I must say you are spoiling the domestic maid market and giving FDWs reasons to be bad, underperformed yet demanding a high LIVE-IN salary (about $1500 per maid per month).  Our low income earners don't get $500 as take home pay so why FDWs are enjoying good live-in employment terms and still complaining they are underpaid?.

Not every employer are like you, don't really need a maid* as helper,  probably you need a companion and thus, unable to generate enough household chores for her during the day.  You are the kind of people who jerked up FDW's demand and salary causing those who really needed FDWs as Helpers to be at the mercy of maids, agencies and embassies.  I have wrote in to MOM, hoping people who are rich or do not need FDW as a necessity (helper) to be taxed higher.  By making you pay more and take on more responsibilities, I hope you'll think whether maid is really necessary in your household.  Obviously, most of you can survive or work full-time without a maid.  You hired FDW because she is too cheap and you felt to employ maid is a form of subsidy that you cannot miss.  Some employers, especially expats, felt maids are a form of entitlement, cannot miss such a 'boat', they must ride on it to have joy.

*companion/persons who don’t really need a FDW

I know a manager, single, career minded woman, abled body, no children and living in a HDB flat. Her parents have passed away and she spent part of her salary for holidays, almost every half yearly. At the time of knowing her, this manager intended to sell her HDB unit and buy a condo. Employing a maid takes up only about 5% of the manager’s salary.

Her Indo maid is like a companion. Maid’s main duties are to make healthy breakfast and dinner as well as carry out some chores. This FDW has plenty of personal time during the day. This FDW is supposed to stay home and not go out during the absence of her employer but one day, her employer who wasn’t feeling well, found her FDW has left the house without her permission. She sat at home for almost 3 hours before her maid returned from shopping. She didn’t ring the maid to scream “where the hell are you?”. Although this manager is angry but Indo maid wasn’t fired because she couldn’t find any other chores to let maid kill time effectively.

This is a real life example of maid is just a companion and employer doesn’t really need a full-time FDW. To employ a maid, it is just an extra mouth, doesn't really cost a lot. If this maid is being fired, it is not a hassle to find a replacement. This manager can afford the time and recruitment costs. Manager need not worry the time wasted to re-train (chores are simple) or waiting time (1 to 2 months) for a fresh and suitable maid to arrive. Unlike full-time working parents, if maid has to go, these parents have to take annual or no pay leave to look after their own children as well as do maid hunting cum give adequate training … by themselves, own costs, own time and inconvenience.

Facebook maids have commented on the topic of who pays when a maid wants to terminate her contract.  The New Paper

Xhennz Li • Sorry to hear ur story.. and yes there are some maids who has been ill - treated in singapore.. but do u noe how good life a maid is in sg??
As a Singaporean having a 5 to 6 hours sleep is consider heaven.. why? Because of our long working hours.. but yet a maid must have 8 hours of sleep a day..
And we pay SG$2000 to SG$3000 to get a maid into the house to help us.. Every month plus levy we have to pay about SG$1000.. yet how much do we earn? SG$2.5k? SG3k?
When the maid doesn't do her job well we have to clean up the shit ourselves yet we are not allow to deduct the maid's salary..
When the maid wants to go back to her country er have to fork out a few hundred dollars for her air ticket and another SG$2k to SG$3k to get another new maid.. is this fair?
We Singaporeans are human too.. We have our family to feed too.. check out how much does a meal cost and the transportation in singapore.. do you think it's fair for us??

Malik • I'm sorry that your mum went through this. All the same, Singaporeans have to survive too. We can't afford to pay for everything. What protection does an employer have against an errant maid? None whatsoever.

Blame your government for your situation. Forcing your mum to work as a maid.

Steve Low • I think you should check what your government have done for you first, before blaming others and their government.

Kim • I think many maids are ill treated, however, they are also a lot that were treated well. I live in Thailand and most of my maids were from Myanmar. Most of them worked for me many years Regardless of where they come from, some people are good and some are not, they come to work overseas with only one purpose, to get better salary so they or their family can live a better life in Myanmar. There is nothing wrong with this, but to say they come here not because of money is totally not true. This is the same for people here to go to the Western countries or advanced countried because of higher pay. To go to another country was never easy and one needs to accept that before making that move. Nobody wants to leave their comfort zone if they are not forced to. So we should all accept that.

Some of the this "who pays" things may be because of misunderstanding. One should look at it case by case. After i paid for my maid to do her passport, her permit, her physical check up and she left telling me went home for a month to visit family. She never called or come back. This is a common experience with most people having foreign maids. I am no exception. May be some of us are not good employers but some of us are.

Lisa  Malik • Maid get 10 years to clear their debts but hey average singaporeans take a lifetime to clear their debts. Maid can have options not come to Singapore to work but why they still come because here is paying better than what they have at their own country. They can choose not to come.

Taufik • Yeah who pays? Why can't be the Maid. You want the job u finish ur contract and loan.Singaporean isn't inhuman so what happen to those maids abused our Singaporeans people? Easy for you to say.
We are already have so much problem and u people causing enough trouble for us. We need to work and is it fair if you choose to to go back as and when u like, and We still pays? U kidding me or what? I just find your story is unacceptable and its not a funny matter. We hv already pay upfront for u. then your loan only takes ups, 5mths and cleared. The best as a maid job is so easy. But still. Foreign domestic worker still give us STRESS.
Be sure of your clear instinct of Maid in Singapore.

