2 May 2019

Maid agency

Special Needs.2
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Agency fined $78k after posting insensitive ads of maids online, Straits Times, 1 May 2019
An employment agency posted insensitive advertisements online, portraying maids who had been hired as being "sold".

SRC Recruitment was the first firm to plead guilty to posting insensitive advertisements, breaching regulations laid out by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in its Employment Agency Licence Conditions.

SRC Recruitment was fined $78,000 yesterday after pleading guilty in March to 45 charges, including posting the advertisements that cast foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in an undignified light. Another 99 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The company had also been given notice that its licence would be revoked, the ministry said in a statement yesterday.  The advertisements, which appeared on online marketplace Carousell, gave the impression that maids were commodities that could be bought.

For instance, the posts contained a price column and when a maid was selected, the advertisement would indicate below her photograph that she had been "sold".

Employment agencies (EAs) have to operate according to alerts that MOM sends out regularly to them.  The agency's employee Erleena Mohd Ali, 41, had uploaded the insensitive advertisements that cast the maids in an undignified light.

The ministry sent out the alerts on three occasions: July 16, 2014; Nov 18, 2016; and Feb 2 last year.  In mid-August last year, the agency's employee Erleena Mohd Ali, 41, set up a Carousell account under the profile name "maid.recruitment" which was linked to her work e-mail address.

"The purpose of setting up the account was to post the biodata of the available Indonesian FDWs for potential employers to view,'' Ms Vala said.  Erleena sought and got the permission of the company's key appointment holder Koh Seng Yeow to post on Carousell. Her posts cast the maids "in a manner akin to commodity that could be bought and sold", Ms Vala said.  She was fined $20,000 last year and no longer works for the firm.

The court heard that SRC Recruitment had also failed to ensure its full name and licence number were displayed on its Carousell posts.

The requirement is a necessary safeguard against unlicensed employment agencies, said Ms Vala.  Yesterday, Commissioner for Employment Agencies Kevin Teoh said the ministry does not condone any offensive and insensitive advertising methods that portray FDWs in a negative light.

"We remind all EAs of the need to uphold professional standards when discharging their duties,'' he said, or they risk losing their licence.

Lift veil of secrecy over fees maids pay in home countries, Straits Times, 3 Nov 2016
While itemised bills for maid agency fees may offer some transparency, they do not solve the problem of overcharging by agents ("More transparency urged in agency fees for maids"; Sunday).  This is because a large part of the fees comes from placement or loan amounts that are charged in the source country.

Already, all maid agencies in Singapore are tabulating and providing breakdowns for fees charged, as part of their due diligence.  If the problem is to be solved, there need to be discussions with stakeholders in source countries.

Domestic workers come to our shores with hefty loans they have taken up at home to pay for their passage here.  Many of them do not even know the amount they owe their agents at home, as these agents do not usually give official breakdowns of the amount they collect from the foreign domestic workers.

The workers are also not able to make their agents accountable for the amount paid.  In view of this secrecy, domestic helpers can be better protected if the authorities in the source countries mandate a cap on the fees payable by domestic workers to the agents in the source countries.

However, we understand this is easier said than done. The issue cannot be resolved unilaterally.  

For the time being, the relevant associations and agencies here may want to consider working with their stakeholders in the source countries to put in place best practices to ensure that the fees charged are fair and the amount made public.

Seah Seng Choon

Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training

More transparency urged in agency fees for maids, Straits Times, 30 Oct 2016
Some employment agencies that recruit and place maids here charge them and their employers fees without specifying what exactly the fees cover.  Two migrant worker groups are calling for greater transparency through the used of itemised bills, saying that it can go some way towards preventing overcharging.

The Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) said yesterday that it has been working with employment agency associations on a template of itemised bills, and proposed that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) include transparency among criteria for its future grading scheme for employment agencies.

Separately, Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) is recommending, in a report being released this week, that Singapore should consider making it mandatory for employers, maids and agents both here and in the source country to sign a document setting out itemised expenses during recruitment and the terms for paying them. Maids should produce this document when applying for a work visa.

The non-governmental organisation found that while maids' placement fees have dropped in recent years, they usually still have almost five months of pay deducted to pay off the fees.

The researchers found that such salary deductions have fallen from an average of 7.2 months for women arriving in Singapore in 2010, to 4.7 months for those arriving last year.

The TWC2 report details the findings of a survey conducted in January and February of more than 230 maids from the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh.  In 2011, the MOM introduced a rule limiting the placement fees employment agencies can charge to a maximum of two months of a worker's salary.

Recruiters in the maids' home countries are also subject to local rules on such fees, which are about $650 in the Philippines and $1,400 in Indonesia, the report said.

But the survey found that more than 60 per cent of women who came from the Philippines in 2014 or later and more than 40 per cent of those who came from Indonesia were still over-paying. Myanmar workers surveyed tended to pay the most - an average of $2,721. Filipinas and Indonesian workers paid $2,231 and $2,476 on average respectively.

Meanwhile the CDE, which is run by the National Trades Union Congress, said it found through speaking with embassies, agencies and recruiters that the overall cost of recruiting a maid from Indonesia is normally about $3,800 to $5,800. This includes recruitment and training costs of $2,500 to $3,300.  For Filipino maids, the overall cost usually ranges from $3,100 to $4,600, including recruitment and training costs of about $1,200 to $1,800.

The CDE said itemised bills will make it easier to determine if the costs are fair, if they should be reduced, and how best to share costs between employers and workers.

With greater transparency, "employers and (workers) would be able to make a more informed decision before they enter into an employment contract and disputes relating to it can also be reduced," it said.  It proposed that the MOM include transparency of costs as one of the criteria in the Trustmark Grading Scheme for employment agencies that is expected to be launched in the second half of next year.

An MOM spokesman said the ministry has seen "very few cases" of maids being overcharged by local agencies, though MOM is not able to regulate the fees charged in workers' home countries.  Employment agencies here have to issue maids a written and itemised receipt for all fees charged, including fees collected on behalf of overseas agents, the spokesman added.

The fees charged by the Singapore agent are also stated in the In-Principle Approval letter, which is in the native language of a prospective worker and sent to her before she leaves her country.  There were some 237,100 foreign domestic workers here as of June.

MOM says incidence of underage maids low, Straits Times, 30 Oct 2016
Researchers from migrant worker group Transient Workers Count Too found four Myanmar workers under the legal minimum age of 23 here, during a survey on recruitment fees this year.  Among the 232 women surveyed, 16 from Myanmar and 10 from Indonesia were under 23 when they first arrived.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said "the incidence of foreign domestic workers not meeting the minimum age requirement is low". MOM said it "takes a serious view" of underage maids and has measures to deter employment agents bringing them here.

These agents risk being penalised if they do not make sure entry requirements are adhered to, including that maids must be at least 23. Agents who flout the rule can be fined up to $5,000 and jailed for up to six months. MOM added that it audits agencies regularly.

It also ensures that new maids are told of the minimum age requirement during a settling-in programme they must attend. MOM staff also interview women who look relatively young to verify their application details and age.

The women will not be penalised if they come forward, MOM said. It is also important for the authorities in workers' home countries to ensure passport details are accurate, the ministry added.

Revamp how maids are employed, ST Forum, 14 Sep 2016
Currently, we have a lose-lose situation when it comes to the employment of maids.  Some agencies do not ensure that the maids they have are good ones. Employers must go through a lot of hassle to hire maids. And maids have little control over their jobs in Singapore.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has to deal with many maid employers unaccustomed to or unhappy with the regulations and administrative work.  

I suggest changing this to a win-win situation.  Make agencies the employers of maids, and households the clients of the agencies.  In this system, agencies become accountable for what their workers do and will invest resources to screen problem hires and to better train maids. They can also get rapid feedback from clients regarding their workers.

Agency clients need to only sign a contract and pay a monthly fee to the agency - bypassing all the administrative work, such as levies and insurance.

If a maid is unwell or unavailable, the agency can send a replacement.  Employers will no longer need to deal with the MOM, saving themselves and the Government lots of effort and resources.

Maids would also benefit from improvements in work conditions.  They can have the option of living in a hostel. They can be covered by the Employment Act, enjoying basic rights such as public holidays and a minimum amount of paid leave each year. The risks of abuse, unauthorised salary deductions and being denied medical attention can also be greatly reduced.

I urge the Government to seriously consider my suggestion and revamp how maids are employed.

Eric Chen Yixiong

Extracted from forum:
Happy Home maid agency @ Lucky Plaza that specialized in Filipino transfer maids has unfair contractual practices for first time employers. The Filipino maid agent George C. Garcia has arranged for me to interview his potential pool of transfer Filipino maids on XX Aug 2015. During the interview in XX Aug 2015 George used hard selling and pressure selling tactics to pressure me to hire his Filipino transfer maids by stating that we have to make payment in cash and on the spot first in XX Aug2015 (without giving us to have a look at the terms and conditions of the employment contract) after we finished the interview session for the agency fees of $1000. He insisted that if we did not make payment for the agency fees on the spot on that day. If not, we cannot proceed to hire his transfer maid. Since we are urgently looking for a maid to take care my baby, we have to agree to this agent’s request.

When we have made the payment in cash for the agency fees, we also requested George that we want to look and have a copy of the employment contract with the maid agency in XX Aug 2015. However, George refused and insisted that he can only generate the employment contract for the maid only when we come to collect/ fetch the maid from the agency which is the date that the maid’s previous employer can release her and he only made my husband sign the terms and conditions of the contract on every pages on that day of collection when collecting the maid. We felt that this Happy Home maid agency is an irresponsible maid agency that is adopting unfair employment practices against me, the employer by insisting that we must pay the agency fees upfront first in XX August 2015 when I conducted the maid interview and then give me the employment contract with the terms and conditions at a later date (approx. 1 mth later) in Sep 2015 when I collected the maid.
We are only able to read the contents of the employment contract in XX Sep 2015 and we noted that the contents of terms and conditions of the contact are very biased to the employer as the Happy Home maid agency state that the employers can only terminate the services of the transfer maid after 90 days of the probation period from the official date which the maid starts her employment. 

In addition to this, after the 90 days probation period, if the maid performance is below our expectation and her working attitude sucks, we can only inform this maid agency after the 90 days probation is over and also to give 1 month notice for the maid to look for a new employer to allow for transfer if the maid is unsuitable. If we do not wish to allow the maid to transfer, we will have to bear the cost of giving her to 2 months salary if we wish to send her back to Philippines directly. We felt that this contract is very unfair and biased towards the Singapore employers. I felt that many employers here had fallen prey to this unfair practices and I actually I lodge a complaint with MOM officer to inform them about the unfair of this Pinoy maid agency to highlight their unscrupulous and unfair practices as the agency who used hard selling tactics and have unfair terms and conditions in their employment contract which were not highlighted and the contract was not given to us before we made payment on the agency fees in August. But MOM officer does not wish to investigate further and ask me to settle dispute by lodging a case with CASE or Small Tribunal Court on this. I just want to highlight to all netizens about this irresponsible maid agency at Lucky Plaza. . Please do not use this maid agency services

15 Mar
FDWs paid a lot of money to agencies to get an overseas job but most of the time, the source country's recruiters were "painting beautiful pictures to lure maids out to work" .... not truthfully about working life in Spore.  I guess this is the reason why their feedback aren't taken into consideration in the new schemes. 
Let maids have a say too, Straits Times, 14 Mar 2016
Many families have cheered at the news that the 900 or so licensed maid agencies here will come under greater scrutiny.  A new rating system is being introduced to let employers give feedback on their services. Customer ratings for each agency will be listed on the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) website.  And by the end of next year, MOM and the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) will introduce a grading system which all maid agencies must comply with in order to renew their licences.

The Government has had to step in again, as the maid agency industry has struggled to fend off complaints of overcharging, a lack of transparency and, in general, poor service standards.

Despite past attempts by Case, the authorities and agents themselves to professionalise the industry through regulation and two accreditation schemes, it ranked seventh among the industries that Case received the most complaints against last year, up from 10th place in 2014. There were 914 complaints last year.

But the new grading system could drive up costs for employers. It is likely to hit smaller agencies hard, as they may not have the manpower needed to deliver training programmes for maids and handle thorough follow-up services after placement.  Meanwhile, larger agencies may see it as a chance to offer premium services for a heftier price.  Employers also have other options, such as a website that allows them to link up with maids on their own through a LinkedIn-style platform.

Glaringly absent from the discussion so far are the 227,100 or so maids here. The Straits Times understands that the Government may include helpers in its consultation on the grading criteria, but they will not be asked to rate their agencies.

As agents and activists have noted, these women are also paying customers of agencies. Their feedback matters. After all, Singapore is still trying to attract more maids to care for families here, and should ensure that the needs of both employers and helpers are looked after.

In a move aimed at raising their service standards, maid agencies will be graded before they are allowed to renew their licences.  A scheme called Trustmark will be rolled out by December next year under which the agencies will be graded by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

All agencies will need to be graded before they are allowed to renew their licences, said Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan at an industry seminar yesterday.  They will also have to display their grading certificates prominently on their premises.

Mr Tan said the ministry often receives complaints about how distressing it is for employers and maids when their expectations are not well matched.  He said: "When this happens, both the foreign domestic worker and the family feel highly stressed."  Mr Tan stressed that maid agencies have a vital role to play as an intermediary as they have to understand employers' household needs before matching them with a maid.

For example, a maid who does not want to work on Sundays will not be a good fit for a family with someone who needs constant attention.  Agencies should also help both employers and maids "set clear expectations upfront", he added.

Ms Carene Chin, who runs maid agency Homekeeper, said that with the new initiatives, she will focus not just on matching maids to employers but also services before and after the pairing.  These include providing correct biodata, ensuring there are no teething problems after the maid moves in, and that she is paid on time.  "Employers are not our only customers, maids are too," Ms Chin said, noting that happy maids can also mean better business for her firm as "word-of-mouth advertising is very strong" and maids tell each other about the good agencies and employers.

The Centre for Domestic Employees, an arm of the labour movement, welcomed the Trustmark scheme. Its executive director for operations, Ms Phyllis Lim, said it will foster more transparent and fair employment and recruitment practices.  It is also recommending that agencies adopt a model service contract between them and the employer. Terms to spell out include a detailed computation of placement cost, pay dates and bonus for contract renewal. Ms Lim said this will reduce misunderstanding.

Maid agencies will be rated - by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Singapore's consumer watchdog and employers - in two new schemes meant to raise their service standards.  The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) and MOM will grade agencies in the first scheme, called Trustmark, which will be rolled out by December next year.  (Winter:  Hope the rating isn't viewable by maid agencies.  If maid need to be sent back, agency may take revenge eg cutting/withholding maid loan on the unhappy employer who gave low rating.)

Assessment criteria will be decided by the two organisations through industry consultations. It will be administered by Case.  Agencies will need to be graded before they are allowed to renew their licences, said Minister of State (Manpower) Sam Tan at an industry seminar yesterday.  They will also have to display their grading certificates prominently in their premises.

Mr Tan said the ministry often receives complaints about how distressing it is for employers and maids when their expectations are not well matched.  "When this happens, both the (maid) and the family feel highly stressed," he added.  Maid agencies have a vital role to play here, as they have to understand an employer's household needs before matching them with a maid, he noted.  

In the second scheme, to be implemented by June, employers will be invited by SMS to rate an agency whose services they have used three or four months ago through an online survey that should take less than a minute to complete.   (Winter: Used FDW for 3-4 months then do online survey probably good but shouldn't be strictly on this time frame because based on maid recruited date, maid agency can guess which employer gave them low rating.  Instead of reflecting on themselves, they may reserve the rights to take revenge, when the right time comes eg maid on transfer).

Employer feedback for each agency will be made public on the ministry's website after at least three ratings have been consolidated for that agency.  Maid agencies are now listed on MOM's website with their number of years of experience, number of maids they placed, their retention and transfer rate. The website also lists industry averages.

When the new initiatives are rolled out, employers will be able to see on MOM's website the grade and rating each agency received.  Carene Chin, who runs maid agency Homekeeper, said, with the new initiatives, she will focus not just on matching maids to employers but also before and after-sale services.  These include providing correct biodata, ensuring the maid has no teething problems after she moves in and that she is paid on time. "Employers are not our only customers, maids are too," Ms Chin said.

The Centre for Domestic Employees, an arm of the labour movement, welcomes the Trustmark scheme.  Its executive director for operations, Phyllis Lim, said it will foster more transparent and fair employment and recruitment practices.

Jolovan Wham, executive director of Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, urged MOM to include maids' feedback on agencies when rating them as they, too, are paying customers.  (Winter:  I fully agree with this.  Maids are paying customers, they are not agencies' money making tools.  How well agent match a job to satisfy both FDW and employer is what the schemes should focus on.  Lying shouldn't be encouraged to avoid failed/sour relationship or FDW's attempt to grab a job at somebody else' costs)

Employers are cheered by the schemes. Operations executive Benson Wong, 32, who employed a maid last month to take care of his two-year-old son, said: "If I am not happy with the agency's service, I know how to make my concerns heard."


Facebook comments:
Johnny Tan -- Quote:"Mr Tan stressed that maid agencies have a vital role to play as an intermediary as they have to understand employers' household needs before matching them with a maid.
For example, a maid who does not want to work on Sundays will not be a good fit for a family with someone who needs constant attention.

Agencies should also help both employers and maids "set clear expectations upfront", he added."
We employers at times met irresponsible agencies that often just wanted to close the deal real fast and once every documents signed, they just wanted to wash hand and left employers to sort out disputes with their domestic helpers. With this grading, their attitude would definitely going to change for the better or else their license would not be able to be renewed. Beneficial to both employers and domestic helpers.

Daniel Yeo -- what is most important is the maid loans which is very high in their originating countries where up to levels of 5 exists from the kampung head, the provincial head, the city head, the police in some instances and then the training schools. Then we have the ultimate culprit which is our very own maid agencies that send out these loans!!!!! We need happy maids and 3 years ago, there was a loan structure between Indonesia and Singapore that took care of these problems by halving the actual maid loan. From SGD$3300/ maid to $1780/ and to be repaid within 8 moths. Happy maid means happy employer but all of this went down the drain with the SG Maid Agencies deciding that they take things into their own hands so that they control the loans and make $. So unless this issue is solved, we will continue to have " BURDENED" maids. Also, the MOM does not want to assist in this basic issue which is the vital point in employment.

Alex Fong -- Should rename as Domestic Workers instead of maids... and maid should gave a chance to speak up about the employer as well

Shalini Shroff -- Finally! Maid agencies wash their hands off when there's a dispute between employer and maid, upon receiving the agency fees.

Linda Tan -- Wow..... tats good.... maid agency anyhow charge the fee for employer n they earn a lot of money from employer. They can even teach the maid to change employer if they not happy. Anything agency also teach them becos of $$$. Its good that case and MOM handle this matters nicely n properly or else they anyhow charge the employer money.

Daniel Yeo -- Maid agencies under the MOM rules are supposed to earn 2X maid salary but they earn much more. The big agencies are the lenders!!!!!! And we have to stop this. mOM, are you listening???????

