Help FDW/Maid's Employer, don't let us be victimized and be ATM machines 将心比心 对我们公平

UNFAIR  Ministry Of Manpower POLICIES

The existing policies made Singapore employers felt being punished for hiring FDWs. These are the unfair Ministry Of Manpower policies:

1. Security Bond
For many years, employers are required to pay $5000 of security bond if FDW is pregnant (violation of work permit condition), runs away or committed offences eg stealing, moonlighting. This security bond liability has been modified. The new regulation is if FDW is pregnant, employer must pay her repatriation cost and absorb her loan if there's any outstanding. If FDW runs away, employer reported and tried to find her but she cannot be found, at least $2500 will end up in MOM's pocket.

Fear, Worries, unfair Financial cost and Responsibilities ...These are the reasons why many employers are reluctant to give their FDWs weekly off days and chose off-day compensation when mandatory rest day was implemented in Jan 2013. By compensating, it doesn't mean the FDWs are agreeable. They may agree in order to get a job and settle nicely into your household, then starts pestering you for off days, claiming they deserve a good rest although they have been paid extra - about $16 to $20 per off day. It is like giving FDW extra salary and yet she is trying to get paid off days.
FDWs are very cunning and clever if you bother to read: "What maids did". 
Please wake up, domestic maids are clever, not stupid, not vulnerable and are incapable helpers who may not work two years with you. 

$5000 is a large sum of money to lose for middle-income group. We are not charity organisation, merely salaried employee drawing a salary that is probably 2% of PM Lee's salary. It is a pathetic figure therefore most couples have to work so as to cope with Spore high standard of living.

MOM claimed under the new security bond (click) conditions:
In cases where the FDW absconds, only half the Security Bond ($2500), instead of the entire bond of $5000, will be forfeited, so long as the employer has made reasonable efforts to locate the worker.  

MOM, S$2500 is a lot of money!  It is not 2500 peso or rupees.

The reason why maids runaway could be she was ill-treated, can't take hardship, ran off with her sweetheart, etc.  If your smart FDW is holding her own passport and doesn't need visa to Malaysia, she could take a bus there and .... employer sees money (secruity bond, maid loan, agency fee, etc) fly away whereas maid happily runs away from her responsiblities and duties as FDW. Many people made use of human rights, do whatever they pleased or do things to their advantage, what about employers?  Where is employer's human rights?  How come Employers are made responsible for bad FDWs?  Why we become enforcement officers cum ATM machines?  Activists and MOM viewed FDWs as individuals, humans and not our property!  So why there's such a policy to tie the employers, have you forgotten  WE DON'T OWN THE MAIDS?

Why employers cannot let their FDWs go out whenever they like, enjoy weekly off? If the FDW disappears, then employers are going to lose money. Since the FDWs are human beings just like us, why do we need to be responsible for what happened to them on their off days? Our SME, local or MNC employers do not need to lose any money, get implicated if the employee disappeared, gets AIDs, etc. So why FDWs are protected and treated better than the citizens?
MOM: If the Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) is missing, the employer is required to file a missing person police report and cancel the Work Permit within seven days of his/her knowledge that the worker is missing to cease the levy liability. If the missing FDW’s Work Permit has not expired at the time of cancellation, the employer will be given a grace period of one month from the cancellation date to locate the missing worker. The security deposit will be forfeited if the FDW is not repatriated within the one-month grace period.

If the FDW is found before the security bond is forfeited, the employer should arrange for the worker’s repatriation as soon as possible. A Special Pass will be issued by MOM to facilitate the worker's departure and may be applied through WP Online under 'Cancel Work Permit'


2. Medical Care and Dental - welfare

MOM: As an employer, you are responsible for your FDW’s medical needs. You are required to bear the full cost of her medical care should she require medical treatment, including hospitalisation.

As a result of this rule, even if FDW has pre-existing medical condition (before she works for you) and when she fell ill due to the same condition (regardless she knew or doesn't), you are responsible for all her medical fees. Our govt will not help FDW's employer, activists such as HOME will not allow you to say No. You are an evil person if you ask your maid to pay what she should be responsible for.

If your FDW has not been taking care of her teeth (the day she was born) and when she complains of toothache, you are suppose to pay for her dental costs... according to activists. This is not stipulated in MOM's employment terms (be it for FDW or normal employee covered under Employment Act) but on appearance, FDWs and activists felt employers should be made fully responsible. Spore companies pay for employee's dental costs? No. Nicer companies allow $100 to $300 dental reimbursement each year. Have not heard of any Singapore company willing to bear the full dental cost of its local employee. Is your company that generous? Those working in govt/public sector, did you get full medical and dental reimbursement .... whatever you've incurred?