Good income doesn't come so easily.
And our currency are strong and when u go back your village turns to a Palace.  Unreasonable fellow

Meteor • I'm sorry for your situation, but please don't overgeneralise Singaporeans. There are the poor here too, our cost of living differs. Not all women or mothers here have their heads in the clouds. Our "rich"ness can be only in statistics. The rich are very rich, the poor can be very poor. Our people are humans too. Try to see us as that, and also think in our pov.

Facebook maids have commented on the topic of "Who pays when a maid wants to terminate her contract"

Jeff Pang:  Hi Tinza. Thank you for taking the time for a reply. I would like to make it clear that I am sympathetic with the foreign workers. I understand your position very well, and I also recognise that there is much more improvement needed in Singapore and our people.

That said, I have a few disagreements with some of what you said.
Firstly, regarding your response to maids bringing men back to the employer's home. Your justification is that the fall in Love, and even rebutted that the bosses are not police of morality when pointed out that some of the maids are already married women; My question to you then is how can you cheapen Love as a justification for bringing men home, even if we were not to judge morality, isn't it very clear that no one should not bring strangers to someone else house without permission let alone engaging in sexual activities? What I perceive is that by doing so is a blatant act of disrespect and malice if not a criminal one. Love is far from a justification of such acts.

Secondly, By mixing biases with dishonesty is disingenuous. Biases are a person's believes that could be wrong but not out of malice but natural disposition borne out of misinformation and the human's cognitive functions, whereas dishonesty is a blatant intentional act to deceive. An honest person is also subjected to prejudices. By saying otherwise, you condemn all humanity to be liars.

Thirdly, you painted the relationship between maid and employer to be an economic exchange [quote: work for wages - but please don't add in tears, anguish and blood to the maid's deliverables.] but yet your article starts with deriding an economic question "who pays when a maid breaks her contractual obligations". You seem to want to gave the cake and eat it too.

Lastly, I sense anti-Singapore sentiments from this page. In another post with a picture of an abused maid in Hong Kong (I am uncertain if you have wrote it). It was used to criticise Singapore. Yes, Singapore has it's fair share of abuses but that doesn't mean that the author should specifically pick on Singapore and to draw a baseless conclusion that because Hong Kong has more regulation than Singapore hence Singapore must has to have worse abuses. If that is so, then like you have implied that Singapore is not the only country for the maids to find employment [quote: just as any maid who goes to Hong Kong, the Middle East and parts of Europe also has a way out of debt], I would say that if Singapore is that deplorable, perhaps Hong Kong will be a better place for them and we will make do with maids from other nationalities.

Otherwise, I fully agree with your viewpoints on levy, and that employers need to be more empathetic and treat maids fairly and humanely. And please do not take this as an attack on the rights of foreign workers.

Jeff Pang: HI Tinza. Once again I thank you for taking time for a response.

I do not disagree with your take on people falling "madly in love", but I think you might have difference emphasis when talking about this. My point isn't to prohibit maids from their freedom, but more emphasis that bring people to your employers home is absolutely wrong no matter how you justify it. I am not brushing aside that there is a responsibility for employers to educate and advice maids not to bring men home, but by not doing so doesn't mean that the burden of blame shifts to the employer. It doesn't sound fair to me and I believe the first step is to recognise it is a problem and it is wrong before we can take the next step rather than justifying it, even if the justification sounds good.

from your response to Cotton Marsh, I think the point we are making are not all that different, save the fact that in my personal opinion, if the maid brings a men to the employer's home and carry out sexual acts, it is a issue of morality where it is the composition of "sex" AT "employer's home". If it were somewhere else then the morality issue shouldn't arise.

But I also know that some employers treats their maids like children where they feel the need to police their behaviour, but whether this is out of genuine concern differs from employer to employer. I have friends who are genuinely concern that their maids get cheated by other men, and also whether this act of mothering your maid is acceptable is up for debate.

Thank you for understanding my viewpoint. And I promise to help in the small ways I can. But hopefully this page can also attempt to paint a more balance picture of Singapore, and share not only horror stories but also heart warming ones like how some of these maids leave Singapore with good experiences (which I know happens frequently as close friends and family share their own personal experiences)

Faith Teo: As many have commented before me, there are two sides to the story. Some, like commenter Janet Giles, would like to tar the whole of Singapore with the same wildly discriminatory brush ( ven though, of course, the ONE employer she cited was from Hong Kong). There are definitely horrible employers in Sg, just like there are all over the world, who shock and disgust us Singaporeans. But there are also many of us, the majority, whose helpers who unfailingly get their days off, hand phones (sometimes given by employers) that they can use at any time, extra money for extra work done, comfortable bedrooms to themselves, and so forth.