Jeni Tang -- MOM should review the current rules which favour the maids more than the employers. Rules must be balanced because employers incur a lot of costs and shoulder great responsibilities.

Bhakt Yap -- You can grade the maid agencies but if they have a bad selection of maids it really makes no difference.

James K S Tan -- Why wait till next December that mean December 2017, why not this December 2016. Does it take more then a year to implement this ???

Peter Tan -- Both parties need to agree on the terms and conditions of the work and service required both the employer and the maid before the hiring is finalised. A copy of the agreement should be signed by both parties just like those usual procedure of all companies.

Paul Tan -- Very ingenious way of making money. Charge for accrediting. Never help consumer who are being cheated. Charge membership fee before telling u they are not able to help. Big crooks plus no bite

26 Feb
This important news slipped passed my radar.  I don't know is this new system really transparent to both FDW and employer because I haven't stepped into any agency.  Probably need to visit agency to transfer out my in law's Indonesian maid.  Verbally spoken to agent about Indo maid's salary, was told starting pay same as Filipino .... S$550 for newbies! 

Update - A reader posted this:

Hope my current maid won't feel I've deliberately short-changed her and can patiently wait for her contract renewal increment, next year.  Tell myself .... brainwashing myself, if JA wants to leave me for a higher salary (market rate for experience maid is above S$600/month), may be 'good' for me because her performance has deteriorated, time to get a new maid by the decree of god/the mighty ones up there.  She chose to leave me, I didn't fire her or stopping her for greener pasture.  It is JA's choice to stay in comfort zone or take up new challenges.  Agencies will be delighted to have 2 new customers offering them easy money.  No matter what happens, agencies are the gainers and have no losses to bear when things turned sour between FDW and employer.  When MOM or source countries throw out a new requirement, agencies will find their ways to earn more, profit won't be lesser unless you're telling me MOM is specifically targeting/monitoring the agencies regularly.

I'm definitely not the best employer but certainly not the lousiest.  
How many employers would allow their FDWs to go home annually and take annual leave to stay home 'become maid' for 15 days?  Putting her job at risk?
How many employers turned a blind eye seeing maid nap some afternoons even though she wasn't overworked (has at least 8 hours continuous rest/break each night) and have been reminded not to nap? 
How many employers can stand a maid who doesn't respond or look at you when you give instructions or tell maid she did something wrong?  
How many of you can stand your maid stepping into your bedroom without permission? 
How many parents can stand your helpers becoming careless and cuts or bruises 'suddenly appearing' on your child'?  
Every time my FDW returns from off day, she didn't ring the door bell nor call out for me.  Most of the time, she made noise with her lips or called out my daughter's name even though I'm sitting in the living room!  When did my girl learnt how to open the door?  You like a discourteous person and facing her everyday?   Guess I've reached or almost reaching the highest realm 修养最高境界! 

A new requirement by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will make agent fees for maids more transparent and possibly prevent employers from being shortchanged.  In a change introduced last week, agents must inform MOM how much they are charging maids for a two-year contract when applying for work permits online.  When the permits are approved, employers get a copy of the in-principle approval, with the fee stated. They can compare it with the service agreements that they should also receive from the agents - which should state the same amount - if agents followed MOM's recommended format.

A sample of MOM's recommended agreement can be found on its website. The move increases transparency by providing employers and maids with more information on their employment terms, said a ministry spokesman.

While agencies are generally law abiding, MOM investigates reports of overcharging, he added.  Engineer Desmond Goon, 32, who employed a maid two months ago, said: "It's clearer so we know how much we are owed when either I or the maid decide that the relationship is not working."

The fee that maids have to pay agents is legally capped at two months' salary for a two-year contract and typically ranges between $800 and $1,200 for two years.  Employers usually pay this in advance for their maids and later deduct it from the maids' salaries.

When a maid decides on a transfer or when an employer decides to terminate her contract, she can ask the agent for a refund, provided that she has cleared her debts with her employer. For instance, if a maid leaves her employer before her first year ends, she can ask for a refund from her agent for the second year that she did not serve. Previously, agents could lump the fees they are charging employers and maids, as well as fees to their foreign counterparts, together.

The practice clouds how much agents are charging the maids, said Ms K. Jayaprema, president of the Association of Employment Agencies of Singapore.  "The association is also trying to push for agents to declare how much they are paying the foreign suppliers," she added. But a concern is that agents would under-declare the amount, she said.

There are about 125,000 Indonesian maids in Singapore, and about 70,000 from the Philippines.  Indonesian Embassy counsellor Sukmo Yuwono praised the move, saying it helps prevent overcharging. "It's a fairer and more transparent system," he added.

Executive director of Humanitarian Organisation for Migrant Economics Jolovan Wham said maids may be denied of the chance to ask for refunds because they can be repatriated by employers. "They don't have the right to switch employers freely," he added.

Agencies convicted of overcharging maids face a fine of up to $5,000, and repeat offenders may be jailed up to six months in addition to the fine, said an MOM spokesman.  Their licences may also be revoked and appointment holders could be barred from being agents in the future, he added.

** IF you limit the amount that can be charged to the house maid, it simply means that you are transferring more of the fees charged to the employer, but don't forget that the primary task of the Singapore government, is to look after Singaporeans and Singaporean maid employers  first, and the interests of  foreigners example foreign house maids, although still important, but should have lower priorities than those of Singaporeans.

Many Singaporeans have maids to look after their old folks and babies, so that these Singaporeans can focus on their work.

If MOM keeps squeezing maid agents to charge less and less fees on foreign maids, the end result is that maid agents will have no choice but to charge more and more fees on Singapore maid employers, with the end result, that Singaporeans will simply choose to have fewer babies, which would have destroyed the Singapore government's goals of aiming for more babies, so if MOM keeps making more and more rules, that are pro foreign maids, and rules that are anti Singapore employers, the end result would be to counter the aim of the Singapore government's high birther rate goals, and the other problem would be that with higher and higher costs of employing a house maid, more and more Singapore old folks that need housemaids, would be simply abandoned to look after themselves at home, and many of these old folks will surly die from neglect and lack of help.

Maids salaries have gone up by 50% to 100 % within just a few short years, especially after the implementation of the maids off day rules, so i think its time that the Singapore MOM, think more, 
for the interests of the Singapore employers, rather than simply focus only on the interests of the foreign maids, while completely ignoring the interests of the Singapore employers.

** As long as there are ways in which Singapore agencies' counterparts in the domestic helpers' countries of origin can extract money from their people, there is no escaping exploitation of the domestic workers. Employers cannot prevent this, neither can MOM.

The agencies in Singapore which seem to come under two organisations have nearly identical, poorly drafted templates for contracts. I think MOM should draft the contracts so that everyone has the same. Then the embassies do not have to insist on a separate contract which contains their countries' terms.

Not that this stops employers (or in some cases their helpers) from ignoring the terms in any contract.  Employers are required to pay a levy, but this doesn't appear to benefit them or their domestic helpers. Why can't the levy go towards a medical fund for domestic helpers so that they do not (or rather their employers do not) have to pay the non-subsidized rate for medical care? 

Many other countries do not discriminate in the provision of medical care for different types of workers. And workmen's compensation applies to domestic workers too.

Our domestics may be better off than their equivalent in Malaysia or other Asian countries but that doesn't mean that they cannot be treated in a more humane and fair manner - by their own or by us, whether we are employers or part of the government.  Of course, life is not fair but do remember we meet the same people coming down as we do when we are going up.

**  MOM would not be able to control what the domestic helpers agree to pay in advance, in their own country, for travel to Singapore or to assist with finding job opportunities in Singapore. But this is a good step to control agents from overcharging both the domestic help and future employers.

**  Need to include very heavy punitive charge for violation. Human greed knows no bounds, and these greedy agents will surely find creative ways to circumvent.

Sep 2015
According to the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) a NGO concerned about the rights of migrant workers, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recently issued an alert to Employment Agencies (EAs) in the Orchard Cluster, two weeks before a scheduled inspection so as to inform them about an upcoming audit that will be conducted in May.
EA alert
HOME understands that such alerts are regularly issued to all agencies across the island.  Notifying agencies ahead of an audit raises some troubling issues: it undermines investigations to root out errant agencies by giving them time to clean up their operations before they are checked and allows them to violate regulations with impunity.

These alerts also come with a checklist to assist agencies to ensure they are adhering to the regulations.  However, not only are these regulations ineffective, the inspections have turned into a bureaucratic and perfunctory exercise in administrative compliance. Without an independent audit or surprise checks, it would be difficult for MOM to root out irregular and exploitative practices.

For instance, Item 10 on the Checklist forbids employment agencies to charge placement fees not exceeding 1 month for each year of service. A migrant domestic worker earning $500 a month should pay no more than $1000 for a 2-year contract. A foreign worker earning $600 per month should pay no more than $1200.

However, it is widely known that many domestic workers continue to pay an average of $3000 –  3 times more than what he Employment Agency Act allows – in placement fees. This translates to 7-8 months of salary deductions for the women when she will only be given an average monthly allowance of $10 or nothing at all for some. Agencies disguise these payments as ‘loans’ to circumvent the regulations when in reality they are placement fees.

Similarly, those which place foreign workers continue to demand kickbacks and overcharge them, sometimes demanding as much as $10,000 per placement even though these workers earn $1000 or less a month. These agencies alter their books and issue fake receipts that they have not overcharged workers.

Other examples which show how regulations have not worked include item 18 on the checklist, which reminds agencies they should facilitate the process of the employer providing a weekly rest day, or monetary compensation for forfeiting the rest day. However, agencies often pressure workers not to request for days off, threatening them if they do not comply. Fewer than 40% have a weekly day off according to a recently published report on the mental well-being of domestic workers by HOME

In another survey by HOME, which examined the living conditions provided by employment agencies housing domestic workers, it was revealed that physical and verbal abuse were significant problems experienced by these women. The women also complained that their mobile phones, passports, and valuables were seized by their agents.

However, issues pertaining to the well-being of workers are not captured in the Checklist or properly addressed by the regulations.  MOM has in the past published the names of EAs who have had their licenses revoked. Section 22C of the Employment Agencies Act also disqualifies “anyone who has been a director or in the management of an employment agency when the licence was revoked” as a key appointment holder of another EA.

However, repeat offenders can still register a new agency using the names of their friends or family members.  Employment Agencies play a critical role in negotiating employer-worker relationship and in ensuring that workers settle into their jobs in Singapore well. They need to take a more pro-active role in safeguarding the rights and well-being of foreign domestic workers. It starts with an effective regulatory and enforcement framework

Maid agencies have the duty to screen FDWs and educating FDW, tell them the right working mentality and be responsible for their actions.  MOM should hold maid agencies accountable for FDWs who moonlighted, lied to get a job or refuse to accept her role as FDW.  Employers didn't walk into agencies to get FDW-princess, we need real helpers.

Even today, 56-year-old Mr Lee Kai Yam still takes the lift from his fourth-floor home to the 16th floor nearly every night.  He would stand for hours at the spot where his 12-year-old daughter Linda was flung to her death by the family's 16-year- old Indonesian maid in 2010. One thought would repeat in his head: How much fear did his daughter feel at that moment?

In 2012, the maid, Nurhayati, was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to 20 years in jail. But Mr Lee always maintained that the agency that supplied the underage maid should bear its share of responsibility.  Yesterday, he and his 50-year-old wife finally got the apology they were fighting for.  Mr Ong Kian Wah, a consultant of the now-defunct Maid Link agency, stood up in court and said: "We sincerely apologise for the loss of your daughter. We are also saddened by this incident. We hope you can forgive us and have peace in your heart." Beside him was his daughter Charmaine Ong Meiyi, who was sole proprietor of the firm.

The apology was part of the settlement agreed on by both parties. The Ongs will also pay the couple $50,000 over nine monthly instalments.  But for Mr Lee, it was never about the money. "There are many families here who rely on maids to take care of their children," he told The Straits Times.  "Agents must exercise due diligence in checking the age of maids and ensure they are capable enough to meet the needs of their employers."

Linda had scoliosis - a curved spine - and was slow in her speech and movement. Two weeks after Nurhayati started working for the family in October 2010, Mr Lee found that she did not have the maturity needed to care for Linda, despite documents listing her as being 24 years old.  He went back to the agency to ask for her to be replaced.  But Mr Ong told him she came from a poor family and needed the job. He pleaded with Mr Lee to give her a chance.

Out of sympathy, Mr Lee took her home again.  Less than a week later, on the morning of Nov 24, when Mr Lee had left for work and while his wife was sleeping, Nurhayati carried Linda to the 16th floor of their block in Hougang.  After Linda's death, he wrote to more than 20 lawyers. He wanted the agency to answer how a 16-year-old girl could have been passed off as a 24-year-old maid. Only one lawyer, Mr Chia Boon Teck, replied.

Mr Chia told The Straits Times he remembered reading about Mr Lee and called him down for an interview. When he decided to take on the case on a pro bono basis, he said Mr Lee broke down and cried.  Yesterday, District Judge Koh Juay Kherng asked Mr Ong and his daughter if either was still running a maid agency, then reminded them about guidelines set by the Ministry of Manpower.  "I hope that the guidelines are adhered to strictly in future. You might have no control over what happened, but if you had done what needed to be done, this incident may not have happened," he said.

Maids have to be at least 23 before they can work here.  The Straits Times found that after Maid Link's licence was revoked in January 2011, Mr Ong moved to Maids and Manpower Agency in Katong Shopping Centre. He is now a shareholder of Pertama Employment Agency at the same mall.  After addressing the Ongs, the judge turned to the couple and said: "The court offers its condolences as well, and hope that with this, you can move on to the next stage of your life."

It will not be easy.  Mr Lee, a crane driver, told The Straits Times that Linda had brought him and his wife, a store cashier, so much joy when she was born. Their first child died of asthma when he was 15 months old.  With their income of less than $3,000 a month, they lived a frugal life in order to give as much as they could to Linda. For instance, they bought a large LCD TV on hire purchase as she loved watching the children's show Hi-5.  Said Mr Lee: "We can't bear to switch on the TV as it would remind us of Linda.  "My wife still hides and cries in our bedroom."

Related links:  She flung girl to her death to get back at employer 
Maid jailed 20 years for killing disabled girl

My domestic helper, who takes care of my parents in their mid-80s, has become a pillar in my extended family. She not only keeps them company but also helps them with basic chores.  Because of her, my siblings and I have the peace of mind to focus on our careers and manage our immediate families.

Domestic helpers play too important a role in the Singapore family for their welfare to be left in the hands of employers alone.  A key reason why maid abuse goes unnoticed for months is that employers are left to implement fair and honest work practices based on the guidelines set by the Ministry of Manpower.

Maid agencies take a hands-off approach until either the employer or the maid asks them to intervene. The ministry gets involved only in extreme cases of abuse.

It is about time maid agencies are held accountable for ensuring domestic workers are getting a fair deal. The agencies are in a better position than the maids to educate employers on the minimum standards required, and to take action before things get out of hand.

In the manufacturing sector, contract staff provided by job agencies are under their employment. The factory pays the agency, which then pays the workers and ensures they are treated fairly.

Maid agencies should adopt a similar approach.

Liu Fook Thim

It is disturbing to learn of yet another maid abuse case ("3 more months' jail for 'relentless tormentor' of maid"; last Thursday).

Another report ("Myanmar imposes temporary ban on maids to Singapore"; last Saturday) said the Myanmar government has temporarily barred its women from working as maids in Singapore because of concerns over abuse.

Such reports do not put us in a good light, even though most employers here treat their maids reasonably well.

Given that Singaporeans depend heavily on their maids, it is vital to build cordial working relationships between maids and their employers.

To this end, I propose that a reward scheme for "role model" maids and employers be put in place by the Ministry of Manpower. Up to five winners each year could be rewarded with cash and sponsored holidays, providing an excellent opportunity for families to take their maids with them on a well-deserved break.

Such a scheme would not only recognise outstanding maids and their employers, but also spur others to emulate them.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

Ms Grace Chia's appeal for measures to keep maids from moonlighting as prostitutes ("Prevent maids from moonlighting in vice trade"; Sept 10) seems to arise from concerns that are not strongly founded.

Almost all the freelance prostitutes in the study she referred to came from China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia ("Shedding light on freelance prostitutes in Geylang"; Sept 4).

China and Vietnam are not authorised source countries for domestic workers; there are also few Thai domestic workers here.

The prostitutes in the study clearly worked on a daily basis. In contrast, domestic workers usually have only one day off per week - and even then, they are expected to return home. Where would they find the time and opportunity for prostitution?

In fact, the number of domestic workers engaging in commercial sex work is very small, as seen in the rarity of legal proceedings against domestic workers over prostitution-related offences.

Cases where the woman entered Singapore on a domestic worker work pass, then became a full-time sex worker, are different from instances of domestic workers moonlighting as prostitutes.

Domestic workers are anxious to earn as much as they can, but few would ever consider having sex for money. This issue must not be blown out of proportion.

In fact, if a domestic worker were to undertake any other paid work besides that covered by her work permit, she would be in breach of the law.

Domestic workers are aware of the consequences, and there is no need for more restrictions.

John Richard Gee (Activist)

Winter: Writer, Grace didn't stress that freelance prostitutes came from China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. The findings of Geylang freelance prostitutes are based on face-to-face interviews with 177 prostitutes over the last two years by three academics from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Boston University and Fudan University.  If the interviewees are FDWs, would they admit?  Would they boldly step forward to let you see them?  From dress code, can you pin-point who are FDWs but moonlighted as 'pleasure providers'?

It is clear that more and more FDWs moonlighted as 'pleasure provider/sex toy' ... not in Geylang, could be Orchard or East Coast Park but activists deny it, wanted FDWs to feel the pleasure of sex at the expense of their employers... claiming having sex, finding boyfriends are part of humans' rights.  Activists such as John are always siding FDWs.  I wonder what excuse would Activist John come up with if the raid was carried out in Orchard and FDWs were among them.  Probably, he'll say just a minority, something not worth pointing out to tarnish the good image of most hardworking and self-regulating FDWs.  I believe Grace just wanted the authority to pull up their socks and prevent maids from moonlighting, including use boyfriends as a disguise.  We have seen media reported maids who moonlighted as sex providers or are two timers, etc.

To me, maid agencies shouldn't just sit one side to relax and shake legs.  Maid Agencies have the duty to prevent FDWs from moonlighting or finding boyfriends (her priority).  If FDW's intention is to work as maid cum pleasure provider, maid agency shouldn't bring her into Spore.  Conducting proper screening and educating FDW the right working mentality are maid's agency's basic duties.  MOM should hold maid agencies accountable for FDWs who moonlighted.  To deter FDW from violating her work permit condition, from Day one in Spore, MOM and maid agency should get FDW be fully responsible for her actions, including fees incurred due to her 'pleasure acts'.

Prevent maids from moonlighting in vice trade, The Straits Times, 11 Sep 2014
Last Thursday's article ("Shedding light on freelance prostitutes in Geylang") said "freelancers are not based in brothels. Many come to Singapore as tourists; others moonlight while holding other jobs here".