Ask your HR.  If you, as a Spore employee didn't get 100% medical and dental benefits from your Company, why maids deserve the best medical and dental benefits, 100% sponsored by their salaried employers.... merely earning 2% of PM Lee Hsien Loong's salary?

Our local cleaners and low income families are not offered such luxurious employment terms, why foreign domestic workers deserve VIP treatment and coverage, from Employers' pocket? PAP, are you implying our needy citizens are trash, not important compared to foreigners? Taking advantage of the unprotected FDW's employers (Sporeans who were born and educated here) is what PAP/MOM policy makers are heading... the right way?

Do take note, I am trying to save money for my own tooth. According to National Dental Centre's x-ray report, my teeth are not in good condition. To fix one molar, the cheapest option is to extract and put denture. Everything (one molar) will cost about S$500. If the molar can be saved, to do root canal and crowning, I must kiss good-bye to almost S$2000 cash .... just one molar tooth! Can't use Medisave or insurance benefit! If dental eg root canal is so affordable, cost around S$100 after subsidy, why should I be a penurious person - be stingy on myself and family but extremely generous to FDW? How closely related is she to me? Not my next of kin, just a stranger.  Two years after NDC x-ray report, I had to fix one of my molars, mid 2013. I chose to extract my molar because it is cheaper, which is 10% of a root canal total costs. My molar can be saved for crowning but to do root canal is too expensive. The orange CHAS card is useless. Healthcare cost is not affordable to low to middle income group! You have to get you feet stuck in the mud to feel the helplessness and disappointment.

You don't know or still can't believe Singaporeans are not given affordable medical and dental care? You thought I've exaggerated? Don't compare with your country, Spore operates differently. You or your loved ones have not incurred high hospitalisation or dental costs? How fortunate you are! Either you easily earn above $4000 per month or you're damn lucky! So you thought the Government takes good care of its citizens because you were lucky, didn't face any healthcare problems and costs? You thought I am just complaining about trival matters, stingy and felt offering such benefits to FDWs should be no big deal? I envy your good life! I wish I can have a life as smooth as yours!

Assuming this is your maid, how would you feel?

Maid's employer hit by $93,000 medical bill, New Paper, 7 Oct

MOM indicated that employers fully sponsor FDWs' medical expenses, no cap was mentioned. Dental wasn't listed as part of medical expenses but if you have read the Philippines embassy contract, it stated employers are the ATM machines for the Filipinos. This lead to our miseries because other nationalities tend to follow the prideful Filipinos' way of good life in Spore. In the first place, the low/middle income citizens receiving free money from you or the sky? It is our hard earned money! We worked hard for it! To pay so much for my own teeth already made me procastinate for two years. In Spore, people like to say it is better to die because healthcare is not affordable.... wish I can die with my girl 安乐死 Euthanasia, 一了百了 不必惹人厌. If I kill myself, the law says it is a crime ...goodness, can't even take my own life!

MOM has been ignoring the fact that we're suffering. MOM didn't take into consideration that our money are hard earned and we don't earn as high as ministers. Just because we're labelled as an employer, MOM/PAP felt it is alright to let FDWs and source countries skin us. Anybody who bothers to be sympathetic to the less fortunate citizens, will know PAP's care and concern is meant for foreigners or the cream of crop. PAP is willing to invest and spend lots of money to make foreigners feel welcomed and happily pollute Spore or become part of us, as new Citizens.

If MOM remains so interested to find out whether the FDW is pregnant or contracted HIV, shouldn't MOM do the policing and get FDWs to report to your appointed clinics during their off days? It is unfair to make Employers continue pay for FDW's half yearly medical check-up to satisfy MOM's requirement. The costs should be paid by MOM or FDW, not us! We didn't order the maids to sleep around so why should employers pay for FDWs' sexual desires?

If FDW gets pregnant, infected with AIDS or other diseases, maid should compensate her employer and ensure her loan (whatever she owes employer +interest) are paid by her family.

MOM: As an employer, you are responsible for the provision of accommodation for your FDW.
Accommodation is acceptable only if it meets all the following requirements:

• Adequate shelter - Accommodation must adequately protect your FDW from environmental elements such as the sun, rain or strong winds.

• Provision of basic amenities - Your FDW must minimally be provided a mattress, a pillow, and a blanket.

• Sufficient ventilation - Accommodation must be sufficiently ventilated. Mechanical ventilation (e.g. electrical fan) should be provided if natural ventilation is inadequate. Your FDW should not sleep near any dangerous equipment or structure that could potentially cause harm or hurt to her.