Definitely, most helpers here are earning a living for their families back home, making sacrifices and nursing heartaches that we can never really understand. But not all. I had a helper who came with one suitcase and left after 7 months with 10 more bags of clothes, shoes, bags and bikinis she'd bought for herself. Not to mention a huge tattoo on her leg because her boyfriend here wanted it. She wanted to leave because keeping a 2 bedroom apartment for 2 adults and a child was "too much work", and yet I paid for her to stay in sg for another month while she searched for a new employer. I was her 8th employer in 3 years.

I know this is irrelevant to the original article on government policies, but I'm just so sick and tired of people who think they know all Singaporeans just because they stayed a few years. Singaporeans are not one person, just as I'm certain not all expats are rude, simple minded and disrespectful troublemakers.

Yong Chao Ng: I don't really agree with this article - yes SG govt collect tax or make lousy rules - but with regards to the news article that was publish last weekend - it was a question if the domestic helper decide to quit after 10 months - how/what can the employer do? As much as we want to give the basic protection to domestic helpers - can we also ensure the employer is being protected?

Angeline Leong: Not all maids are abused as mentioned by the author. Yes we know they are leaving their country and family to work because they have no choice and not because they want to. I treat my maid with dignity and love. She has been with us almost 9 years and if not for her philandering husband and the fact the her son needs her, she will still want to work for me for a long time. She has her own mobile and can call anyone she wishes. She gets her days off. We do not scold her and we treat her as part of the family. She eats what we eat and is in bed by 9.30 pm. We pay her every month without fail and she gets paid a full month even when she goes home on holiday. She is a human being and deserves to be treated with respect. So NOT every maid in Singapore is mistreated. She has many wonderful stories to tell her family and friends whenever she returns home every 2 years, not stories of abuse or mistreatment.

Winter:  MOM and activists are still living in stone age.  Over protective and naive.  There are more and more FDW-princesses and FDW-playgirls but do they care?  Have MOM and activists thought of the miseries caused by cheaters? Gave FDW weekly Sundays off but employers ended up facing more and more termination of contracts.  The money (can be $2000 to $4000 lost per FDW) and time we spent to train are non-refundable or transferable.  Yes, maid can job hop for greener pasture but shouldn't she pay compensation for working with the mentality of LIES?  You like a liar as a friend, colleague or your employee?

Knowing the job is unsuitable, FDW purposely agreed and made employer paid her agency fee, loan, insurance, levy, etc ....AND THEN GAVE EXCUSE THE TERMS STATED IN THE CONTRACT WERE INHUMAN!  I am sure important terms of employment such as handphone and off days are indicated ... so why lie?  Nobody wants to employ you, nobody like a demanding princess-maid.   You lied and cheated in order to secure an overseas job. YOU made a person and his/her family suffered because of your lies, is this fair?  
So who should pay when a maid wants to leave stating ridiculous excuse ... of course the culprits, not employers who have paid for your living expenses and what nots!  Why employers always get the blame and losses ... the losers?  Why MOM and maid agencies are the forever winners?

Not happy with the jobscope or harsh terms, stay in your home country.  Who gave you the rights to come here and cheat?  Nobody forced you to board the plane to Spore or step into our houses.  

Did MInistry of Manpower, Singapore gave FDWs the power to LIE and behave like princesses?  

Work is work, do properly.  When time to rest, rest well, mingle with your friends but don't sleep with men and bring headaches to your employers.  Your work permit issued is meant for FDWs not prostitutes or playgirls.  

You cannot swallow your pride and accept the jobscope as FDW, DON"T step into our houses!  If you feel you'll die or wither without men, find a job as prostitutes.  Otherwise, stay home with your man in your home country.  Lying and pretend able to work as FDW and then tell people you need men is wrong.  You want a decent salary (much higher then the professionals/fresh graduates in your home country), behave like a decent human and reap the good fruit of your labour.  
Don't wane and complain about something that you knew it is part of being a Foreign Domestic Worker ie Maid in Spore.  All these are openly stated, not hidden.  You are not blind nor deaf.

5 maids in 5 years

Mr Rizal is left with a debt of about $2,700 - out of the original $3,600 that their 5th maid had borrowed to work here. He has little hope of recovering this amount now. A check with several maid agencies reveals that maid insurance covers workplace injuries and hospitalisation, not the loan should the maid default. The couple have applied to hire their next maid. When she comes, they will have to fork out a lump sum again and take on responsibility for her loan.

"It's really not fair, but what I can do? We really need help to look after the kids because their grandparents don't live with us," says Mr Rizal.

The maids, all from Indonesia, were hired to keep house and look after two young children. All broke their contracts after a few months. The first and third maids went home because they became ill. The second maid went home as "she was caught canvassing the neighbourhood, asking residents and shopkeepers for money," Mr Rizal tells The New Paper on Sunday.

Winter:  Where's employer's basic protection?  
MOM is making employers become ATM machines and expected us to bear all the costs, responsibilities although employers are clearly not at fault.  We're at the mercy of maids, agencies and MOM.  
Hiring a maid is a necessity but who is there to help us fight for our rights and protect our interest?

Last June, I hired a domestic helper from Indonesia to look after my 80-year-old disabled father.

For the past eight months, we were happy with her and were told by the maid agency that she had no complaints about us.  However, two weeks ago, she suddenly requested to call home.