There are cases of foreign domestic workers moonlighting as prostitutes here.  This is a serious issue. In a double-income household, the elderly and children may be left in the care of domestic workers for a considerable length of time each day. It is important to ensure there are sufficient safeguards in place to minimise the risk of families engaging foreign domestic workers who moonlight in the vice trade.

What measures do the Manpower Ministry and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority have to prevent domestic workers from moonlighting as prostitutes or engaging in other forms of vice?

Is feedback from employers to the ministry acted upon speedily to assist in the clamping down of vice activities? Are sufficient protection and privacy accorded to employers, who may hesitate to provide information that may be helpful in vice-related investigations?

Grace Chia (Ms)

"Fast delivery". "$1 maids".
Advertisements likening maids to goods are no longer seen at Katong Shopping Centre and Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, two months after the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) warned against insensitive ads.  Such demeaning banners and signs have been removed, while notices showing "maid fees" have been covered up at the two centres, which house about a dozen maid agencies each.

Also absent were rows of maids usually seen seated outside the agencies, a practice which MOM had deemed "unacceptable".  Bernard Ryan, operations director of Maids & Manpower Agency, used to have his agency fees and the biodata of maids displayed on his shop window but has since removed them.

Maid agents told The Straits Times MOM officers had visited a few times over the last month to ensure they follow the guidelines.  An MOM spokesman said its officers had talked to maid agents after it issued an advisory in July, asking them to ensure all ads accord maids "basic respect and human dignity".  "(Agencies) that were observed not to be in compliance with the advisory were receptive to the advice given by our officers and readily complied," she said.

May Phua, general manager of May Myanmar Services, for example, knew she was not supposed to publicise her fees but did not realise that a sign bearing the phrase "fast arrival" was also prohibited.  "He (MOM officer) told me that it suggests that the maids are like commodities," she said. She later used masking tape to cover up the sign.

MOM had issued the guidelines after Arab news agency Al Jazeera reported in June that maids were displayed or marketed like commodities by some agencies here. It cited the Katong and Bukit Timah shopping centres as places where such practices were seen.  Maid businesses that did not resort to the questionable marketing tactics have welcomed MOM's move. They said this not only ensures maids are treated with more respect, but also levels the playing field.

"At least now potential employers will actually walk around to find an agency that can best meet their needs," said Sa'diah Saidi, sales manager at Aflah Employment Agency.  "In the past, they will just walk straight to those which promise low prices."

As for migrant worker welfare groups, they said the agencies' change of ways was a good sign, but also raised other concerns.  For instance, several agencies at the two centres still had maids doing household chores in mock living rooms visible from the outside, ostensibly for training purposes.  The women, while seated in and not outside the shops, still faced passers-by.

Jolovan Wham, executive director of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, said these practices, while not specially mentioned in the MOM advisory, seemed degrading to maids.  "What kind of training is this if someone is just pushing the wheelchairs aimlessly?" he asked.  Another migrant worker activist noted the need to look beyond the surface for deeper change.  William Chew, executive director of the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training, said: "We should also look at practices behind the scenes, whether maids are properly integrated here or whether they are provided with help when they encounter problems with their employers."

The Government believes that the practice of local employment agencies charging excessive placement fees to foreign domestic workers, is not prevalent, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Manpower Hawazi Daipi in Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 5). But he gave the assurance that whenever this does happen, the Government will act.  (Winter:  Hawazi is sleeping??) 

He was responding to a question by Nominated Member of Parliament Mary Liew. Mr Hawazi also said that the Ministry of Manpower is concerned about the possibility of foreign domestic workers having to pay high agency fees to seek employment in Singapore. Therefore, the Employment Agencies Act states that Singapore employment agencies are allowed to collect no more than one month for the worker's salary for each year of service, capped at two months' salary.  
Winter:  2 months' salary is about S$1000.  If really capped, how come FDWs are claiming employers eating their money and they are unpaid for about 8 months = free labour? People commented MOM/govt cannot restrict the charges imposed by the overseas counterparts and in order to get FDWs supplied to Spore, local agencies don't mind collaborating - to their advantage, no losses so why should agencies spare a thought for FDWs and Employers' pockets?  Agencies are setup to make big money.  MOM is doing what ... pocketing easy money - levy and making Employers looked like fools/ATM machines.  Any official who bothers to step into a maid agency pretending to be an employer will get the figures shown as maid loan and your unrecoverable fees for hiring maid.  Not prevalent, you, as an employer believe each FDW only has S$1000 as maid loan/agency fee?  Even if FDW's agency fee is capped, agency can break down to something else like training, lodging, etc and eventually blow back to S$3000.  MOM is very pro-maid so don't be surprised the additional costs are paid by employers as unrecoverable - dumped into the drain because you need a FDW.  Greatest fear is paid a lot but employers are not given good helpers - FDWs come here for holidaying and not keen to work hard! Spore employers are so easy to take money from (MOM is super generous at our expense), who wants to miss the boat?

"Over the last three years, MOM looked into six complaints from (Foreign Domestic Workers) pertaining to the collection of placement fees above the stipulated cap by employment agencies," Mr Hawazi said. "MOM also investigated in other 15 cases uncovered in the course of proactive audits or investigations. Three of these cases are still under investigation. MOM took action in eight cases. For the remaining cases, there was no evidence that the employment agencies had committed an offence.

"In instances where we find excessive charging happening overseas and where our laws cannot apply, we will inform the embassies or high commissions of the relevant countries, so that action can be taken at source."

Extracted from Facebook maid's page:
FB  maid: set limit to `recruitment fee' at S$1,000. This is very good, but must not make mistake when implementing. Most important - must be strict rule. Anyone collect more than S$1,000, for any reason, should be fined. Anyone who use other stupid word games to collect more than S$1,000, should be fined, both agent and employer. 

Let me explain what is the cost of maid:
Today Singapore agent collect the fees like this:

1) Collect from employer as agent's fees - S$0-S$1,000 - please note if collect $0, then maid have to pay Agent the S$1,000

2) Collect from maid 1.5 to 2 months Singapore Agent Recruitment fee - S$900-S$1,000 - this one is tradition, but it just means Singapore agent greedy, he collect from both the maid and the employer.

3) Collect from maid 1-5 months Foreign Agent Recruitment fee - S$450-S$2500. This money is the money requested by the Foreign Agent. The good agent will collect S$450, the greedy terrible agent will collect S$2,500. This Foreign Agent Recruitment fee include (a) foreign agent profit, (b) foreign agent spending on maid stay at training centre, (c) aeroplane fare to Singapore, (d) medical checkup fee, (e) food, (f) lend money to family to survive when waiting for Singapore employer, (g) money for luggage bag, clothes, underwear, medicine, vitamins - all this money is covered by the Foreign Agent before the maid come. 

With the new system, should be like this:
1) Collect from employer as agent's fees - S$1,000 to S$1,500 - Because if agent want to earn more, he should not collect from the maid, but from employer. Cost of recruitment cannot be too low - Singapore is the only country where people who cannot afford to feed the maid can actually afford to pay for maid recruitment fee. This must stop. 

2) Collect from maid maximum $1,000 (2 months) - this is for the foreign agent recruitment fee only. If foreign agent only pay for medical and maid's short stay in Agent's premises, this should be 1 month only. If foreign agent also pay for aeroplane and luggage and clothes, this should be another 1 month. ANY MORE THAN 1 MONTH CANNOT CLAIM FROM MAID IN SINGAPORE, MUST CLAIM FROM MAID'S FAMILY IN MAID'S COUNTRY. For example, loan to maid's family, must be collected in maid's country, not Singapore. 

That's all the fee which can be collected, and government must enforce this strictly, without exception. For example of `exception is stupid' please see the meaningless 1 day off per week rule, become stupid and useless because employer can offer to pretend to pay maid to `don't take day off' end up that maid don't have day off at all. 

Ban the collection of anything more than S$1,000 in Singapore, also is good, because Singapore agent always take more and more every time they collect money from foreign agent, as their collection fees. This is all pass down to the poor maid. 

When we force the foreign agent to collect money in maid's own country, it's because I want it to be clear to the maid's family what's happening and not let the foreign agent lie to the maid's family that it is the Singapore agent greedy. This make it more transparent and clear to the maid's family, and if they see the agent too greedy, they will choose a better agent. 

What we want is for the maid not to be overcharge both by foreign agent and local agent and make everything clear. There must also be real cost to maid (for employer) so that they try harder to work smoothly with the maid, not like now they change maid like underwear and destroy their life because `maid is free' and like slave. 

Singapore Government must make things clear too, don't make exception - you get cheated one time, you learn, you get cheated 2 times, you a fool or a liar.

Rista Azah:  singapore I don't like enough. . We working for 7 months without salary bcs agency cutting
After 7 months then we get full salary. .

Mary Velasco:  My enployer pay my agents $2000 but I pay back 1.500..I salary deduction. ..and this agent they use only for my processing my papers and yet they cost them alot....

Ray Mund:  Those who still think of coming to Singapore to work, think thrice think thrice again. Is it worth your talent?

They suck you dry squeeze your hard earned money yet most local employers are slavedrivers. You technically work 16hrs a day and yet they don't wanna give you your much deserved offday once a week. Do you think Singapore is nice to work? Consider other countries like Hong Kong. Forget about Sg. This is a living hell.

Grace Impiatura: Some agency collect from the employer $2000 and then we pay that until 4months it's too unfair for all the aplicant and our families to sucrifice 4 months with out slry not only that in Philippine when we prepare our ppers and all the trainings we spend also money to pay our medical this is too much not like in Middle East no money take from the aplicant and all our needs are free!

Jinny Kok:  Then I guess it's better for u all to apply for jobs in Middle East instead of Singapore since it benefits you better.

Swe Moe:  I must say '''Singapore Government is very good''' but many agency and employers are make singapore ugly & lose face'' There had the law '' yet The agents are not follow by the law. some employers does't know about the MOM law. agent did not explain to employer about law. They just do whatever employer ask'' they only care to get angncy fees''

FB Maid: employers In the middle east, even the women have no rights. Here in Singapore, we see that the old thinking people full of racist hate and discrimination are dying out, losing their jobs, simply because they live in yesterday and not today. Here in Singapore we have the hope of building a truly fair arrangement with foreign worker, without the bad racism, discrimination, cruelty. Still long way to go, but Singapore and Hong Kong have enough good, decent people to carry on the work of improving the lives of migrant worker to a fair level.

Rhus Arteta:  My agency 5moths after five months i recieve full salary...sobrang mahal ata hningi skin...

Theresa Australia:  What a ridiculous suggestion to apply for jobs in Middle East! What about Singapore treating maids better instead? How would Singapore survive without their maids? They can't

Marife Basilio Cobilla:  I pay $2,200 my 4 full months salary..no off days until not finished the deduction..and its my 3rd time here...all in all i pay $7.000 (WITH 3 AGENCIES)

Mariane Capalaran:  Agency sucks like vampires Lol . .karma is waiting for them grrrr

Yan Andriyan:  Some agency just beeing happy when the helper,,, want to change employer ,,so they can get more money again ,,,,and again,,, that is always happen with new helper,( they think they are big BOSS,,,,but actully helper are they are BOSS,, because from the helper,,, agency get money,,,,

Winter:  FDWs' source country unable to provide a high pay job (not even minimum S$100 per month) but expecting Spore to be the stupid fools and provide for its citizens.... brainwashed maids they deserve a life better than in birth country ... entitled to human rights (on par with employers), find happiness in the name of love or loneliness!

For once, Facebook maid has hit the nail .... I agree that "force the foreign agent to collect money in maid's own country, it's because I want it to be clear to the maid's family what's happening and not let the foreign agent lie to the maid's family that it is the Singapore agent greedy"

If this S$1000 is cap for both Employer (includes everything - eg Spore insurance, SIP, admin fee, pre-employment medical cost, work permit, etc) and FDW (flight, admin work, training), I feel we're not feeding the greedy agencies.  Agencies deserved to be paid for their services but should not multiple their actual costs by 3 or 5 times.  Anybody with access to MOM website and budget airline websites knows the costs.  The only 'hidden cost' is fake/unsuitable training at source country.  This training cost should be eliminated.  Give employer the option to have a source country trained maid, trained in Spore agency or trained at Employer's house.  Personally, I trust my own training - more relevant to my house and daughter's needs.

Bertha Henson:  I was wondering if the MOM staffers were blind when they said they found no "inappropriate display'' of maids at two shopping centres named in an Al-Jazeera report. Now, it's come up with some guidelines....

Said TODAY: For example, agencies should refrain from public advertising — such as on shop fronts and websites — that mentions fees or likens maids to merchandise that can be purchased and replaced when found to be unsatisfactory. Maids should not sit outside agency premises, which gives the impression that they are “commodities” to be “tested or traded”. (I guess sit within office behind glass can then...)

Anyone who's been to Katong Shopping Centre will know that these public advertising is everywhere...even more so a month ago, so I guess some quick action has been taken by maid agencies since the Al-Jazeera report on how they were being "hawked''. The ST story didn't mention how MOM found NOTHING wrong two weeks ago. TODAY flagged it prominently.

What's also interesting is an ST story calling for recruitment fees charged by agencies to be capped at $1,000 (can be as high as $4,000) so the maid won't be working like a slave for several months coz the employer had paid the fees in advance for her as a "loan''. It's not unlike the other work permit sector of construction sector where agent's fees are so high, the workers get nothing to live on in the beginning. (NOTE that it is SUPPOSED to be capped at $1,000K but there's collusion between agents here and over in the maid's home country, which in the end rebounds on the maid. Only 10 agents fined fined just $2.5K or $3K in the past two years for putting the squeeze on the maids. )
But if we stick to $1,000, employers must remember that there will higher admin fees the maid agents charge - and you can't take this "out'' of the maids pay. Things like this happen only because EMPLOYERS allow it to...

Winter:  It is extremely unfair to make employers absorb the full cost of FDW's placement fees. If any FDW/maid wants a job in Spore, she should pay, otherwise, don't come! See the figures $$ with your eyes wide, don't pretend you don't know how much your local and Spore agency are charging.  If the costs is exorbitant, will make you slog for many months without a salary, people with brain shouldn't come over to suffer.  Stay in your comfort zone ... your own country!  Don't whine because your greediness led you to become agency's money making tools.

Some local maid agencies charging more than $1000 but with no cost breakdown.  My ex-Indo maid (a transfer maid), the agency fee that I was charged, excluding insurance was S$1288.  If any agency claims FOC unlimited replacement, it doesn't mean you need not pay transfer fee, lodging fee for your outgoing maid, MOM's costs for new replacement, insurance, levy, etc.  Most important, you won't get an instant replacement ... you need to wait really long and you may decided to give up waiting... not everybody has the luxury (time) to wait.  This is a sample of Spore maid agency cost breakdown:

If MOM/activist/source country insist on making Employers foot FDW's full costs, it is encouraging FDWs to job hop, show no job commitment, come to Spore as princesses and give needy (those who really need a FDW) Employers more problems.... can anytime say bye-bye because there's nothing .... no loan to tie them down, no penalty for FDW who terminated contract due to her own irresponsibility and bad working attitude/ethics.

If FDWs want to save money, eliminate middlemen and maid agencies, as well as getting source govt to be involved (protect its citizens against blood sucking agencies - more transparency) .... these evil people just want to load their pockets with money from the easiest targets --> Spore employers because we don't have a caring govt, our MOM is very pro-maid, pro-source country and pro-agency. 

Ministry of Manpower is not regulating agencies nor did it safeguard the interest of both FDWs and Employers.  Both payers - FDW and Employer paid our govt as well as maid agencies high fees but why the payers are suffering/weeping and the earners (agency/MOM/source country) are smiling, reaping profits and need not bear anything?  Agencies are mushrooming and over-charging!

If MOM/activist felt maids are over worked, they should really consider 
live-out FDW at maid's cost.  Activists and FDWs do not want to look at the live in costs of maids, only keen to focus on salary 鸡蛋挑骨头 so by making FDWs live-out, they have to open their eyes to see nobody can survive without food, drink, a roof over the head, etc ...  All the costs including salary, amounting to S$1500 were paid by employer but Activists and FDWs ignored these. 

FDW gets privacy and Employer need not face a sullen FDW.. please don't make it look like employer owe maid a good life.  Please treat Employers like human beings, not your ATM machines!  Our money didn't drop from the sky nor given by PAP, it is our hard earned income ... some employers worked longer hours than their FDWs!

The Business of Making Money from Maids
HOME: Singapore’s Employment Agencies Act stipulates that agencies are allowed to charge a maximum of two months salary as a fee to foreign workers entering Singapore, yet most workers end up with a debt that is much higher, either knowingly or unknowingly. Singaporean agencies justify charging higher fees by claiming it is not a debt but a loan, or by claiming that they are merely asking workers to pay off fees charged by agencies overseas, for which they have no responsibility.

Jessel is a domestic worker from the Philippines currently staying at the HOME shelter. She shares with us her story of her agent, who when she complained about having been deceived with a false contract, send Jessel a text message stating ‘I told you before my business is making money’.

‘Getting married at an early age is quite difficult. At 19, I gave birth to my eldest daughter, and the following year to my second. Life was hard with my husband having no permanent work. So I decided to apply for work abroad, in Singapore. Applying to work in another country takes time, money and patience. My first attempt failed and I had no choice but to stay with my family. I gave birth to my third and fourth child.

At that point, life got even harder. When my youngest son turned two I decided to apply again to work in Singapore. I had to pay six months of salary to the agent, but my employer let me pay small deductions every month. I was lucky, my employers were good people. I felt at home with them, even if I did not have any days off and they did not allow me a handphone. After two years, my contract finished, and I had to find another employer. I did not go home to take a vacation because I wanted to earn money. To transfer I had to pay two months of salary to the agent again.

My second employers were good people too. They treated me as family. When my mam gave birth, I felt like I was having a baby too. After a year and a half, I made a mistake that I regret badly. I decided to go back home. My mam wanted me to stay, and I am now very sorry she agreed to send me home.

Life back home was difficult, as I did not have any income and could not provide for my four kids. I felt so down. I applied for a job in Singapore again. Processing went very fast and after only one month I was back in Singapore. I was very shocked when the agent told me seven months of my salary were going to be deducted as an agent fee. I did not get to see my contract until I had been working for the new employer for three weeks already. By that time I had little choice but to sign it. I felt that I had been fooled. Why had they not told me this when I was still in my own country? They had said that because I had worked in Singapore before, I would be a direct hire and would only get four months of salary deductions, spread out over a longer period. I had trusted them to tell the truth. Another mistake.

This time, I had left for Singapore together with a friend, through the same agency. My friend’s contract stated she would pay four months of salary deductions, and that they were going to be spread out over ten months, just like we were promised. Me, I would not have any money to send home to my family for seven months.

I asked my agent, who had turned out to be my mam’s sister, why my loan was so much higher than my friends. The agent said my friend was different, but when I asked why, she would not answer me. Neither did she answer me when I asked to go home. When I told the agent I was very disappointed in her, she texted me back, saying: ‘I told you before my business is making money.’