• Ensuring modesty - Your FDW must not sleep in the same room as a male adult / teenager

• Ensuring space and privacy - Where possible, your FDW should be given a separate room of her own.

If that is not possible, you should ensure that sufficient space and privacy are provided for your FDW.
FDWs, especially Filipino thought she should be given full privacy in the form of a single room.

MOM: Domestic workers, both foreign and local, are not covered by the Employment Act.
It is not practical to regulate specific aspects of domestic work, i.e. hours of work, work on a rest day and on public holidays.
MOM: You should give your FDW reasonable notice of her repatriation to her home country and bear the full cost of her repatriation.

If FDW is pregnant or committed offences eg stealing, moonlighting, ill-treating your child, etc... violated her work permit conditions; FDW has to be repatriated back to her country at employer's cost. Free ticket... sponsored holiday.


3. Repatriation

If your FDW comes to work for 3 days, refuses or unable to perform her job, act errant then asked to go home in tears (miss her family), you must pay for her air ticket back home and absorb her loan which could amount to $$4500 (loan, agent fee, insurance, etc). Expensive!  Not all employers able to part with this huge amount of money! Most employers chose to send FDWs back to agency without advance notice (fear she'll runaway), let the agency counsel them and be transferred to another victim-employer.


4. Transfer FDW (maid)

MOM: Employers who are applying for their fifth FDW within a 12-month period must attend the Classroom EOP. Employers who apply for their sixth or subsequent FDW within a 12-month period must attend an interview with an MOM officer before the Ministry processes the Work Permit application. The interview will allow the Ministry to gain an understanding of the employer's practices to assess the application.

Hong Kong Domestic Helpers (DH) are not allowed to remain in HK to find new employers if they have not completed 2-year contract. DHs have to pay their own costs to fly home, find new employer at home country and pay a new circle of agency fees. Spore FDWs can change as many employers as they want, as long as FDW willing to pay 1 to 2 months agency fee to get new employers. FDWs can even find an agency to fly them to Hong Kong or Taiwan directly from Spore. Some Spore agencies ganged up with their FDWs to encourage job hopping. Each successful transfer, agency get to reap profit. Imagine one successful transfer, just agency fee would be S$600 to $1800/fdw. This agency fee is non-refundable. Full-time working woman-employer can wait for one or two months for suitable replacement?

Companies welcome employee to apply leave for their long disappearance, due to home affairs - FDW issues?

Who will cover our duties?

Who is facing the losses, inconveniences and ended like an employee who can't perform well due to personal issues (unable to manage her personal life and not affecting work)?

To stop greedy, inexperience and poor attitude FDWs from flocking into Spore, FDWs shouldn't be allowed to be transferred. If a transfer is necessary to feed the maid agency or give maid another chance - a benefit of doubt for job mismatched, maybe each FDW can only be transferred once, within a time frame of 12 months.

MOM doesn't penalise maid agencies for not retaining their FDWs nor do proper job matching by having Accurate bio-data. Agencies claimed it is hard to check on the accuracy of bio-data provided by their source country partners. Employers suffered the most. MOM, agencies and FDWs benefited most. MOM continues to shake legs and collect monthly levy from employers promptly. They act very fast on FDW's complaints but not employers' concerns or when faced with a bad/runaway maid.

Some FDWs are truly just agencies' money-making tools but employers can't help them, pity them nor should be made responsible for their plight. Their home agencies cheated them, employers were merely unlucky to see their bio-data presented and selected them to work. Source country embassies and governments should be responsible for their own citizens. They should ensure the real job scope and working conditions are presented to FDWs who intend to fly out to work as domestic maids. What kind of salary will they be paid, loan and agency fee that each FDW is suppose to bear, etc. To protect their citizens from being cheated, each source country passport offices should stick the latest Spore employment terms. It would be best to show them a video of a Spore HDB flat, the chores and usual employer's requirement/expectations ... let them be mentally prepared.  Tell them safety is in her own hands, don't be so naive and reckless.


5. Maid Loan/Placement fee

Employer must pay for the maid's loan (on behalf, to be paid by FDW once she starts work) before she arrives in Singapore. How much does a one way air-ticket cost? FDW doesn't fly to Spore via SQ, she flew in via budget airlines. Agencies claimed each FDW were given 400 training hours in home country but FDW came and unable to do any housework in Spore.... lies!  All these adminstrative and training really amount to S$3000?? Since FDWs do not need to pay anything before they come to work in Singapore and they know that it is very easy to change employers, most FDWs are not motivated to work hard. FDWs are doing free labour for 8 months to feed their agencies. They felt employers caused this, not agencies or themselves!! Some maids accused employers of cheating their salaries, asked why they are not paid for so many months, purposely made life difficult, vent anger on their innocent employers and played lazy/attitude tactics to punish their employers, as well as families. I wish FDWs could see the cost breakdown before each of them departs from home country to Spore. Make FDWs acknowledge and arrange bank loans.