After a chat with her "friend", she said she had to return home as one of her children was sick.  Given her insistence, we had to let her go even though it was in breach of her contract.

I was left facing the problem of finding a replacement maid and, among other issues, having to fork out another few thousand dollars to pay for the new maid's agency loan.

I fully agree that the welfare of foreign domestic workers must be protected and kudos to the Government for doing a lot to protect the maids' interests.

But what about the employers' interests? Currently, there is no law to protect the employers when a maid breaches a contract through no fault of the employer.

A contract is signed between the agency, maid and employer, yet what purpose does it serve when a maid can just give seven days' notice to quit, citing any reason and without any penalty against the maid nor the agency?

The employer still has to bear all the costs, including paying the agency's fee and insurance, each time a new maid is hired within the two-year contract.

What can the Government or authorities do to protect maid employers in such situations?

Choo Sing Nian (Ms)

Ms Choo Sing Nian's predicament after her maid terminated her contract prematurely highlights the need for better protection of employers ("Employers of maids also need protection"; Monday).

It is also a problem for employers in other sectors when the terms of termination of work contracts are vague and not effectively communicated to employees.  The Government can help by approving written contracts that are drafted by the employers for their maids.

In Hong Kong, the immigration department allows the employer or the maid to terminate the contract prematurely by "giving not less than one month's notice in writing". This allows sufficient time for employers to look for suitable replacements.

Also, employers are currently required to pay the airfares for maids who end their contracts prematurely. This requirement should be done away with, to protect the employers' interest.

Often, it is not the fault of employers when their maids leave prematurely.  If the Government is willing to take in feedback from maid employers, it can work towards improving measures to protect them.

Ada Chan Siew Foen (Ms)

Maid agencies shouldn't take easy way out,  Straits Times Forum, 1 Mar 2014

When an employment contract is drawn up between the employer and the prospective domestic helper, both sides ought to know the terms before signing on the dotted line. Hence, I am surprised that more maids are changing employers when they are not given Sundays off.

If the maids decide to accept the condition that they will be paid in lieu of a day off, then both parties must honour this agreement.  In the event that the maid demands a day off, and requests a transfer when this demand is not met, then this is tantamount to breach of contract.

Employment agencies need to make it clear to the maids, at the point of recruitment, that they will be repatriated if they breach any terms they had previously agreed to.  Agencies should not take the easy way out and agree to the transfer demands of maids.

I urge the Ministry of Manpower to ensure that employers are not unnecessarily held to ransom by their maids. It should make it mandatory for all employment agencies to take this approach, so that we do not see any more cases of unreasonable transfer requests.

Rajasegaran Ramasamy

My husband and I are in our 80s and, like Ms Choo Sing Nian ("Employers of maids also need protection"; Monday), have been at the mercy of employment agencies and their maids.

My husband is a wheelchair user who is unable to talk or take care of himself. I have made it a point to explain in detail the duties expected of our maid. I have interviewed prospective helpers and have even brought in trainers to show the maids how to move a disabled person.

Despite these efforts, we have had to put up with maids who come and go - and the staggering costs associated with this.  Invariably, the maids say they want the job and understand the demands, then begin to complain.

One borrowed money from other maids and, rather than repay it, wept and said her parent had died and she had to leave. I discovered the truth only when her friends started calling to demand repayment.  Another maid developed a "backache" and said she had to leave. Yet another claimed to have three years of experience working with wheelchair users, but asked to leave after three months.

We live on my husband's pension and each time these maids renege on their contracts, we are stuck with another set of agency fees and insurance charges.

The contracts we sign offer no guarantees and do not protect employers. Also, as it is impossible to get a replacement maid within a week, I have had to incur the additional expense of hiring hourly paid nurses.

Our current system protects the rights of maids but neglects their employers. More equitable contracts need to be introduced to give recourse to employers each time their maids break their contracts.

Maurine Patricia Fernando (Mrs)

Maid contracts: Ageing employers need to be protected, Straits Times Forum, 3 Mar 2014
I could not agree more with Mr Rajasegaran Ramasamy ("Maid agencies shouldn't take easy way out"; last Saturday).

Two years ago, I had a maid who did not complete her contract and wanted to go home. I had no choice but to release her and pay for her airfare.  Then, last December, another maid of mine requested days off after working for me for a year, although she had agreed to accept pay in lieu of rest days when she signed her contract. I then assured her of a pay rise and days off when she renewed her contract.

Shortly after that, she told me her mother was dying of cancer and her family wanted her to go home. Although she did not complete her contract, I had to pay for her airfare home.  Then, last month, I found out she had returned to Singapore to work for another family.

On both occasions, I had to pay the maid agency fees again as the contracts were ended after the one-year "guarantee period".  Ageing employers need to be protected against such practices, otherwise their hard-earned Central Provident Fund savings will be eroded.

No matter how well you treat your maids, the sticking points are often money and days off.

Amanda Choo (Ms)

Employers often left to repay maids' loans, Straits Times, 4 Mar 2014

As an employer of maids for close to 25 years, I have encountered all sorts of maids and their excuses for ending their contracts prematurely.  Employers are often held to ransom by their maids, who do not understand what it means to break their contracts.