I thought I was very strong. I thought I had patience. But now, I started to feel unhappy with my work. Every time my mam raised her voice to her kids, every time I even saw her, I felt nervous. I could not fight the thoughts anymore about my own kids, now I could not send them any money. If I can’t send any money to my kids, they will starve. I was worrying so much I could not work properly. I felt depressed. I wanted to go home. That is why I ran away .’

HOME has managed to negotiate a reduction of Jessel’s agency fee, and she is hoping to find a new employer soon. It is common for domestic workers to find upon arrival in Singapore that agent’s fees are higher than agreed. Since contracts are either substituted, or not signed until after they have arrived at their employer’s house, domestic workers find they have little choice but to accept the new conditions.

Singapore’s Employment Agencies Act stipulates that agencies are allowed to charge a maximum of two months salary as a fee to foreign workers entering Singapore, yet most workers end up with a debt that is much higher, either knowingly or unknowingly. Singaporean agencies justify charging higher fees by claiming it is not a debt but a loan, or by claiming that they are merely asking workers to pay off fees charged by agencies overseas, for which they have no responsibility.

The Philippines government regulations stipulate that domestic workers should not be charged any agency fee. By allowing agencies to charge up to 8 months salary, and more in some instances, the Singapore government has contravened its own laws and also violated the Philippine government’s regulations.

rhealyn alonzo:  My agent also the same charged me 6mos deduction it was so unfair..this happening must pulished to news and let all the employers and agency knws about it..thank you.more power to your office.

Nixon Darlington Umblas:  I have a lot of friends who are in the same predicament as Jessel have gone through. Talking to them, I’ve come to know that most of them do not know what to do with their unsatisfactory predicament. It’s nice to hear, an organization such as HOME is out there to readily extend some support and help.

iksrahm Animeg:  Singapore agencies,will process homeleave and charge us 4 1/4mos.salary dduction.

Ulol Ka Na Magnanakaw:  I have a 7 months salary deductions... My agency take advantage of us!!! After i finished my my deduction salary they called mo to signa the blank sheet of parer for how many pages! That was against the law I WANT TO SCREAM AND PUT THE PAPER ON THE RUBBISH BUT still i cannot do because am here in singapore they still can hold my neck! When i come home ds Agency will stop their craziness!!!    i want to make a move for our justice being a maid.

Alejandro Ruizdelacuesta:  So what can be done? Can a collective claim be brought on Singapore courts on behalf of the workers?
If the Act stipulates a maximum charge, then this is beyond the realm of freedom of contract and goes from being a civil contractual dispute to an administrative one. The case should be referred to the Administrative institution that implemented the Act. At the same time the case of people like Ulol above, which show blatant abuse and fraud by coercion and intimidation, I think should be taken to small claims court. I expect that she cannot be represented but she can be assisted in filing and presenting her claim.

Mariz Casiping Kashem:  Dans agency collect 5 month salary deduction if your from philippine but if you change employer her in sg 2 month salary..they only say but the agencies not follow..even indonesian maid also pay 5month or more..

Rrhecy Yam Garde:  My agency took 7 1/2 months of my salary, that's equivalent to s$3,210..im finishing my contract few months from now.what should I do ???any legal suggestions pls.

Roselyn Pastidio: How could we do? Complain then nobody listened and nver take actions,.suppose to be all agency hv standard minimum deductions,minimum wages,.as per m.o.m and both country sides regulations to follows?.

Heaven Bye Urside:  dan's agency charge me 8months 
I went Der ask f I change employer how much it cost...they told me I pay 2months... coz finish already my contract my current employer they went back on their country so I need to change employer....

HOME:  Even though agencies are not supposed to charge more than 2 months, the additional costs are labelled as 'loans' and MOM allows that, unfortunately.

Analiza Arcojada:  im months and half salary deduction here in singaporw ... and my agent take from me thw contract document said latwr Ii will gve it back to you but until now she never return she has so many alibys about my doc... please
how to get from her I want to get my contract doc please help me... 

HOME:  Selvan and Kalai were deceived by an agent, threatened by their employer and worked for weeks for no pay. Now, they are accused of working illegally. Kalai must leave Singapore this week, empty-handed. HOME has been assisting these workers with their cases.

Living in Sri Lanka, where the economy has been ravaged by years of civil war, Selvan and Kalai were desperate for jobs that would allow them to earn a living. When their best friend Ravi introduced them to an agent who promised them a high paying job at a Singapore hotel in return for $3,000 each, they borrowed money and pawned all of their families’ jewellery in the hope of a better life.

Selvan and Kalai arrived in Singapore to find that instead of the high-paying hotel job promised to them, they found themselves washing dishes at different restaurants for 12 hours a day. They were not allowed any rest, and given only one meal a day. None of Selvan’s and Kalai’s salary ever reached them; the restaurants paid their supervisor, Bala.

After weeks of unpaid labour in such harsh conditions, Selvan and Kalai were overcome with frustration. They asked Bala to send them back home, but their requests were brushed aside and they were instead promised that their salaries would be paid soon.

Unknown to Kalai and Selvan, they were working illegally as they had no work permits. One month later, Kalai was caught by MOM. Upon hearing of Kalai’s arrest, Selvan decided to surrender himself.  Deeply indignant about their plight, both Kalai and Selvan tracked down Bala’s whereabouts and confronted him, only to be met with threats to kill them and their families. 

Kalai and Selvan were victims of deception, with the agent in Sri Lanka abusing their financial vulnerability. They were forced to work for no pay, and threatened with violence when they questioned their employer. They did not receive a single cent for their work in Singapore. They say that they did not know that they were not supposed to be working in Singapore and were cheated by their employer. However, Kalai and Selvan have not been treated as victims of exploitation in Singapore. Rather, they have been investigated. Kalai will be deported from Singapore this week for overstaying his visa.

Update: since this story was published, in response to HOME’s referral, MOM recognised that elements of human trafficking were present in Kalai’s case. MOM stated that Kalai would not be treated as an offender and would be allowed to work in Singapore again. Kalai has now left Singapore.

$80,000 in grants awarded to three anti-human trafficking proposals, 17 Jul 2014 The Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons (Tip) has awarded about $80,000 in grant money to three anti-human trafficking proposals.

These are from UN Women, a United Nations organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women; EmancipAsi, a Singapore-based non-profit against human trafficking; and Dr Sallie Yea of the National Institute of Education (NIE).

This is the second year the taskforce has awarded such grants, to encourage community stakeholders to raise public awareness about human trafficking.  A total of six proposals were evaluated by members from the Tip Taskforce. The three successful ones cover initiatives, such as a year-long business engagement campaign, photography exhibitions and film screenings for the general public, and a university-accredited module for trainee teachers.

Get to the bottom of unfair maid placement fees, 14 Jul 2014, Straits Times Forum 

The imposition of considerable placement costs on domestic workers by many employment agencies has, regrettably, been a common practice since 1998 ("Any breach of maids' fee guidelines?" by Mr Bennie Cheok; last Wednesday).

Before then, agents usually expected employers to pay the cost of hiring a domestic worker. One result of this was that costs were kept low.

However, following the Asian financial crisis, agencies began to publicise the "$1 maid" and the "$88 maid".

This meant transferring the cost of placement, including agency fees, from prospective employers to the workers themselves.

Since the workers cannot afford to pay up in advance, these employers fork out the placement costs initially and then recoup these from monthly salary deductions.

This has resulted in maid agencies in the countries of origin and here putting up charges far beyond their 1998 levels, since they face reduced employer resistance to higher prices, as it is the workers who are ultimately affected.

In turn, the anxiety of many Singapore agencies over their ability to recover costs and fees from employers has turned many of them into firm advocates of giving no days off to domestic workers, at least during the first six to eight months of employment, in case the workers try to leave their employers and the employers cancel outstanding payments to the agencies.

Singapore caps the fee that agencies here can charge to one month's salary for each year of employment up to a maximum of two years, but the Ministry of Manpower says that it cannot control the fees and costs passed on from agencies in the workers' home countries.

In the case of the Philippines, the government bans agencies from charging any fees to domestic workers for their placement, so shouldn't they face a maximum of only two months' salary deductions here?

Instead, many maids continue to face six months and more of salary deductions, and the situation is worse for workers from Indonesia and Myanmar.

It is time for increased cooperation between these countries and Singapore to get to the bottom of the matter. They need to find out who is charging how much as fees and for placement services in each country, and to act decisively to reduce exorbitant charges - to which employers justifiably object and which are unfair to impose on maids.

John Gee 
(An activist - HOME)

Need for governments to rein in unscrupulous agents14 Jul 2014, Straits Times Forum 
Maid abuse, in various forms, seems to be an issue in Singapore and many parts of the world.  First, some maids suffer physical abuse from demanding and unreasonable employers. This is a form of modern day slavery.  Second, it is not uncommon to see newly arrived maids sitting in rows, in full public view, at maid agencies - akin to products in a store display.

Training is often conducted in full public view. Some maids are made to carry dolls and walk among shoppers in the malls where the maid agencies are located.  It is humiliating and tantamount to emotional abuse. Training should be done in conducive, enclosed premises.

Third, we now have maid agencies slashing fees to attract employers.  This is fine except that the difference is passed on to the maids, doubling the amount they have to pay to recruitment agents. Consequently, many maids work without wages for up to eight months. This is financial abuse.

Should employers cheer this move? Those who do are guilty of abetting the unscrupulous acts of agents.  Maids are a vulnerable lot. Given their need to eke out a living, they have had to leave behind their families to work in an often daunting and sometimes hostile foreign land. And because they lack a voice, they are easily exploited by unscrupulous people.

There have been calls to tackle this problem but nothing concrete has been achieved.

Hence, there is an urgent need for both the governments of Singapore and the maids' home countries to rein in the unscrupulous agents.

Legislation seems to be the answer as self-regulation will not work for an industry where scruples, respect for humanity and conscience seem to be lacking.

Perhaps there should be guidelines on agency charges, as in the case of consultation fees for medical practitioners.  Only the presence of political will and a concerted effort by governments on both sides will put a stop to these unscrupulous and inhuman practices.

Maids deserve a better deal.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

Any breach of maids' fee guidelines? 9 Jul 2014, Straits Times Forum     
I was aghast to learn that maid agencies have resorted to lowering their fees in order to attract potential customers, but the maids end up paying double to the agents.

It is inhumane to make a maid work for months without wages in order to pay off what she owes in fees.  Is Singapore adhering to International Labour Organisation guidelines on recruitment fees?

Besides, having too many maid agencies fighting for business and charging low fees is an unhealthy state of affairs.  There should be stringent checks before licences are granted to agencies.

The Manpower Ministry should also set certain guidelines for hiring maids and ensure that their rights are not violated.  Singapore should be a role model on the global stage when it comes to fighting social injustice and any alleged breaches of international labour standards and unfair practices in dealings with migrant workers.

Bennie Cheok

Poor treatment by maid agency, according to FDWs in Spore - extracted comments from Facebook.  Owner of this Facebook page is an Indian (proclaimed as an Expat) - MJ.  Not providing any hyperlinks or printscreen image.  You may search Facebook yourself.

Precious Ella Mae Gaoat: I meet a lot if domestic helper like me and we always talk abt thier life in logging/dormitories before their employers take them some say in one week they always eat beans...one say they always eat cabbage..one say they are not alloud to use toilets at nigth...some says one agent take them in one hauz and do hauz work..den agent say this is just a part of thier training...just curious is this happenings legal?is this very rightful to every domestic helpers undergone to this situation???

Cynthia Mirano: Yess this situation happen to me my agency is at the same place my agent is an indian I suffered a lot from my first employer my madam nd d nai nai bt even I complain to my agent they will just scold me nd they took away also my phone as I do recall my first experience here its only my determination nd courage gves me strength to survive I survive for 1/2 noodles nd 2 slices of bread bt thanks God with the help of 1 filipino PR here they teach me on hw cn my employer nd agent agree for me to transfer

Nyldime Española Colobong: I imagined how does this fellow helpers feels....its so heart breaking to see things like this ....we (helpers) are human too...were not your own properties which can easily displayed for sale or for whatever promotions they(AGENCY)! would like to do just for the sake and name of MONEY$$$$$$$$$....we(helpers)do have feelings were not a robots....when we stepped in to work here as a helper there's nothing left for ourselves...we only have 3 values we treasure and keep anywhere we goes.....we(helpers)treasures the value of SELF RESPECT.....PRIDE....AND DIGNITY... So please don't take away those things we only have for doing this silly things!!"

Kipli Ma'ruf: No wonder sometime they dont treat their helper as human being coz they already purchase us as cleaning mesin,while back at hongkong goverment not allowed any party/agency to promoted a helper on display as to respect us we are human being too, not merchandise ,i think quite irony for modern and nice country where most the people are all well educated never think on such issue

Debora Jabat Ita: I never forget what Agency NATION to me when first time I come Singapore, SHE'S SLAPPED MY face, because I just learn how to hang t cloth, n Agency nation bukit timah talk very bad,they never realize if helper pay them, they help Helper to do papers work but we pay deductions our salary.they no pay anythings to us, why tagency treat t helper badly????

Dewi Kambang: Lol... Most of the agency are treating maid very bad especially fir fresh maid.......

Argiekathlea Arboleda Bomlarda: We come here to work as a maid to earn more .but some people treat the maid like shit

Rin Tacibana: The agency ppl never think that they are nothing without us,,,agency always so fierce.,,,

Debbie RosemarieCorpuz: How can agency do this..really ridiculous so sad looking at them in that position ..OMG they should close down this kind of agency..

Sahsah Bbc: "The worker pays these fees because she feels that she doesn't have a choice. And our laws do not make it mandatory for employers to bear the bulk of the fees." ....VERRY SAD.... seen and experienced! this is happening to those new comers, to those who are asleep behind their human rights and/or to those who have no choice but to hold on the sharp edge of their knife to survive. .. These types of agencies, I should say " you are inhumane! Idiots and evil! " ... Don't you think that these people (helpers) are also your clients? loaned or paid upon employment! you agencies, are being paid...!!!! so please.... stop your nonsenses! don't be so greedy...! after all, " WHO DOES NOT PAY? 

Evi Puji: They really heartless.. no feeling at all so do we have to call them whoever treat the helper like that a human being????? They never thinking if they in that helper situation.. so sad..hope one day those agency will get what they already already done. Karma will follow all d way

Pinky Padernal: in this same building when i was keep on coming back until i found my 4th employer,i had witnessed so much...so inhumane and inhuman behavior of agency staff humiliating returnees. I swear with my life, if they ever did that to me,that staff will regret that our ways crossed.

Ria Juraimico: They are never thinking,who pay them,no helper how bcome agency..also like how become boss if no worker..

Yan Andriyan: I remember know back on 2000 oktober my first time in s'pore,,,, the agency was so bad , she said to my friend ,,stupid just like a pig because she can't open sardin ,,and for sure i still remember that agency at BUKIT TIMAH PLAZA,,,,just give us a food rice and soyasauce,
But then i was so lucky ,,, because the family that i work for they are all a nice,, but all of them are not s'porean,

Mirasol Nebrida Bautista: Read this carefully guys and be aware...this practices must be stopped.....i hate recalling my first time experiences at my stupid agency SINCERE MAID...(nanginginig kalamnan ko sa galit) ...
F*** that agency,,, they took almost half of my salary for 2 years..that money should have been enjoyed by my family at home..i really condemn that Filipina agent there...so double S**T!!!!!

Marilou Abuan: They do this for their own personal purposes, their using their power against us... they don't even think of our share to their company... without us they don't exist!

Mirasol Nebrida Bautista: Until now tears drop from my eyes everytime i recall about my hardearned money that never came into my hands....and to think that my family at home suffered a lot during those times while that stupid agency and my agent enjoyed from it witbout even dropping a single sweat from their body.

Charissa C. Palberas: Yah realy some agency talking nice but realy they are not good enough to their accomadation to the maids..so we hope that the mom cn investigate also the truth.

Marilou Abuan: We are here to work to help our family back home but yet this greedy agencies makes us suffer more than they render help!

Lynanie Guzman Erasquin: Yah its truth I was so disappointed to also when I was in my agency one week we do cleaning morning map the floor noon and night, one time one off them say we cook porridge she say 4 cups I say its more than enaf mam, then she say no its not that's y? We fallow her, then at dinner time the one who told us 4 cups went home ready ,one of them is stay with us we take again that porridge wen she see so much...she scold us and told us to finish in front of her, she is watching while we eating, off course u CNT eat properly most specialy porridge is for the poor of the poorest in Phil, she stand with us and put her hands on her waist and saying u must finish at that time I CNT control my self my tears is fallen, but bcoz its my first time,I keep quit wen she ask me y? Agency is treating u as robot,

Nadine Aguirre: me also I experienced brought to agents house do all d house hold chores and then agent still say rubbish words to us...she even hit my indonesian friend on d head and feet...we slept also at there kitchen...oh I hate this agent...only good in making money

D'nasty Aini: Good morning sir. .
It that true. .The sgpr working still many hv facilities. .of the maid. . Lass important to rest and food
I think like that became working nit happy the self. .
It is category. . To save many no think. .position ather meet. .maybe still how many % working here facilities good. .

Charissa C. Palberas: Me also like that my agency IS AG EMPLOYMENT IN BUKITMAH SHOPING CENTER..we sleep in the kitchen and nt enough food and working for free while we waiting our paper to be fixed..and they gve me salary 35o and 8mnth deduction..i think still they are hiring maid until nw..

Lyn Alerta: no doubt that some of agents dont care their applicants once have employers already and they already paid no care at all..for two years i sleep in the kitchen too in my employer no mattress just a thin things cover the floor no privacy too...hmmm so employers cant blame the helper why after contract end they dont sign again...some are no heart at all treating a helper like a slaves..they dont know what helper means lolZ

Aisha Shazaly: I am direct hired wen I came here 2yrs ago. A relative who is not dh recommend me to a friend who is my boss now. Wat they told me was I will only go thru agency by coming here for legalisation purposes but wen I reach sg they will fetch me right away in the airport. But to my surprised, an old man with 2 myanmar dh are fetch me and bring me to the clinic for the medical and all then bring me to the agents place. There I stayed with 8 other dh. Im the only filipino. Most of them are indons. I dunno wat to do, I dun have phone I dun have money. No one xplains to me wat am I gonna do. My first night I was asked to iron clothes, mope floor and hang clothes which is washed by the other woman.. I really scared. Luckily the nxt day boss fetched me. I never eat for 2days.. only the biscuit I brought from Philippines. Wen I recall everything I cant help to be sad and thankful in a way... I hope agency/agents treat everyone good....

Mirasol Nebrida Bautista: That was my first agency as first timer here. From the time my boss fetch me from that agency i never happened to see it again until now. I hope KARMA goes to them too.
Sincere Maid agency; that was before way back year 2011..
Yes really it was...and to think a fellow Filipina were there too.....instead of helping us they also help to put us down....

Tina Pai: We are all a so called HUMAN BEING...
Yes, we are!!!! but not all can act like one... Some are physically human but they don't have heart to feel what we feel. And true human being has a good heart to feel what other people can feel. They do have mind but they never used it to think first what will be the outcome of their acts towards us...