Philippines is trying to get its citizens to come over for a free ride, No more maid loan!  It wants employers to bear the cost of overseas placement, which is about S$2400, excluding Sg agency fee, insurance, etc.  This high price doesn't guarantee you a good maid or a person willing to perform in her capacity as FDW.  If FDW doesn't work out well, another round of recruitment and money to throw away.  Can you afford such risks and uncertainty?  Note, this amount is equivalent to some employers' one month salary!  We need more source countries to combat greedy people - looking for free money/gold mines. Continue indulge them?  MOM, aren't you too pro-maid?

Modern FDWs placed personal enjoyment, off days, freedom and perks over their domestic work.  Play hard, work little but earn a lot.  In the olden days, FDWs were really here to earn a decent salary. They earned much lower salary (S$200 - $300/month) yet were responsible, committed, matured and trustworthy. Most had no weekly off days or mobile phones 24/7 so they don't turn into bad maids (not hi-tech) so easily. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, DHs probably taken up loans from banks, friends or relatives so they had no choice but to work hard and could feel the money leaving their hands. DHs knew they are responsible for their own actions, behaved like working adults and get more off days - public holidays.

6. Monthly FDW Levy
MOM: The FDW levy serves to moderate the demand for FDWs and ensures that only employers who need and have the financial means to hire an FDW are able to do so. Singapore already has one of the highest number of FDWs per 1000 households in the world, higher than Hong Kong or Taiwan. While significantly higher wages would also moderate demand and increase our attractiveness to quality FDWs, it remains unclear that the market-determined wages of all FDWs will in fact adjust proportionately to reductions in the levy.

Is MOM trying to control the influx of FDWs?
Will there be a removal of levy for its citizens? No, because that would mean lesser levies collected and will be a great loss to our govt. It was in the news by year 2030, there will be a 50% increase of FDWs in Spore to meet the needs, mainly required to provide care to the elderly. Daycare and eldercare will not be the first choice. Hiring FDW has became a necessity so that people can enjoy family time with their parents and children.

Employers in Singapore are required to pay the MOM a levy (click ) of $265 every month. If the employer has young children, special needs persons or elderly, the levy is $170 each month. My understanding is that employers in Hong Kong are not required to pay such levy.

200,000 maids in year 2012 x $265 levy or $170 each month, MOM earned close to S$53,000,000 per month!! Took so much money from us yet treating us, the full-time working women so unfairly and harsh. Aren't MOM/PAP cruel to its citizens? Does PAP encourage women to work? Is PAP trying to open up more for jobs to foreigners because women can't find good helpers (FDW) so had to resign and stay home as homemakers?

If levy is waived, each new inexperience filipino FDW working in Spore is paid at least S$500 salary + $170 = S$670/month. This cost is similiar to what Hong Kong and Taiwan employers paid for experience Domestic Helpers (DH). Spore employers are short-changed due to MOM's policies. Paid $670/month for an inexperienced filipino ($500 + 170) or fresh Indonesian ($450 + 170).... only Spore govt agrees we should pay such crazy deals (I kept highlighting with facts that MOM welcomes foreigners to milk its citizens, be it FDWs or Foreign Talents). Foreigners should kiss the MOM decision maker's ass for being super nice, gave unconditional 'love' and set rules to force employers to overlook/accept FDW's faults/flaws. Maids are treated like first class citizens, much better than the full-time working women who needed maids, helpers to help them while they stay employable. MOM/PAP doesn't seem to agree most of our salary is just 2% of PM Lee ... persons born, living, educated and earning S$700 to $3000 per month in Spore is not high!

If MOM/govt values us and treating us like humans, Singaporeans, not ATM machines, they shouldn't play a part to eat our or FDWs' money. There are bad employers and certainly a lot of bad maids too. Nobody is perfect in this world but you and media shouldn't magnify what employers did. Most had tried to be nice but you shouldn't blanket cover most FDW's employers are bad, unkind and evil, thus, made us withhold our kindness ... afraid of being hurt or suffer damages (financially). How come it is one-sided, employers get punished, name tarnished but maids and agents have nothing to lose nor responsibilities bear?