It is easy to call for agencies to warn their maids that they will be repatriated if they break their contracts, but who pays the maid's undischarged loan of about $3,000? Who will help the employer if the maid suddenly has a change of heart and wants to return home before the loan has been repaid?

Often, employers are left to repay the maids' loans or fight the agencies to recover all or part of the loans advanced by the employers.

Lee Pai Ping (Madam)

Have penalty clause for maids who breach contracts, Straits Times Forum, 14 Mar 2014
My mother faced a situation similar to that of Ms Choo Sing Nian.  About two and a half years ago, she hired a domestic helper from Myanmar through a maid agency.

The maid was fully aware that she was not supposed to get pregnant during her two-year contract. She revealed to my mother, after she started working, only that she had a boyfriend to whom she planned to get married.

About a month into the contract, my mother noticed that the maid looked very pale, so she asked the maid if she was pregnant. The maid replied she did not know.  My mother sent the maid to a doctor for a check-up the next day and it was confirmed that she was indeed pregnant.

My mother then informed the maid agency, which to our shock, advised my mother to let the maid work until she was about six months pregnant. My mother rejected this as she did not want to risk the maid having a miscarriage while working.  My mother had no choice but to send the maid back to Myanmar. She had to pay for the air ticket, the fees for finding a replacement and the cost of hiring a new maid.

On another occasion, we had a maid who went on home leave to the Philippines and then sent us a last-minute notice via an SMS message that she was not going to come back due to "family commitments".

I agree with Ms Ada Chan Siew Foen that the Government can help by approving written contracts that are drafted by the employers for their maids ("Some ways to better protect maid employers"; Feb 27).  For example, employers can put a penalty clause in the contract as a safeguard against maids who deliberately break the terms.  This would certainly make the maids aware that they are signing a binding contract and to think twice before breaking it.

Li Dan Yue (Ms)

What our pro-maid MOM says.... not any fair words or sympathies what Employers went thur nor the losses incurred by maid who lied to get a job or cook up stories to leave a job - employer not at fault.  By serving notice is enough?  Will that outgoing maid do a good job while serving her termination notice?  Can you trust her to be 'loitering your house', handle your children/elderly and expose to risks and more inconvenience?

Flexibility of early contract termination applies to both employers and FDWs, The Straits Times, 27 February 2014 

We refer to Ms Choo Sing Nian’s letter (“Employers of maids also need protection”; 24 Feb).
We appreciate the pains that employers go through when needing to replace a valued employee, whether of foreign domestic workers (FDW) or local hires. These difficulties are compounded in a domestic setting, particularly when working couples depend on their FDWs to look after their children or their elderly family members.

However, we wish to clarify that the termination of an employment contract is not a breach of contract if sufficient notice or pay-in-lieu of notice is given. Given that either contracting party may need to terminate the contract early for unanticipated reasons, employment contracts typically provide for such flexibility through termination clauses. This flexibility is important for both employers and employees. Some employers and employees have exercised this termination clause before contract expiry and it is not in breach of the contract.

While there may be unforeseen circumstances by either party that result in the need to terminate a contract early, we encourage potential FDW employers to select both their employment agency and potential hires with care. Employers can access information on all employment agencies’ track records and the employment history of all FDWs who have worked in Singapore on the Ministry of Manpower’s website and Work Permit Online Application system, respectively. Employment agencies are also required to provide prospective employers with the FDW’s employment history.

More money, less hassle for agents of transfer maids, The Straits Times, 20 Mar 2014

In recent years, the high turnover rate of maids has spurred the opening of agencies specialising in transfer maids. Such agencies have sprouted up in Coronation Plaza (pictured) and Lucky Plaza, which are known in the industry as “transfer-maid hubs”.

When a maid asks for a transfer, it spells inconvenience and cost for the employer.  But for the maid agent, it can mean more agency fees from a new employer, and more commission from the maid for finding her a new boss - all without the hassle of going abroad to recruit.

This high turnover of maids here - between February 2011 and last year, only slightly more than four in 10 maids stayed with the same employer for at least a year - was highlighted in a letter which ran in The Straits Times Forum pages last month.

It drew a flurry of online comments from employers, who said maids cite anything from family problems to being unhappy with their current employer, or wanting a weekly day off - to cut short the standard two-year contract.

Some also believe agents may not be doing enough to persuade maids to stay. Air stewardess Shirley Lee, 39, whose Filipino maid quit after three months, said: "Why would an agent want to help the maids solve their issues with employers if they can earn good profits when she transfers?"

Agents admit that working with transfer maids involves less hassle since they are already here. But agents still earn as much as the usual $600 to $800 they get for a new maid.  "There isn't enough incentive to persuade a maid to continue working for her employer instead of transferring," said an agent who declined to be named.

In recent years, the high turnover rate has even spurred the opening of agencies specialising in transfer maids.  Such agencies have sprouted up in Coronation Plaza and Lucky Plaza, which are known in the industry as "transfer-maid hubs".