Those greedy money face people working in those agencies don't really deserve to be called as a human being.. They are evil creatures!!!
And let karma be with them

Flower Rose: As far as I know,to those people just passing resume to the agency and collect commission and that is also illegal recruiters.

Jeniffer Hijada Luy: Only agency here can. Make money....

Sarah Del Mar: Yes it's true. And some not even think it's also filipina they are trying to get some commission not even thinking how their family back home suffer while paying huge amount of deduction. Heartless human being. Whoever is weak is a loser. And whoever is new is weaker and it's easy to prey. And for those new comer they think u help them thinking they found a friend to run to if something went wrong but to ur surprised they will also let u down in times of need. They will side to the agency do that they can earn more and again.

Sarah Del Mar: Hahaha heartless kababayan. But those who did that there will be bad Karma for them in due time and it will come in tones to their lives. I always pray for that.

in Jahred Felips: not only the commission agent but also agencies who are not following the rules;they are collecting to much salry deduction

Jeniffer Hijada Luy: Yes its true becoz according to some agency i spoken my business is human not animals so i need to income and to feed them....

Sarah Del Mar: Income and feed??? It's for animals not human. For human it's suppose to be I have to find a family they can work happily and while waiting for that I can give them good and nice place to stay in return they will remember me. Even though I earn from them

Mahal Jat: If enough people are reported then this practice of trapping victims for the unfair deductions by the fellow FDW (who work as illegal recruiters for the rogue agencies) will also stop.

She E. Fajardo: As per MOM rules, you can break the contract after giving 2 weeks notice and employer has to pay the air fare. I do not think you owe repayment to the employer if you choose to return, just do not sign any papers with employer or agency when you leave.

Mahal Jat: give notice to employer. inform employer also.
u can give verbal notice.

even better if you give written notice n ask employer to acknowledge with sign n give u back one copy.
if they dont send u bk, u can call MOM and embassy and explain u gave the notice already n ur not being repatriated

Best to amicably sort out with the employer, sometimes they need longer notice period to find a suitable replacement, if u can afford then try to be flexible and be willing to give longer time frame to them to find replacement so you part on good terms.

Extracted comments from Facebook regarding "Maid hiring fees lower but their loans balloon".  This is an activist page (An) that provides DIY employer/FDW at your own risks, no agent involved.  Not providing any hyperlink to help it generate traffic.  The 'organiser' is in good relationship with HOME - a haven for runaway maids.

Rin Tacibana: Is crazy my agency,,,i came to spore,,,i pay all my ticket and etc,,,agency still deduct my salary for 3 month,,,and nothing left,,,hope that agency close down soon

Lyn Orcales: I feel bad to the helpers like me especially to those new comers.. Cause employers,there been offered a free replacement while the helper they have to pay transferee fee once they change employer . So in my opinion Mom should look into this matter.

Sharie Dela Cruz: We are hoping to the MOM to track down those cruel Agency. And ban them forever.

Einie Pineda: Better d MOM must investigate under secret agent coz agencies here are so clever if they know thy are under d hot water they pretend they are kind and fillow d rules but behind that they are rude and cruel thats d truth...thet are all greedy they didnt treat you as a human they treat us as a slave whle we are waitubg to hire by our employer..dnt have proper food proper place to sleep..must watch d way they dont know so MOM will find out wht is d truth behind this greedy agencies

Maya Melany Chiayank: Yes corret,this agecy,in bukit timah shopping centre,,labour exspress,,,this agency is very bed agency,,,

Ashley Quirante: Ayah mostly agency take a salary deduction is to much then the maids suffer, work to earn money but agency is so grrrrrr.nakakainis ung mga baguhang darating dito nd kaagad magkapera sa pinagpaguran kc agency unang kumain sa pinaghirapan nang iba dapat patas lang sana pare parehas lang naman gsto kumita

Jona May Cerbas: Shame of there self, agency suppose take good care the helper coz without us they don't have business and work...

Maid hiring fees lower but their loans balloon, 7 July 2014
A price war is raging in the maid industry here as agents slash their fees to attract employers - but it is the maids who are bearing the brunt.  Now, it can cost as little as $300 to hire a maid, down from an average of around $1,600 six months ago, checks with 15 agencies show.  (Winter:  this fee increase is usually for new maids.  I hope maid agencies can let the FDWs know how much they are suppose to pay before flying to Spore.  I hope the agencies and FDWs will be truthful.  If maid felt cost is too high, please don't be stupid by accepting a job and making yourself look like commodity.  Don't come to Spore and claiming you've been cheated or employers not paying your recruitment fee.  Don't accuse employers for not paying you for 8 months' service.  FDW, you are an adult, be responsible for your own decision.  You decided to flew to Spore while at source country, employers didn't force you nor tie you up like an animal/cargo and be 'shipped' to our house for 'slavery'.  You paid your agency to get a juicy job ... if you want to blame somebody, point fingers to yourself and your agent.  Blame your govt for not educating you about FDW job placements and regulating unscrupulous agency in your country.)

Agents can offer such rock-bottom rates because they are passing the bulk of the recruitment costs onto the maids themselves.  As a result, the fees that the maids pay the agents have doubled, from an average of around $2,200 to more than $4,000.   (Winter: Employer has agency fee to pay, insurance, etc .... nothing is free.  The sum will balloon if the FDW can't stay with her first employer and became a transfer maid.  Maid will face her first unsettled loan and new agency fee to get second employer.)

Many go without wages, or earn only $10 or $20 a month for up to eight months, while they pay off what they owe in fees.  Most maids here earn around $500 a month.  Agents are warning that more maids will be discouraged by the high fees and quit.  Retention rates are already poor.   (Winter: When a relationship doesn't work, Employer and FDW have to pay agency fee.  Maid agencies get to earn 'recyle money', again and again.  This is not a good sign.  We shouldn't allow maid agencies to earn blood sucking unethical money.  It is our hard earned money!  How can MOM allow such trading to take place?)

Manpower Ministry figures show that only 42 per cent of the maids placed by agencies between February 2011 and February last year stayed with the same employer for at least a year.  A standard employment contract is for two years.  Orange Employment Agency owner Shirley Ng said that maids suffer a dip in morale when they have heavy debts.  "How would you feel if you had to go without pay for eight months?" she said. "You would want to quit."   (Winter:  8 months of hard work but not paid because maid agency gets all the easy money.  If I'm the 'naive' FDW, I will be angry and vent anger on the innocent employer!  Agencies are hard to reach so firing missiles at Employers are easier and more convenient (living in same house) ... can't miss the targets!   Maid/FDW, please don't be stupid by accepting a job and making yourself look like commodity.  Make your agencies give you a cost break down before you sign the papers and fly to Spore.  Please spare employers from miseries.  Don't come!)

The key reason for the price war is a glut in supply at agencies that have "no unique selling point other than cheap rates", said Carene Chin, who owns Homekeeper, one of the largest maid agencies here.  Industry players estimate that Singapore has more than 1,000 active maid employment agencies.  Ms Chin said: "Many agencies don't have a good reputation or a strong client base. They have nothing that lets them stand out, other than cheap fees."

However, some Singapore agents interviewed said that recruitment fees charged to maids have increased because agents overseas are asking for more in commissions.  Kerri Tan, managing director of United Channel agency, said: "When there is good demand for maids, the overseas agents always ask for more money."  The way to prevent maids from being overcharged would be through strict regulations, migrant-worker activists said.

Under the current legislation, maid agents here can charge workers recruitment fees of up to two months of their salary.  But these laws are not sufficient, said Jolovan Wham, executive director of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics.  He said: "Employers should foot all the fees for recruiting a worker. This would be in line with International Labour Organisation guidelines."  (Winter: Employer has agency fee to pay, take leave to find & train FDW, accommodation, insurance, live-in costs, etc... who says we're employing cheap FDW?  If activists insist Employers must foot all the costs, I hope MOM can eliminate that demanding source country.  Otherwise, PAP, please make our lives easier, give us higher salary, lower the living standard, provide cheaper HDB housing and medical so that citizens just need one income and can fire FDWs .... women stay home to be good mothers ... simple logic yet PAP/MOM avoiding!) 

Vicente Cabe, labour attache at the Philippine Embassy here, said that in recent months it had barred some local agencies from recruiting Filipino maids, as they had charged excessive fees.  "We will suspend more agents once we find sufficient evidence to prove their wrongdoing," he said.

More money, less hassle for agents of transfer maids, Straits Times, 18 Mar 2014
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.

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.

Fewer Indonesian maids in Singapore running away, Jul 22, 2013, Straits Times/Asia One

Indonesian Embassy counsellor Sukmo Yuwono cannot help but grin when he sees the rows of empty beds in the embassy’s shelter for runaway maids.  For the first time in years, the shelter, which has space for about 150 women, is not full. The reason, said Sukmo, is pay.

In the past, maids got as little S$10 a month during the first year of work – their salaries cut to repay employers who had to shell out over S$3,000 to cover fees that the maids owed agents in Indonesian and Singapore. 

The Indonesian Government made changes to this practice last year, and maids now get at least S$170 a month while paying off their loans.   They take bank loans instead of getting employers to make an upfront payment, and can clear their debt within eight months.  The new rules also ensure that maids from the country are paid at least S$450 a month.

Agents’ fees have also been cut to about S$2,200, after reducing commissions charged by recruiters.  However, there have been hiccups. The Straits Times reported last year that some Indonesian middlemen ask for “under the table” money.  This cost is passed on to maids, leading to higher debt. The changes have also seen higher agency fees for employers, who are now paying about S$1,600 up from about S$600 before.

Sukmo said Jakarta will blacklist Singapore and Indonesian maid agencies which flout the rules.   But he believes that the maids are happier because of the changes. He said: “I think more maids are now motivated to work out their problems with their employers instead of running away.” 

As recently as last year, most of the maids in the shelter claimed they ran away because they could not get along with the employer.  But when probed by Sukmo, the women revealed that they had felt unmotivated, because they had to wait for over a year before saving enough money to send home to their family.  Today, most of the maids in the shelter are there not so much by choice but because they are owed salaries by their employers, or are involved in police cases involving matters such as abuse.

Since January this year, the embassy, which runs the biggest shelter for Indonesian maids here, has sheltered an average of 100 to 120 maids each month.   The number has dropped to around 50 this month, partly because of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

Agents and Indonesian maids agree that the policy changes have gone a long way in increasing motivation.  Fatmahiroh, 25, who came to Singapore in May to work as a maid said: “I am happy I will be able to save about S$1,000 after working for about six months, and I can send the money home.”

Best Home Employment Agency owner Tay Khoon Beng told The Straits Times that more maids are approaching the firm for help in resolving problems with their employer, instead of running away.
Mr Tay said: "Previously, they would feel there was no point in trying harder since they had to wait nearly a year before they can send money home."

Ms Bridget Tan, chief executive of foreign workers' group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, said the number of Indonesian maids sheltered by her organisation has held steady at about 20 maids a month for the past year. Still she feels that even the $2,200 agent's fee Indonesian maids pay needs to be cut further. "That is a lot of money for someone earning so little.  Employers should be willing to pay more of the recruitment cost so that the maids can pay less."

Winter: to employ Indonesian maids, employers are being made to pay non refundable agency fee from S$1000 to $2000.  This is to allow maids have some cash on hands, be happy at employer's expense.  When a bad or unsuitable maid is being employed, your agency fee is not only fully eaten by maid agency, you are required to pay for your maid's lodging, levy and insurance till she is being transferred out. Most agencies charge $20 per day. If your maid (of any nationality) takes a long time to fish for her preferred employer, let's say she sat in the agency for 21 days without lifting a finger to work, physically not in your house, you are still liable to pay 21 days X $20 = $$420. After adding the non refundable agency fee from S$1000 to $1800, levy and insurance, your damages is a lot more than you thought .... easily $2000 flew away!  Costs and inconveniencs that you need to bear in mind would be time spent to train that outgoing FDW and a newcomer, the number of annual leave you've consumed or going to waste 'again', time taken to hunt for a replacement, etc.

Does maid suffer any losses?  FDW may be asked to pay her agency 1 to 2 months agency fee in order to get a new employer.  Some agencies purposely mismatch employers' requirement or 'educate' their maids to seek transfer so they do not charge FDW any fee, they reap huge profits from employers. 

Maid agencies and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) are the ones smiling because they are not held responsible for anything nor faced any monetary losses.

Is it worthwhile to employ a maid?
Do you really need to employ a FDW? No other alternative?
Do you really think most maids will appreciate what you've done and paid for them?
Don't lie, deny the truth and just see the cost of employing a FDW from faced value, ie a 'low monthly salary of S$450 or $500/month', there are lots of hidden costs.  Read: Cost to hire a Maid

20 Jun - It is extremely unfair to make employers absorb the cost of FDW's placement fees. If maid wants a job in Spore, she should pay, otherwise, don't come! There's no such thing as Free Lunch! By making Employers foot their costs, it is encouraging Filipinos to job hop, show no job commitment, come to Spore as princesses and give us more problems, can anytime say bye-bye because there's nothing .... no loan to tie them down.

If maids want to save money, eliminate middlemen and maid agencies, as well as getting source govt to be involved .... they just want to load their pockets with money from the easiest targets .... Spore employers because we don't have a caring govt, our MOM are very pro-maid and pro-agency.

Filipinos will be jumping with joy because MOM will endorse this by KEEPING QUIET. The existing MOM policies are so unfair yet MOM didn't stop thinking of implementating more. Source countries are so demanding but MOM just sit back and watch us suffer.

If Philippines is determined to squeeze more money from FDW's Employers and make us look like idiots or ATM machines, I hope Filipino FDWs can vacate Spore. We don't need prideful Filipinos, self-indulgent, expensive, stubborn and untrainable maids to remain here as live-in FDWs.

Another evidence to show Filipinos just want to skin Spore FDW employers!
Extracted this "A group of local recruitment agencies deploying household service workers (HSWs) to Singapore will temporary suspend sending Filipinos there starting 2 September 2013.

At a general membership meeting on Saturday, a total of 120 members of the Association of Licensed Recruitment Agencies to Singapore (ALRAS) agreed to stop deploying household workers to protest continued collection of placement fees by their counterparts there.

ALRAS president Lucy Sermonia announced the decision to implement a self-imposed moratorium so that member agencies can convince some partners in Singapore to abide by the Philippine policy of “non-collection” of placement fees. "In order to protect the industry, the association has agreed that a moratorium be implemented in order to convince Singapore agencies that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) does not allow the collection of placement fees under the HSW Reform Package of 2007", she said.

Singapore is fifth highest destination of HSWs with some 150,000 Filipinos working as domestic helpers there.

Meanwhile, Administrator Atty. Hans Cacdac, who was present at the meeting, reiterated that the POEA will not hesitate to impose sanctions against erring agencies who are found violating the no-placement-fee policy."

If Phil govt thought Sporeans have pockets full of cash to employ your citizens, I am sure you'll discover we are not rich, most salaried Employers employed maids due to necessity. Since it is a necessity, we wouldn't want to pay more and take in more risks. Wake up, Spore doesn't have gold mines for you to dig. Employers who have other choices, will go for other nationalities eg Cambodian or opt for subsidized childcare centres. Employers have absolutely no protection nor any guarantee that FDWs will commit herself to work if paid so much. You dare to employ fresh Filipinos? We looked like paid higher by the companies that employed us but have you forgotten to factor in the living in costs and Sg high cost of living? Most 'clever' maids are already enjoying great lives yet still want to ask more from us... your never ending feeling of treating you better than ourselves is wrong, so selfish, infuriating!

In case you're still in slumberland, there's no way you can force a maid to stay and work 2 good years with you. MOM (via SIP course)has trained FDWs how to runaway from their contractual duties. Maids leverage on several ways to break their contracts and get a transfer. She can refuse to work (boycott), laze around or adopt a poor working attitude and deliberately break/destroy your things. A recalcitrant maid can also feigns unstable behaviour or simply hop into a cab and seek sanctuary at her embassy, HOME or agency.

Manila to stop giving new licences to Singapore maid agencies, Straits Times, 19 Jun

Singapore maid agencies are being barred from taking out new licences to source for workers in the Philippines  in a move by Manila to crack down on firms flouting its rules.
The country's embassy will limit the number of licensed companies to the current pool of about 100 and new applications will be rejected.

Philippine labour attache Vicente Cabe confirmed that the new policy came into effect on June 1 and is the next phase of efforts by the embassy to enforce its rules.
The Philippine government wants employers to bear domestic workers' placement fees, which cost $2,000 on average, or four months' salary.

Placement fee only on first-time maids, Straits Times Forum, 20 Apr

Ms Agnes Kwok Sook Yee says she is willing to pay the placement fee if the maid is really trained ("Placement fee should be tied to maids' training"; last Monday).
Why is the onus on employers to pay for the maids' training?

In most fields and jobs, employees pay for their own training to upgrade themselves so they can get better jobs.

If maids want to work in more developed countries, they should pay the training fees.
I understand that they may not have the financial ability to do so; that is why the employers usually pay first and the maids repay them later. This is why such maid placement fees should be levied only once and not each time a maid leaves to work for another employer.

Francis Ho See Tong

High maid placement fee unjustified, Straits Times Forum, 11 Mar 2013

I agree with Ms Agnes Kwok Sook Yee ("Placement fee should be tied to maids' training"; last Monday).  Maids, even the inexperienced ones, are paid $496 a month, or $19 a day. Comparatively, I once met a skilled construction worker who gets only $27 a day, without food and lodging.

I understand that a maid working here for 1.5 months can earn the equivalent of a year's wages in the Philippines.  Are maids so underpaid that they cannot bear part of the placement fee?

My previous maid told me that while she was at the agent's training centre in Manila awaiting clearance to come to Singapore, she studied Chinese every day and was shown how to do domestic chores and cooking only once.  It is not hard to understand why some employers and maids get frustrated with each other, resulting in employers frequently replacing maids. I have learnt that maids are told they can ask for a transfer if they are not happy.

Furthermore, I once hired a maid who was more interested in painting her nails than doing chores. She also made dozens of calls to her home town when she was left alone in the house. I terminated her contract after two months despite the agent in Manila rating her as "very good".

In the light of all this, it is unfair to charge employers such a high placement fee.

Lynette Chan


I read the article ("Manila tightens maid hiring rules"; last Friday) with concern.

I do not mind paying the placement fee if the maid is really trained.  Placement training is meant to teach and prepare maids to do well here.  Despite this, I still had one maid who did not know how to use a washing machine.  After I showed how it is used, she stood for five minutes watching the whirling wash, her head spinning together with the machine.  Another maid used her toes to push dust into the dustbin when sweeping the floor, used her fingers to clean off the dirt under her toenails, and went to prepare food immediately after that.

The $2,000 placement fee is unjustified as most maids do not know basic hygiene, have cooking skills or housekeeping abilities.  The few maids I have hired who knew how to do their jobs did not know it because of any placement training they had undergone - they knew what to do because they had prior experience.

When my maid requested to return after six months back home, she was made to go back to the placement centre, not to be trained but to give training to other maids, as she had experience.
Unfairly, we had to bear the placement fee.

It is one thing to charge employers. But the Philippine government must ensure that maids are fully equipped with the skills to do their jobs when they are sent out.