Industry players said these specialist agencies can earn over $1,000 for each worker. The money comes from the lower operating costs, since they do not travel overseas, and also from charging employers extra for the benefit of interviewing the maids in person.  However, these agents said claims of easy money are wrong. Transfer maids tend to be more demanding since their experience is valued by employers. There have also been cases of employers hiring transfer maids directly after being introduced to them.

"So agents don't get to earn any money at all," said Averise maid agency owner M.K. Leo, who places both transfer maids and those starting fresh.  The transfer maid situation here is in marked contrast to that in Hong Kong. Agents there said over 60 per cent of maids complete their two-year contracts.

Maids there are deterred from changing bosses because each transfer takes two months and this means a loss of income. They earn over $650, compared to the market rate of $450 in Singapore, and pay lower placement fees.  Indonesian embassy counsellor Sukmo Yuwono, who is in charge of the welfare of maids here from his country, said the high turnover rate can be improved by matching maids with suitable employers. "Some maids are not told that they have to clean a big house with pets. So they get a shock and give up."

Maids are also more educated these days and ready to stand up for themselves. Said Orange Employment agency owner Shirley Ng: "Maids these days are less likely to keep quiet and just work. They will ask for a transfer if they do not get a day off."

A 29-year-old Filipino maid, who wanted to be identified only as Matat, is waiting for a new employer after her previous one did not accede to her request.  "I need to go to church and meet my friends on Sunday. It is something I must have."

Clamp down on maid transfer market, The Straits Times, 21 Mar 2014

Employers of maids and, sometimes, maid agencies are at the losing end ("More money, less hassle for agents of transfer maids"; Tuesday).

Recently, my family hired a Filipino maid to replace our previous one, who left after completing her contract.  We interviewed the new maid twice over the phone and told her about the duties expected of her. She could clearly understand what we said as she asked several follow-up questions and assured us that she was willing to work for us.

However, after barely two weeks with us, she asked to be sent back to her agency.  She told the agency she did not want to work for us anymore and demanded a transfer. Clearly, she was cherry-picking employers and wanted easier duties.  There was little we could do. We had given the maid a loan to pay the placement fee. We also paid a huge sum to the agency to bring her to Singapore.

To ensure that we got our refund for the loan and for the agency to find us a replacement maid, we had to allow the transfer.  The agency had few choices too. Since it had to refund us and cover the cost of the replacement maid, it had to ensure the maid continued working to pay off her loan. If she was sent home, the agency would suffer a loss.

My situation is not unique. A check on online forums will show that this is a common tactic used by maids.  The law needs to be strengthened to protect employers.  The practice of getting employers to give loans to maids to cover their placement fees should be banned.

Also, transfers should not be allowed unless the maid completes her contract or has to terminate it due to extenuating circumstances, such as the death of an elderly person she is hired to care for.  Clamping down on the transfer market would encourage both employers and maids to work things out and fulfil their obligations to each other.

Ong Chin Meng

Limit the number of transfers for maids, The Straits Times/AsiaOne, 27 Mar 2014

Why would a maid come to our shores to seek employment, after incurring a huge debt that will take months to repay, yet terminate her contract after a short period?  One would think she needs the work badly and will do all she can to keep her job. But for some maids, this logic does not apply.

A few months ago, I checked up on maid agencies on the Net and in shopping centres, while helping my in-laws to look for a helper.  I came across many transfer maids who refused jobs that involved caring for elderly folk, or if there were adults at home in the daytime. Some refused to work for anyone other than expatriates.

Some of these maids had been in Singapore for only a few months; others had changed employers a few times within 1½ years.  A good employer-employee relationship does not happen overnight. As with any relationship, it takes time to establish rapport and build trust.

Above all, both parties have to make it work.  Perhaps it is time to consider putting a cap on the number of times a maid can switch employers within a certain period. Exceeding that limit will result in the maid losing her work permit and being sent home.

Grace Chua Siew Hwee (Madam)

Employers, maids must be honest with each other, The Straits Times, 27 Mar 2014

While there are laws to protect the interests and rights of maids, there needs to be careful discussion on whether the Government can play a more proactive role in protecting their employers, especially senior citizens.

Domestic helpers' biodata, containing information on their skills, work experience and willingness to perform certain caregiving duties, have been known to be unreliable.  There have been reports of underage maids securing employment here after falsifying their documents.  The emotional and psychological state of these maids is a real concern that all maid agents have to address.

Indonesian Embassy counsellor Sukmo Yuwono is right to say that the high turnover rate of maids in Singapore can be lowered by matching them with suitable employers.

A thorough and transparent job description (for example, having to care for elderly folk or babies) and the type of workplace should be communicated, both verbally and in writing, to maids seeking employment in Singapore.

Ada Chan Siew Foen (Ms)

Dealing with a new generation of maids, The Straits Times, 18 Mar 2014 

Better pay, a day off every week, and even free access to Wi-Fi – the demands of foreign maids today are a far cry from when Singapore first opened its doors to them some three decades ago.

While an impoverished situation in their home country and a strong Singapore dollar remain the main push and pull factors, maids from the Philippines, Indonesia and even Cambodia now also want an enriching time for themselves while working here.

But while their needs are changing, some Singapore employers seem to be stuck in the past. This puts them in conflict with maids asking for better employment terms and more personal freedom.  The result has been more maids terminating standard two-year contracts early and changing employers.

According to figures from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), close to six in 10 maids placed by agencies between February 2011 and February last year stayed with the same employer for less than a year.  Singapore agents and maids – there are more than 214,500 here now compared with fewer than 100,000 three decades ago – say it is time for employers here to change their mindsets.

The increasing level of education of maids – most have completed secondary education compared with just primary school 30 years ago – means they are more aware of their rights, and are ready to push for them.  A law providing rest days for maids came into effect on Jan 1 last year. All maids hired or who have their work permits renewed from that date must receive a day off each week, or pay in lieu.

Maids whom The Straits Times spoke to described how much they looked forward to Sundays, when they can socialise with their friends and take a breather.  They admit that when bosses are not willing to offer them rest days, they prefer to look for a more accommodating employer.

Yet, many employers still prefer to pay extra money rather than allow their maids to work on their weekly rest days. Employers have to shell out about $70 a month, on top of the basic pay of about $450, to get maids to work on rest days. Many employers with elderly family members or young children will pay extra, as they find it hard to cope without their maid’s help.

But employers can start off by negotiating with their maids for a monthly day off instead of a weekly one. Or, if the maids are needed on weekends, a day off on weekdays can be offered instead.

Some employers also worry that maids will fall into bad company on their days off and run away, putting them at risk of losing the $5,000 security bond.  But maids say employers do not have to worry about runaways if they are treated well.

Some even express disappointment that their employers do not trust them enough even after working for them for years.  “My employer thinks I will meet bad friends when I go out. But why would I want to find trouble? I am here to work and earn money,” said 32-year-old Indonesian Purwati, who was given a monthly day off only after working for four years.

Another point of contention is Internet access. Some employers see it as a distraction, and will not share their home’s Wi-Fi password with their maids.  Many maids own smartphones and spend up to $50 a month out of their own pockets to top up their pre-paid cards. But a recent Straits Times report showed more and more foreign workers rely on online means to keep in touch with friends and family at home.

Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is also known as “Twitter city”, thanks to the proliferation of mobile phones.  Some agents interviewed say they know of maids who will give up their days off in exchange for free Internet access.

They suggest that employers can first observe their maids’ work attitude for a few months. If the maids are responsible, employers can offer them the home’s Wi-Fi password as a gesture of appreciation.  Given that most maids do not complete their two-year contracts, the reality is that employers have to contend with domestic workers who request for a change of employers.

In this employment climate, agents suggest that employers protect themselves by scrutinising their contracts, and by going for reputable agencies.  Cheap agency fees of as low as $300 may be tempting, but some agents note that low agency fees just mean the agents are recouping the placement fee from the maids themselves – and this can be as high as $4,000.

This means a longer repayment period for maids, and some can go for as long as eight months without any of their monthly salary of about $450 ending up in their own pockets.  These maids can get discouraged and end up quitting.

Another reason employers should be careful about engaging agents who charge low fees is because they often do not offer a refund on the placement fee.  This charge is usually paid upfront by employers on behalf of the maid if she decides to terminate her contract during the loan repayment period.

In short, employers must go through the terms and fine print of the service contracts with their agents to protect themselves.  But beyond safeguarding their own interests, employers should also consider how they can make working in Singapore more enjoyable for their maids.

A balance has to be struck between employers’ expectations and the needs of their maids.

Otherwise, more maids will break their contracts, while employers end up paying more money to hire new ones and train them.

Winter:  If MOM has a good heart for working women or families who depend on maids, MOM should implement maids cannot transfer 2 or more times within 2 years, I think it would help in at least in shortlisting a serious domestic worker.  But in cases like the person the maid is caring for has passed away, she was abused (with medical report and photo), she can have an additional transfer on top of the cap.  Totally no transfer .... I'm in trouble because I prefer to see the maid in person and she can view my house/child  Also, by putting a maximum transfer cap, it will make maid agencies do better job matching and not keep looking forward to transferring maids for easy profits.  To avoid employer firing maids for no valid reason, a task list/job scope and employer's requirements (eg no 24/7 mobile usage) have to be attached to the contract so that both parties know what went wrong.  If counselling or chances were given, they should be indicated with dates.  Somebody must have played a bigger part to cause the contract to be soured, either employer too picky (out of the listed job scope), maid untrainable, didn't get at least 8 hours daily rest, lied repeatedly, too playgirl, etc.  Employer, FDW and agency have to be honest.  A good relationship is built on trust and honesty.

MOM should ensure maids coming to Spore are seriously interested in the job offers and work scope highlighted.  Her skills have to be the truth, eg take care of baby, children, elderly, cooking, speaks and understands simple (nursery standard English), etc with ratings of NA, Bad, Average, Good or Proficient.  