Agnes Kwok Sook Yee

Cambodian maids to earn at least $420 a month, 30 May 2013, Straits Times

Placement fee will be paid with loan from finance firm, not by employer,
Salaries which start at $420, and no placement fees from employers.  These proposals were part of a document the Cambodian government sent to selected maid agents, as Singapore moves ahead with a pilot scheme to see how well Cambodian maids adapt to life here.  The scheme, which runs until the end of 2015, will see its first batch of 400 maids arrive in July this year.

Cambodia has proposed employment terms for these maids in a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which was sent this week to the six maid agents picked by the Manpower Ministry to recruit the maids.
Workers with no experience will get a minimum of $420 a month.

Those with experience will be paid at least $450. If the maid works on all her four rest days each month, she has to be paid another $70.
Also, employers will not have to pay the maid's placement fees upfront, similar to the recruitment scheme Jakarta introduced for Indonesian maids last year.  Under the previous system, employers paid these fees, and recoup them by deducting from the maid's monthly salary.

Instead, the placement fees, which will amount to around $2,500 and include the cost of training and profit for agents, will be paid for by loans from a Cambodian financial firm. The maids will repay the loans through monthly instalments.

The Singapore agents told The Straits Times that the terms were on a par with those for Indonesian and Filipino maids, who make up the bulk of domestic workers in Singapore. Monthly salaries for Indonesian maids start at $450, while Filipino maids get at least $500. The Straits Times understands that the agents will sign the MOU by next week.

Nation Employment managing director Gary Chin, who travelled with the five other Singapore agents to Phnom Penh earlier this month, was impressed by the maids he met. "Their English is quite good. Some spoke Mandarin and Chinese dialects which they picked up from working in Malaysia," he said.

The agents were told that there are 14,000 Cambodian maids who have returned home from Malaysia, which has been employing Cambodian maids for nearly a decade, and can come here to work.
Still, some industry players have questioned the proposed loan scheme for placement fees. They feel it is unlikely that any finance firm in Cambodia would be interested in the project because of its relatively small scale.

Ms Bridget Tan, chief executive of the foreign workers' group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home), said the $2,500 fee was excessive. The fee's profit margin will be split between the Singapore and Cambodian agents.

"It probably takes just $200 or so to train and provide accommodation for the maids. The cost of living in Cambodia is quite low," she said, urging agents to lower their profits
Meanwhile, the Singapore agents have started to offer Cambodian maids here.
Nation Employment has a handful of employers who have already paid agency fees of about $1,800 to ensure that they get a maid by July.  One of them is accountant E. Lee, 54. She said: "I think Cambodian maids can be a good alternative to Indonesians or Filipinos. My agent said the worker I will get has experience working in Malaysia. I am hopeful that she will adapt and work well here."

Winter: This is great, employer need not fork out one-time maid loan because placement will be paid with loan from finance firm.  I doubt maid agencies willing to earn lesser and chase maid for payment.  End of the day, still made employers foot maid loan for their convenience.  I'm willing to hire an experience Cambodian maid at S$450 if she has learnt to speak some Mandarin and English.  I can't speak Malay so if she can only understand mother tougue and Malay... end up like another M, chicken and duck, no way. 

It looks better to get Cambodia maids because they are uncommon in Spore .... 400 Cambodian FDWs vs the influential Filipino and Indonesian FDWs.... don't you think it is better?  But to pay an inexperienced Cambodian maid minimum S$420, higher than Myanmese, both nationalities known to be unable to communicate in basic English, how to work with them? 

I must admit, I am not an ideal employer who has patience to train her, enjoy a chicken & duck relationship and leave my girl alone with a her, expect her to learn, be smart and independant like Filipinos ... with one month intensive training.  Spent 4 months with M (my ex-Indonesian maid), I realised Indonesians are known to be slow by nature, not easy to re-programme them to work faster... most FDWs (in fact ... all nationalities) do not desperately need a job, there's nothing to drive them to work harder and faster (productive).  The MOM policies are to their advantage.  Employers cannot simply fire any FDW, absorb the losses of FDW who refuse to perform (not that she cannot do a proper job, she just stubbornly refused to co-operative thinking that's part of her human rights), as per job requirements.

Visit Nation and pay $1800 as agency fee, crazy, just like daylight robbery! 

Pay more doesn't mean employer will get trained and maids of better quality cum ideal working attitude.  Employers .... I forsee are just paying more but getting more headaches and unfair treatment!  The sad fact is our MOM is all the way backing the maid agents and FDWs.... helping and collaborated with them to milk the employers in whichever way they fancy!  Employers are powerless against these unscruplous people who portrayed themselves as nice earthlings!  Nobody care nor willing to help us.

Read more in my new site
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  1. Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (Home) and Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) - set up to demand higher wages and employee benefits for their kind.

    Who is there to fight for our rights and protection? Why we are often held ransom by their Government and our maids? Why our MOM siding them?

    Maid agencies are very irresponsible and not credible. They would do anything for profits. Agencies tell you source country demanded certain fees and you paid a lot but they kept the maids in the dark leading them to think employers owe them. All the while maids thought they are paying whereas employers didn't pay. MOM should make bad agencies return our placement fees in full if maids found not workable. Maids should be penalised for having more than 2 transfers each year. I think maids who are on transfer got to attend MOM interviews and found out what are their reasons and how interested are they to work as maids. Those who come to gain easy life and easy cash should be sent home at agencies' costs.

    Agencies who didn't do proper sourcing should refund our money and shouldn't be given any chance to run off with our hard earned money. For employers and maids, nobody stands to win if they are not willing to help and understand what each faced. A relationship that doesn't work, maid agency gained.

  2. I think reputable agency is important. Reputable does not equal to heavily advertised. Reputable as in they have alot of customers, and they do not have demerit points. (can check from MOM website) Why is it impt? If they have a steady stream of customers - that means they have not too bad maids. Reputable is good too cos they will be afraid that you tarnish their image. And very importantly - choose one which is in the mkt for a long time...

    At the end of the day - it's also part of our LUCK. If you are lucky, you get a good maid, if you are unlucky, good luck! I hope my maid, who is coming in Jan is a good one cos I am going to entrust my baby under her care while I am away at work. Have been praying everyday for a good maid.





  4. At Katong shopping centre, I watched a brand new Bentley driven by a maid agency owner. At Katong shopping centre, there are full of maid agencies. The money from slave trade is extremely good. Most of these owners own 3 or 4 condos.

    How they make that kind of money to own such luxuries? Make employers pay more and jerk up maid loan. All these money are one way in becoz money doesn't come out from these slave traders' pocket easily, even if you've a bad maid to get rid of!

  5. What for pay so much agency fee and cannot get a good live-in helper?
    May be is time for our Government to change the domestic helper's policies. Do some surveys to ask families why they need a helper. Make the employment agent to be the employer of the helpers. And the EA will arrange these helpers' work schedule to suite every families' need. The employer will charge a fee for work done and they have to provide lodging for these helpers.

  6. Winter copied this from forum:
    By CJS
    It makes me wonder why MOM collects maid levy from us. I thought MOM is the one to issue maid agencies their licences yet they allow their rampant bad business practices.

    The maid agency I am having bad experience with is a CASE trusted agency and I have used them since 1996 for my every single and extended family's maids. Their agency fee is also higher than most other agencies in the market. But they are providing such services to a long time loyal customer.

    Now, I have learnt is that employers have to look at the cancellation clause in their agency agreement very carefully even though you might think that such things do not happen to you. This agency collected full agency fee upfront but cancellation clauses all benefit their own interests. Even if the maid cancels her application due to no fault of the employer, the agreement is silent on the refund.

    Please beware of Comfort Employment Pte Ltd. This is the agency that is giving me all these problems. and there is no COMFORT at all.

  7. Winter copied this from forum:
    By Mommy-sahm
    I concur that JPB katong is one agency to avoid.

    I asked for a recommendation from Lingwan at katong. I was told by a neighbour that she helped hired her indon maid, who is very good. I told her I wanted a maid exactly like hers. Lingwan seemed very sure of herself and said that I should try a maid highly recommended by the same training centre as my neighbour's maid. I saw the profile and had some reservations as she was a single child and may not stay longer than two years. She allayed my concerns and kept assuring me that she is able to persuade her to stay longer than two years. I kept telling her I would like a maid who would stay longer than two years and who is obedient and has same Kwai deneamour as neighbour's maid. Come the day when I went to pick maid up, I didn't like her already as she is the epitome of an indon ah lian. I asked how long she would stay in sg and she said only two years as she wanted to further her studies after. I asked if she would have bread instead of rice for breakfast and she said she wanted breakfast cereal. This was incredulous!!! Whatever happened to the Kwai maid who would stay longer than two years in sg?

    The profile said I could have video conference and phone calls with her, but I was never offered the option in person. It was just never offered to me. I had also gone along, choosing to rely on their recommendation based on my preference in a maid rather than base on my own interviews. It is something I deeply regret.

    On hindsight, I believed Lingwan had tried to push a bad maid to me, since I appeared easy going and was willing to trust her, since I had come recommended by my neighbour.

  8. Winter copied this from forum:
    By chixchix
    Hi in all my years of keeping maids, I can only comment on Prestige, Inter-mares, Comfort and Raffles.

    When i was looking for a maid desperately, i went to Prestige and I am never the type who likes to go to maid agencies but since their website was good, I forced my hubby to take me there. Upon reaching, there were so many maids there, transfer ones, they all looked so havoc to me, nose earrings, short skirts and I knew this was not for me. I left. Then I went to Comfort in Jurong east. There was an Indonesian there,, apparently the girl "kim " told me that her employer chose her and decided not to pick her up, so putting up for transfer. I don't know what is true.

    At that time, I knew nothing about checking maid record in MOM. She looked dead and I wasn't keen to take her but hubby said just take maid as we needed help. The moment she came to my house, she used to visit the toilet over 20 times a day, constantly coughing, i took her to so many GP, do X-ray and when I called the agency, they said she was ok there. Now i also understand that certain things mayn't be in the hands of the agency. So i asked her did she have any basic training in Indonesia? She says no, she came direct from home, ok no wonder the agency fees was low ..anyway..after tolerating her for 1 year, i gave up and transfer her out. I got another maid through recommendation of my old helper, and started looking for a 2nd helper.

    I started contacting Raffles, few times not just once, kept talking to the owner ,shared with her my worries, and what kind of helper I was looking for. She shared a lot of information with me, as a Employer herself, and let me tell you she is not going to send you a whole file of biodatas, just a few only, to cater to your needs. But of course she did tell me that how a maid works out to be also depends a lot on their employers. So I have also started being a bit gentler with my maids in terms of giving a bit more trust as long as my kiddos are treated well.

    I think the personality of the agency counts a lot, they need to be there when you need them.

  9. Winter copied this from forum:
    By chickaboom
    Bad experience with ADP in Orchard who specialise in trasnfer maid only. Comm with the EA personnel whose name start with D, shortlisted a handful candidates, more than half either unavailable or want to work for expat only. Appointment made, went there, the personnel I had contacted was not there and the candidates promised were not there as well. another colleague just shoved me two biodatas, one from HK who came in as tourist, another who just wanted to work for expat (wasted my time interviewing her!) The secoond one gave me this highty mighty look during interview and at last saying that she is looking above SGD600+, all Sun PH off, no curfew while i cant see she has any special skillset. I learn that this agency does not charge any fees on the transfer maid, so the downside risk to the maid is zero. hence there is no incentive for them to work out with the new employer. I swear I will never go there again.

  10. Winter copied this from forum:
    By Balloon
    The staff are full of lies. DO NOT trust their maid biodata. We hired a new filipino maid after interviewing her via webcam. We completely trusted the biodata given stating that she is a catholic and is able to handle and eat pork. To our horror, on the first day she came, we realised she could not handle nor eat pork. It would be troublesome for us, Chinese, to have a maid who cant eat pork to live and work for us. Utensils and food have to be cooked separately as well. We were damn furious with this agency for lying to us. We were being cheated to sign the contract. We called them up the next day to confront them. However, they claimed that they just keyed in the biodata based on what is written by the maid. They pushed the responsibility to the maid but the maid said that she did mentioned that she could not handle or eat pork.

    SLF Green Maid Agency does not show any guiltiness and is not intending to do any compensation. They even said that it is ok for us to sue them. What kind of attitude is this. We paid a heavy sum for her loan, her insurance etc but what do we get. If we send her back, we are going to lose out some money.

    In addition to this, we had our second maid transferred out prior to this. The staff lied to us that she was being transferred out after 2 weeks she was sent back. We called them up again as we did not receive the letter from the MOM. They said they would check and get back to us. After a few days, we called again as there was no reply from their side. The truth is that this maid was just being transferred to another employer, which is the third week instead of the second week. What crap is this? We have to pay for more levy. Why lie to us when the maid was not being transferred yet?


  11. Winter copied this from forum:
    By whitety
    I had a very bad experience with SLF Green Maid agency too. Do not trust their maids' biodata and what they claimed about their specially selected maids by the boss. At the end, i had to pay the agency a few hundred dollars for terminating my contract with them as i had given up hope taking more replacement maids from them after taking 2 maids from them (never had such bad maid experience before and had phobia after that and now living without maid for a few years already)

  12. Winter copied this from forum:
    By Kokomommy
    I have some sharings on the maids nowadays. I really think that having a reasonable good maid is 80% luck (personality of the maid) and 20% other factors including the personality of the employers, the profile of the family etc, if not still 100% luck on the maid herself.

    I have maids since 1997 (16 years in all), when my first son was born. I only take experience maids ...I have 2 boys in sec school now and we have stayed in HDB, Condos and now landed home. So i have alot of silly experiences analysing maids...Till now i have a total of 8-10 maids, 2 maids who stayed 5 years each period (10 years in total) but lately the rest are really "Random" maids (6-8 of them). I have tried Indon, Filippinos, Myanmars. I still contact my that 2 good maids till now and they are married with kids...Random means cannot make it....haha...stayed with us 1 week to 3-6 months types. Very tiring to kanna them....

    I found out, not by generalisation, but -the 80% majority rule - that, (of course there are the 20% who are not generalised here) :
    1) Filippinos are mostly arrogant (hao lian), vain and tell alot of lies. They like to work for expat ah mohs. Look down on Singaporeans, middle class or lower. They do not like to be micro-managed. Like to talk on phones, even to midnight. Like to have boyfriends and generally lose morals. So rare to find a good one now. Have, but very difficult....They are ok with big houses, kids. But they very talkative and high and mightly. They are the brightest of all. Any other maids they know, they call them cousins...OMG!

    2) Indon always blur and tell lies type, must push them, not hardworking, not thorough in their jobs. Not so smart like Filippinos but more humble. But they are not so hygienic. Can cook better only, can micro manage abit only for the in-exp ones. Hardy types Can work in big house, not so good with kids, but better with aged, Tell lies also, steal also. 95% cannot eat pork and mostly cannot handle dogs.

    3) Myanmar, mostly are of better character (at least 60% will not steal). English ok, some bad. But character is more impt in maids right? They are very rigid and "one sided" mind, stubborn. IF they have made up mind on certain things, hard to change their thinking....maybe culture, not so much on attitude. Cannot cook well and cannot work in Big house...They do not argue so much like the Filippinos.

    Any other sharings on this? I reiterate my findings are on majority maids , not the 2 sides of the bell curve....

  13. By Kokomommy …
    Lately, i also found out that :

    1) the maids choose us, when they hear babies, small kids and big houses (landed), they all dont want to work for us....why the world is like this? When i was in condo, my status among the maids are the best even my kids are in primary schools that time. Worst is when i stay in landed house, with 2 dogs, no aged, kids come home after school at 3-5pm....they also dont want work leh....They choose us hor....
    2) Some agencies , mostly in Far East shopping centres,esp those mentioned as avoided agencies in the various threads in kiasuparents , are "Super" maid agencies which always do transfer maids from local families like us to expat ang mohs. They do not hire from fresh and do proper application. They steal our maids...You can see a stream of maids there interviewing employers on Sundays. Not we interview them hor. Can MOM do something to this? They made us super stressed when after training our maids, the agencies took them to the "foreigners" and we local mummies have to work so hard for a living , on top of the training maids and supervising kids and teenagers and high cost of living. The agencies bosses with maid licences are mostly FOREIGNERS, but now Singaporeans. The maid agencies bosses are from Philippines, Myanmar origins. I saw their licences & i spoke to them...Now these converted Singaporean teach their maids to stay away from local employers and earning my money when our maids transferred out...
    3)Now, I gave my maid (recommended by my ex-maid) hp usage, 2 days off (old contracts) and $580 (she only 2 years exp) in Singapore. If not, no maids can work for me. Last 2 years and earlier, $380-$450 for experience maids, 1 day off, now, they are like priced so high by the agents.

    4) Why is not govt waive the maid levy and put us employers on par with the HK, Taiwan etc? We Singaporeans employers are not "valued " here by these maids as they seek greener pastures after getting exp here. Those manpower ministries in HK and Taiwan only take experience maids and are paid $800. Why MOM does not look into this? Do u know the maids do not respect us here even we are paying about $800 including levy but we can only get fresh and lousy exp maids for these prices?

    5) Do you know the maids in Taiwan and HK cannot ask for transfer? any requests by them are not entertained. They will be asked to pay for their airfares home immediately and come back again as a new hire. So it make them work hard for at least 2 years without complaints & wary of their employers....

    Maid and employers do have a differentiation. We are not talking about that they are mere products or whatever. Since uneducated women in those countries can find jobs and money here, they have to earn their respectable income by giving their services, isn't it? Only a small handful employers here are not good, but majority do know how to treat their maids well as our kids are with them. We are not so inhuman.

    Indirectly, our maid agencies will not help us on this becos they also get money from transfer cases. We employers must set up a group or representatives to talk to MOM about all these. Anyone seriously keen in these?

  14. Winter copied this from forum:
    By rain_drops
    I'd like to share with you guys about this agency that has been supplying unfit indian maids. A friends of mine, hired a maid from this agency & she went through worst than hell.

    To my understanding, the agent itself is from India a non-PR perhaps. She lives in a HDB & I believe she doesnt have a proper training centre as well. I feel really sorry for what my friend had been through with this maid & the agent. Every single day she would share her turnover with me. So i decided to put this here to alert the rest of you who are about to hire an Indian Maid especially from Axix Solutions.

    So this agent had supplied a medically unfit maid to my friend who was then pregnant. Her husband travels & is out of town most of the time. So she is alone at home with the maid. Maid wouldn't work, she woke up at 9am & then my friend found her sleeping at 11am. Then maid complains of swelling feet, then vomiting, headache, fever, tooth ache & all this was the 1st week she had arrive. Imagine being pregnant & dealing with maid issues. Finally, my friend contacted agent, agent says- her medical was perfectly fine & ask her to soak her feet in hot salt water. That was solved. Once we went out, took the maid along. We sat in the restaurant to eat, maid started crying out of sudden. We were shock of our lives. She didn't answer upon asking her many times. Wonder what was wrong with her. Since she never answered, so we ignored her.

    Then finally, she was given a roster, which she never followed. She would do whatever she feels like it. If my friend doesn't monitor her she will do a lazy work. She wake up at 7.30 unlike other maids who woke up at 6am. she takes 3 hours to clean kitchen, 2 bedrooms & living whereas it takes only 2 hours to clean 3 bedrooms, kitchen & living. So she was SUPER DUPER SLOW!! She mopped using 1 hand LIKE A BOSS!! She broke so many kitchen appliances & never informed till my friend finds out. She fed sour milk to the dog, she uses pail thats meant for toilet cleaning stuff such as toilet bowl brush & other stuff, to wash kitchen towels.

    As we all know, a pregnant lady becomes fussy when it comes to food, she will want to eat something special due to their taste buds, my friend will cook for herself & leftover she stored in the fridge. Without knowing, the maid has eaten the leftovers. My friend was really sick of her, cried everyday. She wished to send her back but u know once u have paid to the agent, its not a small amount. So she had choice than to keep her. The maid was extremely selfish. She would eat whatever thats in the fridge without worrying what her employers are going to eat. My friend was alwways in stress, which wasn't good for the baby. Everyday she cries because the maid only does work when her husband is at home, probably to impress him. MY friend is extremely particular about cleanliness. Every time the maid is seen relaxing as if she was hired just to sweep & mop because my friend cooks everyday. Few times my friend spot her without a "BRA" mind me. I feels like she has some hidden agendas. After being scolded, she was spotted again. OMG!! This is no joke. She has bad body odor too. Upon being told, she never took the effort to buy a deo for herself.

    every other day she breaks & damages something. My friends shouts & screams at her every time because its been more than 3 months & yet the maid hasn't been able to manage things by her own. Few times she forgot to lock the apartment door. She is so forgetful, dirty & lazy, being a singaporean, u'll certainly not compromise when it comes to cleanliness.

  15. By rain_drops
    The day my friend got her labor pain, she was then in hospital. Unexpected tragedy happened. Her baby's heartbeat stopped before birth. She has a stillborn. It was really sad. Then she was admitted in hospital for more than a week, due to high fever. Sometimes god has some reasons behind everything that he does. Who knows what it was??

    My friend return home of course losing a baby is a grief that a mom will hold for a lifetime. Maid assisted her as much as she could. One fine day, maid was sweeping & my friend sat on the sofa, she asked her to wake up & sit on the other side because she wanted to sweep. Now if it was me i will slap her so hard. She is under confinement, stitches on & lost her kid - yet you are not done stressing her up?? WTF!! What do we call this, lack of humanity??

    Friends mom in law came down to visit her, asked maid to massage her head. Maid says, I cant because my contract doesn't say so. WOW!! can u imagine a maid saying all that?? She watches TV without permission & many other things. She never asked when unsure because she is willing to make mistake & apologize as if apology is privilege for mistake makers. She never answers upon asking questions. Its stressing i can imagine.

    My friend then decided to speak to the maids mom since agent wont help. He mom says speak to her nicely, she is a lovely kid. She left her studies & all because she wanted to see singapore. If her employers were good hearted people, they would let her study as well?? Now, aren't u here for work. If you are on work pass can u study??

    The first day the maid came, she was told that she cant use a handphone. Finally she started bugging my friend & her husband to call her mom using their phones, then her sister & then her bf - plus they would get a return call for her which the husband didn't like. She then got her own sim card, she was caught using phone many times during her working hours which my friend couldn't tolerate & kept her phone for a week as punishment. Then she begged for the phone so much. Then she calls her mother & complained that her phone was kept & that she was getting scolding everyday. Now what about the mess she had made?? Then out of sudden, she gives a week notice that she wants to go home & that her sister isn't well. So, my friend said till she finds a new one only then she can go back. So friend consulted another agent for new maid, they mentioned about loan, which my friend was aware about. So, when found our properly, it was to be deducted from maids salary. Now, friends husband paid full amount, without noticing this. So she was overpaid 2months salary, then she gave a weeks notice. Isn't this cheat?? U knew it but yet you took the money & remained silent.

    1 evening my friend sent the maid to buy stuff, the maid went up to agents home without letting her know. Its not an off day, its a working day & she returns at 11pm. When complained to her mom, her mom says that ok 11pm isn't too late because this is not India!! So what happens if she dies or gets raped?? Who is responsible, employer right??

  16. By rain_drops
    Finally, last sunday : conversation between agent & my friend

    Agent : Where is the maid?
    Friend: She is at home?
    Agent: Why isnt she taking my calls?
    Friend: Why would she take calls during her working hours?
    Agent: How can u speak to me like this? I supply the maids & i have rights to speak to them if they have problems? She calls me one evening saying I'm coming to your home? Her mom calls everyday to say send the maid back & etc? ( in a high pitch tone - yelling)
    Friend: dont shout, if you want to shout, speak to my husband.
    Agent: Fine. Get him to call me. ( and hung up on my friend)

    My friend got mad at her because she alredi told maid's mom that they will be sending her soon. Friends husband called agent, she started shouting at the husband & threatened to complain to the police & hung up. Then her husband decided to send her back on the spot.

    Imagine someone just screw up your weekend, calls u shouts at you someone else's mess & hung up on u. So all day maid was busy shopping for her family & doing her stuff. Before she left there wasnt any word of apology or gratitude. Its really sad, she gave her stuff & all but got treated like a shit. That too because of some illiterate maid.

    So guys, please please... be very careful when u hire an Indian Maid, especially from Axix Solutions Pte Ltd. Good Luck peeps

  17. Winter copied this from forum:
    By chixchix
    I dont know about most agencies but I have taken 7-8 Punjabi maids before i gave up, Koosh, Queens, Sunita, Charisha, Megabiz, etc, I dont mind paying higher agency fees if they are willing to help me when I have a problem, but not when they tell me that I cant do anything.

    Punjabi girls are lazy, I dont know why they come to Singapore, they are always complaining of lots of housework, they are tired,they need their mobiles, otherwise they ail perish without it. They dont like naggy employers.

    After changing so many punjabis and the last was koosh, my family switched to Indon, i took a maid who never worked in Indian family before, train her up, its difficult for the first few months, since their prior experience was with food of less salt & spice and they need to adjust to masala. After contract ended I took a maid from another agency, where they handpick the girls themselves ..so far so good, she is learning but as I dont expect the maid to become vegetarian with me, i allow her to go to the foodcourt and eat if she wants to eat meat. Let me know if you need me to share contact.

    But I think there's a way to safe guard ourselves. Do u know that MOM webpage has the list of agencies info where it shows FDW Retention Success Rate & FDW Transfer Rates. Which means, an agency with high FDW Transfer Rates are those agencies who are making money our of all employers. You u notice some agency charges the same rate for Fresh & Transfer maids. So when you are about to hire a maid from an agency...ensure to go through the agency info... 50% & above FDW Retention Success rate is good. A retention success rate of 50% means that on average, 1 in 2 FDWs placed by the EA stayed with the same employer. Please spread this to all.

  18. Winter copied this from forum:
    By straffan
    Might wanna be careful about Ming Employment too. Completely oversold the maid's capabilities, and after signing it has been difficult to be in touch.... The usual bad after sale story...

    By Piggypig
    Pls avoid United Home Maid Specialist - Woodlands Branch at all cost!!! Had very bad experience with them recently since 2011. Actually i have been using them since 2006, they are very pro previously even recommend my colleagues and sister to them but i think they have changed their business philosophy, their maids now are not well-trained. Had trouble doing simple general housekeeping like mopping and sweeping floor.... since 2011, i have changed 3 maids but not i want to is maid request for transfer all at our expenses.... we need to pay..... and there is no guarantee.... when we asked the agent, he said i can only recommend you think i am god ah.... if i can know whether they are really good or bad, you can take 3 joss sticks and come pray to me already.... what is this??? anyway i have enough of their nonsense..... suspect they just want to earn quick $ from both employers and maids.....

  19. Winter copied this from forum:
    By takefortywinks
    Now I am in the same boat as many of you here. I also got a maid from My Maids Station at Bt Timah Shopping Centre. After getting a Myanmar maid for barely a week, the maid said that she wanted to go back to the agent. She wanted a job that doesn't need her to cook, boil water (kettle with water is too heavy), have afternoon time off, can use handphone any time and any day. Her pay is $500 with 1 day off per mth. She said agent told her she can transfer easily. I brought her back for counselling and told the Lxxxx guy that I want to change to an Indo maid. He said will show me Indo maid biodata which will come in 2 days' time and can bring in the maid within 2-3 weeks. And then, ... you must have guessed. No news, no call and you can't get him. Was told he is on MC, had operation etc. Now I also don't know what to do. Cdmama, babybride and others, if you are lodging complaint, count me in.

  20. Winter copied this from forum:
    By 2011mummy
    i took my 1st maid from My Maid Station in april, her name is MOE MOE. if anyone happen to be her new employer here, pls take note of this MOE MOE.

    she is pickly about food. only like curry chicken. initially we thought she need time to adjust to sg food but we was wrong, she was really pickly abt food. she is suppose to take care my 1 years plus boy, wash my son clothes only. no housework involved. after she came like 3 mths which is in july, i notice she start to dozed off in the afternoon (she doesnt wake up in the nite to take care my son) ask her why and no happy and say she want leave our place. she want go bk agent. then in Aug, i was for delivery fr my 2nd boy. i put her and my son in my mum's pl for a few days cos no one is at home to monitor her. She was really dirty, she did not change her panty and bra for a few days (cos my mum help her hang her clothes outside, afraid she fall out of window), my mum ask her, she still smile back at her. then a week later, she like suddenly cry so badly when i just started my confinement, my mum called me to bring her bk. she want go back agent, for no reason. stupid i cant even rest well during my confinement. Ok to add on my 2ND Maid from this agency arrived end July, just a week before my delivery. this MOE MOE came bk our place and continue to say she want go agent but i was in my confinement and i manage to persuade her to stay.. just a few days down, i actually discovered she got a mobile ph, note: she came like 3mths plus,collected 3 X $20 salary.. and she got herself a samsung touchscreen mobile. and she still lie that it neighbour maid phone. i confiscated the phone and ask her tell the neighbor maid to collect her phone back from me. in less than 10 mins she came crying and confess is her hp and kneel down in front of me to return her phone. i got a shock of my life when she kneel down and i quickly walk away. she confess it her bf who bought her hp. her attitude sucks, on and off she keep saying want go agency. i did not return her hp cos our agreement out front was no hp but i will allow her to call home. she has got no friends in sg. we screen thru her hp, she was always talking at night that explain why she keep dozing off in the afternoon. she even steal our memory card cos i saw our pixs in her hp. this thing keep dragging on til sept, we decide to send her bk to agent. i wonder what kind of think did e agent teaches this maid. they can just say no happy send them bk agent. she even know the proceedures to change employers etc.

    she still call bk to our place to influence our maid to change employer.. her bf send another hp down to e agent place to her thou i pass e one i confiscated to the agent.

    now e 2nd maid came end july, is asking to return to the maid station too. same as MOE MOE.

    she know e procedures. i brought her bk for counciling and e agent say i misunderstand e maid, she was saying after her loan is fulfilled we can send her bk if we unhappy with her. BULLSHIT.. MAID LIES. just after 1 week later she is requesting to leave.. and she want leave immediately. this is the kind of standards THE MAIDS STATIONS provide. the Guy LXXXX is still asking us to change other nationality with them.

    intially we was still considering to change another maid with them till last week i decided to ask for my refund bk for this MOE MOE, she was offically transfered in SEPT. 1 week passed, i just called this guy, refund not ready and should be ready by end of this mth. i hope he mean it cos im gg to return e 2nd maid soon.

  21. Winter copied this from forum:
    By pingsped
    My maid station in bukit timah shopping centre. I paid air ticket & paid agency to repatriate maid.
    She didn't board the plane; just went Malaysia for holiday. She returned to SG in 2 weeks & got employed again. I had to file a police report to save other SG employers.

    I took 3 transfer maids; we filed police reports on last 2 maids. First one stole money but I didn't lodge police report.

    Last year in September I engaged a Myanmar maid from MY MAIDS STATION at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre. I am not afraid to post their name out as they have very unsculpulous means of running their business. I brought the maid home, her name is Hla Yin, beware of her. I really pity the employer who has gotten her but somehow it’s of good riddance to me. This girl’s loan amount then was $2500, a salary amount of $350 every month. Agency charged agency fee and test fee which is standard for most agencies.

    When she came, we didn’t take note of anything strange about this girl. Until after a month, my mum in law caught her red-handed drinking barley that she had boiled directly from a 5L bottle at an angle high up. My mum-in-law stopped her and querried her, the girl claimed that she was looking for ants and denied drinking! What a liar! I came home after work and interrogated the girl and she continued to deny and even swear that she didn’t drink. I even told her if she had done it, apologise and don’t do it again. She kept denying, my mum-in-law was furious when she is the one who caught her red-handed. After a while, the girl suddenly knelt down and said Sorry Sir, Sorry Mam. She can lie through her teeth. From then, we watched her every move and only to find out that she’s horrible. She didn’t even wash my baby bottles and sterilized them. I noticed the milk fat stains and orange carrot juice lined in the bottles and teats. She even cause 2 of my parquet skirting to drop out, my bomb shelter door to be spoilt, now can’t even close. Even my window 2 panel grill could even be pluck out. There was one incident whereby she didn’t close my hot thermal bottle and all the water spilled in my diaper bag and scalded me husband’s lap as he placed it on his lap, it was so lucky that he didn’t have the baby with him. She wasn’t at all apologetic.

  22. By pingsped
    Her personal hygiene was also horrible. Can you imagine, she could do housework for the entire day and not bathe at all, didn’t change her clothes, go to sleep and the next day carried on doing her housework. It’s normal for maids to eat from hands, I don’t mind that but at least be neat and clean. When she eats, she will use that same hand to scratch her head, continue to eat and takes up her t-shirt and wipes her mouth and scratch her hair, didn’t wash hand, then collects the laundry. When she cuts raw meat, after cutting, she rubs her hands on her pants and does other things. These are actions that I’ve caught her several times and reminded her not to do but it didn’t change. My friends even wondered how I could tolerate such a person. When she washes clothes by hand, she just dips in the water, take out and squeeze and that’s called washed. We didn’t take note until after the barley incident. Thinking that she doesn’t know how to wash clothes by hand, my mum-in-law taught her for many days. This girl washed according to how she was taught only for a week and when she sees my mum-in-law(MIL) watching her, she scrubs the clothes and when MIL is not looking she dips and squeeze. It just shows that this maid is lazy. One Saturday, we went out at 10am, I told her since we are going out, she had better ironed all the 16pcs of clothes that she had chalked up for ironing. Since we were not around, I believe doing housework should be easier as she doesn’t need to prepare food nor cook. I came back at 11pm, I got a shock of my life. I saw the mopping pail and a mop on the floor and when I asked her what had she not done, she hasn’t washed the kitchen, not even the toilets. Needless to say the 16pcs of clothes was not touched at all. Even my laundry basket was doubled in height and all those are for machine wash. I asked her what she had been doing, she said that she was very busy cleaning that day. What a joke!

    Anyway, all those are secondary, I returned her after 2 months and got a replacement. I had to top up her loan to $3120. Now, I’m very particular about my maids as I have 3 dogs and I always reminded the agency that I need a maid who can take care and likes dogs. Agency reassured me that their maids are willing to take care of dogs. Ok, the replacement Myanmar maid came here to be a princess and not a maid. She wore hairbands with big flowers on it. I mean I am fine with that. Agency also lied that she didn’t have any siblings here and in the end, when she arrived, she has a sister here, apparently worked here in Singapore for quite some time and is with the same agency. The day she came to my house, the next day she requested to call her mother in Myanmar. This girl is a Mummy’s girl. When I taught her how to cook, I even cooked her share, she can say, “ Mam, I don’t want to eat this.” And she shake her head. The worst part was she didn’t even know how to cook at all not to say her own Myanmar food. Even when my MIL want to cook, she will ask the maid, “ Do you want to eat this?” I was so pissed off as I felt that we were keeping a princess and not a maid. I noticed that she didn’t like dogs at all and even kicked them. Apparently, this princess wasn’t used to picking up the dog poo too when I have initially exaggerated to the agency that my dogs poo every 15mins and girl said its ok. So I decided to tell the girl that I cant possibly cook her Myanmar food and specially cook something that she liked to eat. I told her that I will only cook for my family and if there’s leftover, she can choose to eat or she can take anything from the fridge to cook her own meal. Well, my friends said that I was stupid. How can she be allowed such treatment. In the end, the girl cried as she doesn’t even know how to cook so how to cook her own meal? The next day, she ranaway and I noticed that she had been calling her sister in Singapore. This girl only worked for 5 days but was transferred soon after.

  23. I went back to agency only to find that the previous maid, Hla Yin reported us for a maid abuse. So my husband and I had to go down to the police station to take down our statements. Most of the allegations were against my husband so he was also called in by MOM.. Apparently, the maid didn’t even have any bodily harm on her body just an allergy of her hands which she didn’t even mention to me. C’mon, if she is a 31 year old lady and if any part of her is not well, she should tell me but she didn’t. I don’t think any employer would go around checking their maid’s body every now and then right! My husband had to undergo a lie detector test and a lot of unnecessary time was wasted. At the end of the day, the case had ended mid April 2011. It was a false allegation from the maid. The maid (Hla Yin) was already transferred in February. When I reported the case to the police as the maid has caused us unnecessary duress and stress this period of time for giving false allegation, the police said that they can’t do anything about it. SO lousy right! When a maid reports, the police investigates. When an employer reports her for false allegation, the police ignores. What kind of world is this! The police even said that if I want, I can get a lawyer to sue the maid, what is this! What do I stand to gain by wasting more money to sue a penniless maid.

    Anyway, the main issue now is that the maid refused to return my upfront loan of $3000+, having pro-rated the 5 days from the new maid who ranaway. MY MAIDS STATION apparently claimed that Hla Yin stayed with them during police investigation for 90 days and they want to charge me $20/day for food and lodging which amounts to $1800. They were only willing to return us $1200. I felt that it was absurd. Firstly, in the contract, it states clearly that its $10/day before the maid is being transferred and up to a maximum of 30 days and thereafter, agency will bear. Now, they charged me $20/day and it’s for 90 days. My goodness! I had to get a lawyer to write them a letter asking for my $3k. They refused and only willing to return a maximum of $1800 and even gave me a grace period of 7 days of accepting that $1800. I feel that this agency is out to cheat people and who knows, they might be the devils advocate teaching their maids what to do to gain that big buck. You see, they added loan amount to the maid when she transferred and on the other hand, get money from my side. How shrewd are they! I even suggested instead of 3k, we’ll just accept $2.5k but they refused to return. I wanted to sue them my the amount does not justify the lawyers’ fees, I mean it’s not tens of thousands but 3k is definitely not a small amount either. My friends said that it is quite pointless to go to Case as they are just middleman and probably nothing will be done from there.