Nothing 100% bullet proof but MOM can do its best to minimise our losses and bring in fairness.  Employers paid agencies money for their services so did FDWs.  All I want is a good helper.  What maid wants is a nice employer but if FDW is too demanding (wants wifi, lots of freedom, etc) and lied, she has to be punished.  Maids who want to transfer for frivolous reasons should be discouraged, eg, the current employer is ok but the maid simply wants to work in a small family/no children/no grandma/nobody at home during the day/expatriate boss/all Sundays and public holidays off/no infant/must eat fish or meat every meal/must have particular brand toiletries, coffee/not too much work because plan to get pregnant or hook on Facebook/no curfew hours/private room, etc.

Currently, a lot FDWs will just agreed to anything to land in Spore with the intention to get an easy transfer. If employer refused a transfer, she just need to act lunatic, lazy, forgetful, mishandle your child or destroy things until employer finds it too damaging/tormenting and give up.   In short, you can't stop a maid from leaving.  MOM can do something but reluctant.


  1. As employers, we have paid and agreed to a given contract, and it is upsetting when it is breached.If maids want better conditions, then it is up to them to rally their agencies to give it to them, or they should've mentioned it BEFORE we signed the contracts. Also, when the maid can do less work than we can, then it is definitely troubling. A small minority of maids (helpers) do get their personal rights violated while in Singapore.However, a LARGE MAJORITY of them are just village girls with a very strong notion of personal rights, and a very weak grasp of the concept of responsibility. All they see is the money, and the rampant consumerism that seduces them (my own helper had an iPhone that cost 2-3x her monthly pay, especially since there was no line), and also the lust that comes about when fell.
    w foreign workers take to the streets on weekends.

    Unless maids learn to be responsible, employers shouldn't have to be responsible for their mistakes. Hence if the maid wants out, employers definitely shouldn't have to pay.

  2. A lot of issues about maid. Actually and I am very sure , if the employer is good enough and with no malice and no crazy kind of mind the maid will eventually work for you for a very long time. To tell the truth, only few employers have this good kind of attitude towards their maids. More favor to maids is all I can suggest. Because firstly, you are notonly paying her services but you also abusing her mentally and emotionally.

    1. If you are so kind, you should educate maids don't come to Spore to enjoy life. How many Sporeans don't need to work under stress? Born with a golden spoon! Why maids can have such a great life and kept forgetting to deliver good services?

      Quote yours "you are notonly paying her services but you also abusing her mentally and emotionally" You felt the terms are so infavourable, yet many stupids maids came to work?

    2. Talk craps, I also can.
      You've not managed any FDW and insanely accusing employers of abusing maids. If maids are so delicate, don't work in Spore, stay home! Breakables are for display, could be expensive yet useless, like modern maids. Employers need helpers to work, certainly not interested to employ princesses. If you like to employ lazy, fragile and pampered women, you take the lead. I am sure nobody here likes fake goody goody like you, preach and preach but cannot do what you preached. Blog owner should just delete your comment.

    3. I won't be deleting comment, once a while I keep to let readers know how hard it is to get saint-wolf skin people to be understanding, look at the truth ie we are really not that bad. Employers can also be abused mentally and emotionally by maids and activists.

      It is not easy to manage FDW. Modern FDWs are here to work less, play hard and enjoy life at our expenses.. all thanks to activists' brainwashing. Quite a lot of people got the mentality employers owe maids good lives. They failed to reflect and assess the FDWs' actual value - her contribution vs what Employer paid and invested (time/training). We can spread useful ideas, experiences and skills to people who are sympathetic but in the end, spontaneity is vital only if there aren't so many hard nuts to crack.

      We still have a tough journey to defend ourselves and our loved ones from unscrupulous agents, underperform FDWs, greedy source countries and activist-jerks..... not forgetting our pro-maid MOM.

  3. I am having issues with my maid. Instead of changing I want to ask our good Government in which way they can help us where I am a SINGAPOREAN AND I NEED HELP IN SINGAPORE.... every time the helpers ran away from home for small issues and we are paying and paying to the Government even though its not our mistake. They ran to you and you support them and where do we go to for help? We are not planting money at home to keep paying.... We are working to earn that money. So why are not given the importance as an employer? We pay salary, pay for their lodging and even look into their needs.. what other things to do? Feed them food? Shower them? In which ever way we need to give in? We employers are helpless when it comes to the domestic workers... How is our Government going to help us???????

  4. f the maid decides to break her contract, are there laws to protect the employer? The authorities should come up with a fairer employment contract, with the aim of protecting maid employers from being caught in a jam when their maid chooses to break the two-year contract.
    Law is not fair.Surprising but true

  5. my maid after 8 months plus announced she wants go home cos sister need help. i bought her air ticket and send her home. What I cannot understand is why she go back with 2 month pay after working so hard for 9 months-paying off the 7 months loans?
    so sad . I offer 1 month bonus, give her 1 week leave to come back and even ask her what reduced working hours she wants. Maybe she wants transfer to continue working with another family, we will give good resume.
    she never told me why even though i ask a hundred time.


This blog is not meant for screw-lose activists or loans. My blog aims to gather all FDWs' news scattered everywhere, become a one-stop site for mentally & financially bullied FDWs' employer to beware and learn. Don't pollute this blog with your pro-maid, insensible and selfish comments! Activists posting here are BLIND IDIOTS, IRRITATING freaks and deliberately showing no RESPECT for others... robbing our only breathing space.