    Does anyone have any suggestion what I can do or anyone who has experienced such situation to advice me on what I should do? If I go to small claims, will I be able to get back my entire $3k or what’s the max that I can possibly get? Anyone who has any suggestions, you can PM me and I really appreciate your help. I really hope that the government can look into these kind of real life situations instead of gaining votes and not helping their own people.

  24. Winter copied this from forum:
    By 30woman
    I recently have a very bad encounter with Univer--l maid agency. Located in both marine parade and lucky plaza. I went in naively to think that by them charging me almost $2k for a transfer maid, stating "life time replacement" leh, sounds like a great deal rite? But once they collected the fees n aft I got the maid, it's so difficult to get in contact with anyone in their agency. Aft 4 months, I have problem with the maid and would like to change but I can't even get hold of anyone despite repeated calls for days!!

    A week has passed and no follow up from them. I requested for a refund and they said its impossible, go read the service agreement. So what am I supposed to do now? I feel so cheated!!

  25. Winter copied this from forum:
    By rennug
    My wife and I were looking for a maid to look after our newborn infant and shortlisted an English-speaking ex-Singapore Myanmar maid from a newly registered maid agency called Bestmaid Employment Pte Ltd (Licence 13C6689) located (strangely!) at Everton Park. On hindsight, we should have known better!

    We waited around 2 weeks for MOM to approve our maid application after submitting all necessary documents and full payment to Bestmaid who kept insisting that the delay was not at their end. Unfortunately, I then received news that I WILL BE RETRENCHED! I immediately asked my wife to check with MOM on the status of the maid application and how it would be affected if I lost my job. They informed her that they would reject our application since she was also not working.

    A few days later, the agency called to ask "why we cancelled the maid application without informing them" and REFUSED TO REFUND OUR PAYMENT even though their contract stated that they have to return the full payment less a $100 admin fee [you]should MOM reject the application [/you]as was the case here.

    Our attempts to resolve this matter amicably and reasonably with them over the phone fell on deaf ears so I decided to pay them a visit to reason things out in person. To my horror, one of their senior staff suddenly turned nasty and accused me of lying about my retrenchment! When I offered to provide proof from my employer, he then said that my retrenchment was none of their business anyway. I pointed out to him that we would not be able to pay for the maid's wages and bond and that's probably why MOM rejected the application but he just DID NOT CARE!

  26. By rennug
    I pointed out that their contract stated that they would refund any payment made less the $100 admin fee even though they claim any payment made is non refundable. He stated that the contract is not valid anyway as our endorsement was sent by email and not signed in their presence even though they were the ones who offered this arrangement. He then proceeded to shout at me and causing them to lose their deposit with their agent in Myanmar and kept shoving his finger in my face aggressively! I asked him to calm down and pointed out that I should be the one who's upset since I lost my job and my maid deposit but he continued his aggressive behaviour and told me to get out or he would remove me by force! All this while, I was sitting down and he was standing over me. Truth be told, I felt like teaching him a lesson but told myself to remain calm in order to have any chance of getting a refund.

    According to them, the MOM officer had told them that we wanted to withdraw our application even though all we did was to enquire about how my retrenchment would affect our application. They also accused us of 'going behind their back' to MOM instead of checking with and telling them first. However, our intention was simply to find out exactly why the application was taking so long to approve and frankly if they had nothing to hide, why should they get so bothered about us checking directly with MOM and telling MOM about losing my job?

    They were not able to give me the name of the MOM officer whom they claimed told them that we cancelled the application. When we checked on the MOM website, the status indicated is "REJECTED" but they claimed that this could also be due to voluntary cancellation on our part.

    We are just seeking a partial refund of our full payment as provided for by their contract which they are now refusing to honour. In fact, we were originally prepared to consider letting them hold our deposit until either of us get a job as we definitely still need a maid to help look after our infant anyway.

    I am now considering lodging an official complaint to MOM about their dishonourable business practices and to recover our rightful refund via the Small Claims Tribunal.

    Moral of our story:
    Stick to established maid agencies with a good track record instead of newly registered ones situated away from where most agencies are located.

  27. Winter copied this from forum:
    By fattypig, 27 Feb2014
    Dont hire this maid from Philippines
    Name: Maria Ecoben pilipina Zulieta
    Attached the passport info. http://www.mummysg.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=119240&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1393514949
    She stole my things and lied.

  28. Winter copied this from forum:
    I have 2 maids from Philippines to alert do not hire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
    1) Jenny Rose Gaspar Cabacungan
    Work Permit Number: 026325692

    Firstly, we brought her in when I was eight month pregnant. During first month, she was hardworking but after 2 weeks, her true colour show. Unhygienic and very rude and lazy. She does not like to bathe and likes to quarrel with my elder daughter. When I gave birth, she literally secretly told my daughter she is going to kidnap her sister which is my baby back to Philippines! Our CCTV Camera caught her ransacking our stuffs and taking things that does not belongs to her. For eg, wear my clothes and taking photo! Please be careful of this maid.
    2) Jenny Sebedorio Naraga
    Work Permit Number: 026134722
    This is a transfer maid of the previous employer I took from the agency, she would like to request for off day even though in the contract stated would compensate her without her off day. She have 2 mobile phones and likes to chat on the phone when we are not around while taking care of my 10mths old baby. Timetable and houserules was given to her but she did not follow and secretly she take our house phone to chit chat with her group of friends when we are not around. She was also caught using our laptop when we are not around because she confessed she have dated online and have a UK boyfriend and would like to further pursue her relationship. She is very good at her acting skills and telling lies. Please be careful of her. She is coming back to Singapore but applying different agency! The reason I know is because before that night she was send back I heard her talking to her friends that she will be leaving back to agency and coming back to Singapore again! Beware Employers!!!!!!!!!!!!! I also know her bunch of friends which you might want to know in case if you apply.
    please feel free to contact me below if you need further details:

  29. Winter copied this from forum:
    By humblelady, Feb2014
    Just confirmed my maid with Eelit Placement Agency in Katong. The agent is truly friendly and very detailed. Initially I went to Katong level 1 MPL cos tempted by the $1 agent fee, but found out so many hidden cost -_-" and got a bad feeling of being ripped off. Then walked out and saw the advertising panel next to MPL shop and remember reading some threads recommending Eelit Placement.

  30. by MrMaid
    I am so sad. This is my first attempt at maid employment and met this wonderful lady called Lilian who promised me my maid in two months but after payment, I was told she was not a full time staff there and a monster took over my case. When I went back to the agency today again to ask for an update as I am concern they might just fold (small agency) as it has been 2 weeks from the promised date of 15 October. I was served by terrible service and he threw my concern out of the window. We had an argument and he said he did not want to do my business and wanted to refund my money. After waiting for two months, I received such comments is really saddening. This has taught me that not only the maid is important, their agency is also equally so. I have decided to take the refund and clean my house my self. Just to share my painful experience to all the mums here.

    By the way they have a branch at Bukit Timah and Hougang. Hope no one else will fall for signing up with one and suddenly changing to another for execution. innova.netmaid

  31. by CWL
    do not go to Twins S Employment located at Toa payoh. I am currently employing an Indonesia maid from them, when I ask for replacement maid on Aug this yr, they drag my time and never follow up. I always have to call them to check. Until now, I am still waiting for a replacement maid. The owner of the agency avoid my calls like anything. Very disappointed with their service. I am looking for another agency now. This agency drag my time and made me have to cross over to the new scheme to give maid off days every week, which will be another $70-100 extra cash I have to fork out. By the way, I called the agent last week and finally the owner picked up my call by chance. I think she's quite shock that I called. I complain to her that I am still waiting for their follow up and she keep saying she got no maid now and ask me to give them 1 week. Ok, now more than 1 week is up and still no reply or any calls from them.

    I am going to give up this agent already, really no hope.

  32. by Jamesupermum
    dont't use ADP.
    They came across as efficient and with good Filipino transfer maids, but after spending 3 weeks going through bio data, and spending 2 Sundays interviewing, the end result is disappointing. I have at separate occasions offered 2 maids a job, giving them the conditions they asked for, and they ended up speaking with the agency and rejecting the offer, without giving any reason to me. I was totally baffled. The agency seems to be discouraging the maids from working for local families, preferring expat families. I wish they would tell me not to bother, so I didn't have to invest all this time, especially when I really need a helper at home!

  33. by cywy
    Terrible maid agency experience from Asset Maid Agency in Hougang Green. I requested to replace my current maid with new maid and they told me my old agency plan $588 cannot change, need to top up to current agency plan which is $1188 or $888.

    I told her my agreement entitle for me to get one replacement,but she say i need to top up agency fee as well as maid's loan for 8-9 months. i find it ridiculous and she dont care how i feel, ask me to check and go CASE "" if you want.

    what an attitude, and guess what, she slammed my phone when we have not even finished the conversation. )*(*&%$^$(*&

    1. by goldrain
      very unlucky, I selected the same agency: Asset maid agency in hougang green. Last month, the agency called my maid and told her they can help her to transfer with high salary and more off days. It is really a terrible agency.

    2. by June.Joodi
      I had very very horrible experience with them as well. The agents lie just to place maids and maids are so incapable. Say got free replacement but kept saying no suitable ones... grhhh... waste my agency fee!

  34. by karenle
    PEM they dont have INdo maid, they just only have filipino and previously i had 1 maid from them, she is freaking terrible: dont know how to cook, very lazy, liar, disappeared from the house 7, 8 hours (go where, dont know), talk phone alot everyday, wake up very late happened frequently, and the worst thing is like not wear bra with a singlet in the house all time(even infront my husband).
    When i want to send them back PEM, PEm said ok and never ask what is the reason and hang up phone.

  35. by linda2000
    Maid Management Services in Hougang Green.
    Maids are not trained, under age, slow, lazy, dont't even know how to do household chores and cooking.
    Agency is rude and also need to top up agency fees, etc. even those it is within the free replacement period.
    They even threaten and challenge me to lodge a complaint with MOM.
    Very rude and arrogant!
    Avoid this maid agency at all cost!

  36. by watersnakebaby
    People please dont't approach A. Pratama Maid Agency at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre which is run by Desmond Phoon. Their services are really bad. If you have any issues with maids, they will side with the maids.

    You have to make sure that the agency is not pro-maid too. so that if any issue, the agent will help you instead of the maid.

  37. by Jamesocw
    just a some comments on this Sunflower Employment Agency agency that they are not providing enough information on the maid's information to their new employer. I came to know that this Sunflower Employment Agency did not provide information on the maid to the new employer that my ex-maid actually got a police warning letter from been a theft. The new employer called up and clarify thing on this maid. This ex-maid actually told her new employer that her previous employer actually quit the job and look after the family which is not true. Until MOM requested the new employer to sign on a letter to willingly accept the maid with a record of theft. Then the Sunflower Employment Agency started to tell the truth to the employer. This is simply unacceptable act! This Sunflower Employment Agency does not bother to fetch the maid at the police station unless a running fee of $70 is to be paid to them when we reported her to the police and was custody at the police HQ. Not a professional agency to look for.

  38. by 2dogs2kids
    it's all about luck la. selecting based on profile oso no use. i can never never expect a Pinoy maid whom DONT speak and understand English when the profile said she can! i almost burst my blood vessels talking to her initially. Even until now being more than 1 year with me, she still cannot differentiate "I" and "You"! I give up liao. as long as she does a good job on housechores can already. having no expectation is the best! i ever had an Indo maid whom add urine in hot flask and the hot water are meant to make milk for the kids! see how evil this person is. just because i scolded her over repeated mistakes. and she also kept her cut fingernails for god know what reasons! glad we found out early and terminated her. Else very soon she may murder my kids!

    then previous pinoy maids were great in telling lies. Old contract didnt have off days so she bullshit me that her auntie going home, cousin bday etc just to go out. Somemore ask me why i didnt ask for her permission to get pregnant for my 2nd kid! Ridiculous! Never heard that employer must ask maid for permission to get pregnant. if not happy looking after 2nd kid, she may jolly well quit!

    i everyday popi popi my kids grow up quick so i can stop employing maids. taking them overseas on my own expenses also wont gain me any kind acts from them. Eating together on same table same dishes oso wont let them feel we are family. heartless creatures. of course i'm not saying all are bad. just that i'm not that lucky. thought i finally found good one but she had to leave cos her family wanted her back home. so she completed 2 years and left. i gave her a month bonus and she was crying when leaving us. i was so upset. she was the best one i had. i really missed her...

  39. Anyone come across Spring Field Consulting and Skill Resources, i spoke to them, sounds friendly,
    their agency fee is a big gap, 888 and 1588, strange ! both for Indonesian maid.
    hear many employer say usually this agency before and after service is totally different.

  40. Wrong families being squeezed - regulate maid agencies and FDWs

    MOM - Ministry of Manpower

    Finding a suitable transfer maid

    Maid is a necessity for me

    Domestic maids/FDW off day

    Expatriate's point of view

    Facebook - Net savvy maid

    FDW's employer unrealistic and demanding?

    Live-out option at FDW's cost

  41. The 1st point of contact for maids and employers are the maid agencies. When maid are cheated or made to pay ridiculous fees, they made employers responsible for their plights. Maid agencies basically just earn our money and nobody is allowed to run after them for their bad services. This is how our MOM works for the interest of maids and agencies.

    It is correct to make abusive employers be shamed and punished but why abuser, killer maids either get away or rec free legal services to get lighter terms? How come maid agencies charging us high fees but not required by law to screen a best fit helper for us? If a maid is underaged, 1st point of contact, agent is not answerable to Employer and is excused from any inconveniences caused to the client. Pay and pay for miseries is what the current market is all about.

  42. Can the Ministry answer the maid paying high placment fee to to who? It is the Indonesia agent that is seeking $3000 - $3500 per maid. It is the indo agency that take the maid as an atm. why dun the Miistry and the embassy work on this so that the greedy agency fee goes to indo that dun do aything

  43. I had just engaged a very " good" maid " from SQ consultancy. The maid is super lazy and very rude. This is what SQ Consultancy call thier good service.

  44. I have changed 6 maids in 2 yrs and have never bought the run away bond. This is extremely costly for us Singapore citizens. 2 maids brought men to my house, 1 maid sneaks out day and night, 1 insist to move my sofa to a hidden corner so she can lie down while chatting to her friends, 1 maid's standard reply when i ask her to do something is 'tomorrow', 3 maids stole my clothes to wear, 1 wont even let me ask what work she did that day - the reply was 'I go back agent', 1 had problem getting up before 8.30am in the morning, despite sleeping at 10pm at night. It is so stressful to deal with these supposedly hard working maids. I tried looking for an emergency number at the MOM website to discuss a difficult maid only to find that this service is only provided for our foreign maids and not for any local employers. I think the case of employer abuse may be more prevalent than maid abuse.

  45. Copied from forum.....
    the agencies are hard to get. It's between you and them. They have probably gone through the mill once or twice and know some really high handed tricks and are more slippery that eels.

    I somehow ended up suspecting that there are some really big shots behind some agencies. I thought my evidence should be incriminating enough. But no. So much so that MOM cannot touch.

    If you want to get at the agencies, You definitely need to litigate. No other way. To do so,
    (a) you need to have a strong case
    (b) you need to have lots of time and money

    Strong case must be grounded on sheer negligence/non action/clear cut dishonesty on the part of the agency that has resulted in
    (a) suffering of your family members: mental suffering, physical injury like broken arms and legs, etc..
    (b) your work performance being affected due to problems at home eg; got warning from boss
    (c) you have lost a lot of money -
    (d) you and your family's safety security has been threatened

    If can't get them & teach them a hard lesson, then create problems for them lor... Go to small claims tribunals (cheap way, less headache but must wait) and just claim small damages from them or let them get a warning from MOM.

    There are agencies who has their licenses struck off or just merely not renewed for a year of two because they have been taken to task. Thus MOM has no choice but to strike them off the register.um ....

    If only MOM stop maid transfers, FDWs will try their best to do a good job to keep their job instead of being so picky and do funny business to choose employers.

    Always remember, the maid has a group of supporters/advisors working tirelessly behind the scenes on her behalf, to plan her next move against you the employer.

    The investigation officer will then apply for a special permit for the maid to remain in Singapore for the duration of investigation. If you DON'T CANCEL MAID WORK PERMIT, then you have to be responsible for lodgings, food, levy so on and so forth. Any costs at all as the person is STILL LEGALLY YOUR MAID.

    You just cancel the work permit online and show MOM the computer printout. Better you do it and not the agent. However, below are the things you must pay for compulsorily, work permit or no work permit:
    (1) repatriation costs
    (2) last salary
    (3) if the maid died, then any costs associated with sending the body back to the homeland.

    Anything that is not stated online (RULES AND REGULATIONS) , don't pay. Anything not stated in the contract, don't pay. As far as the law is concerned, your obligations must be discharged if only it is a stated rule and regulation of MOM or if it is stated in black and white on the employment contract what you must pay for the maid during the PERIOD OF ONGOING INVESTIGATION.

    However, employment contract usually never say what is the employer's obligations in situations like INVESTIGATION PERIOD AND WHEN MAID IS OFFICIALLY NOT YOUR MAID AND WP IS CANCELLED. Never say in black and white, don't pay lah.

    MORAL OF THE STORY: Read your employment contract line by line. Know what you are signing for. Don't sign your life/money away.

    If the maid runs away to HOME, or runs away to the agent, employer should immediately make police report (whether the report is needed or not later doesn't matter), and on the same day, buy a plane ticket at the earliest date (repatriation procedure complied with as this one you cannot avoid anyway), and then cancel the maid's work permit, to sever connection with the maid. There might be a chance that someone will help the maid to hurl charges at employer. Show the plane ticket and cancelled work permit to MOM officer and lodged a complaint with MOM (never mind even if they don't do anything about it, it is in their record already).

    Thereafter if the maid stays on to help in the investigation of charges against the employer, it will be none of the employer's business. MOM AGENT HOME will push the costs to you, you push it back to them.

  46. Continue ....
    The regulation simply say "an employer is responsible to pay for repatriation cost". The regulation didn't say "regardless of whether the employer has already tried to repatriate the maid before, in the event that the maid has to stay back for investigation, the employer is also liable to repatriate her after investigation".

    If the employer has ALREADY PAID for the plane ticket (keep the ticket invoice), then the employer has fulfilled her part responsibly and why should she pay again for someone else's nonsense? I would follow MOM's regulation to the letter and if they choose to be unclear, that's their problem.

    Even the food employers served can be a cause of complaints from FDW. And this might be used as an allegation of abuse or mistreatment of maids - not enough food given, starving the maids. Their word against yours.

    Anyway the idea of RIGHTS is always from the viewpoint of the advocate. If I am fighting for my rights, I will ONLY SEE THINGS FROM MY PERSPECTIVE. Right?

    Beware that some terms could be twisted in favour of the domestic worker:
    - live-in work conditions = "Exploitative work conditions".
    - different diet = nutritional neglect
    - maid sleeping in a room where employer can enter too, employer checking their handphones, employer checking their things = invasion of personal privacy
    - not allowing handphones = denying their basic human rights
    - No off day but paid = social isolation

  47. It's true, all the new Indon maids have starting salary of $550 now! It's their Govt way of gaining more revenue. Salary up but quality not necessarily up as well.

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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.