Part of the levy ($170 or $265) should be channelled to FDW and make it as part of her 2-year full contract reward - applicable to maids with good service and intend to renew their contract with the same employer. Those who intend to job hop or leave Spore may get lesser bonus. Let's take $100/month from MOM's central fund (levy), 2-year continuous service is 24 months X $100 = S$2400 (reward). Is this reward tempting to FDW? I think giving performance reward will make FDWs work harder and stop them from being frickle-minded or pretend to be lousy/not co-operative. It is indirectly telling the maids, by giving full committment and satisfactory service, her loan will be offset at the end of her contract.

Note: Quoted this from MOM's website regarding prompt payment of maid's levy. Employers must pay levy promptly.

A FDW levy is to be paid by employers at the end of each month. Levy charges begin one day after she arrives in Singapore. For a first-time FDW, the levy will begin on the fourth day of her arrival (excluding the day of arrival).

Levy payments should be made via General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO). The worker’s Work Permit will be cancelled if you fail to maintain a valid GIRO account. If payment is not made on time, one or more of the following measures may be taken:
a. A late payment penalty will be charged.
b. Existing Work Permits will be cancelled.

The employer will not be allowed to apply for new Work Permits or renew his existing Work Permits.
Legal proceedings will be taken to recover the unpaid levy liability.
FDW employers may qualify for the concessionary levy rate of $120 per month under any of the schemes below:
- Young child/grandchild scheme
- Aged person scheme
- persons with disabilities scheme

Levy Concession (Persons With Disabilities Scheme), 23 May 2013
2013 Budget: To help families with dependants such as children, elderly parents and family members with disabilities, the concessionary foreign domestic worker levy will also be cut from S$170 to S$120 per month from next month. The normal monthly levy to employ a foreign domestic worker is S$265.

Employers are not paying zero levy but at least paying $50 lesser each month, based on $170. If MOM decides to absorb full levy for families with dependants such as children, elderly parents and family members with disabilities, it is time we acknowledge our PAP govt as caring and thinking of citizens at ground level - low/middle income group.

Our PAP still have plenty of rooms for improvment.  PAP will earn my recognition if they had absorbed levy and increased the FDW levy for foreign employers ie Expats, those holding work permits and felt hiring FDW is something dirt cheap, cannot be missed!

300,000 maids by 2030, Straits Times 19 Nov 2012

The NPTD paper estimated Singapore will need 300,000 maids by 2030 based on an expected rise in resident households with young or elderly members and those where both spouses work.

Of all resident households with at least one maid last year, seven in 10 had both spouses working and three-quarters had young and/or elderly family members. More elderly, non-working households are also hiring — 12 percent of such households had maids last year, up from 6 percent in 2000.

Agents said the opening up of new sources for maids such as Cambodia can help meet some of the demand.  But they foresee that Indonesia and the Philippines will remain as top draws because their citizens have a relatively stronger command of English.

Maids in Hong Kong are guaranteed a minimum HK$3,920 (US$505) a month, with at least one day off a week. Maids' pay in Singapore is linked to market forces and individual employers and maids, with some earning less than the market rate of US$367.


7.  Window cleaning
MOM: It is your responsibility to ensure that the FDW performs her work in a safe manner. Her work practices must be in accordance with the approved work practices stipulated in MOM’s training courses (e.g. the Employers' Orientation Programme and relevant safety and training materials.



Most FDW employers have to work. Who is so free to supervise the maid and ensure she doesn't fall when cleaning the window or doing laundry? If maid did something that endangered her life, employer or any adult at home during the time of accident are likely to be fined or jailed. Maids are working adult, suppose to attend SIP training (learn about safety) but if she failed to take good care of herself, her employer .... the legal guardian gets the blame. Maid agents and MOM are spared. HDB designed and built those dangerous flats, why they are not held responsible when citizen fell while doing bamboo laundry or cleaning windows?


4 June 2012, MOM sent safety circular to all FDW employers:

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has been deeply concerned about the recent spate of Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) work-related fatalities. Since January 2012, there have been nine work-related FDW fall from heights fatalities, compared to four cases for the whole of 2011 and eight in 2010. Our investigations show that five of the nine fatalities were related to FDWs cleaning windows in an unsafe manner. Two arose from hanging laundry, while the causes of the last two are pending further investigation.

This tragic and unnecessary loss of lives could have been prevented if FDWs and FDW employers took safe work practices seriously. With immediate effect, employers of FDWs shall not allow their FDWs to clean the exterior of windows unless strict safety conditions are in place. MOM also urges anyone who cleans exterior windows to apply these same strict safety conditions.

Existing Measures
MOM has already established extensive legislative, enforcement and education measures to address FDW work-related safety: a. Legislation:
The Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations (EFMR) requires employers to provide safe working conditions and ensure their FDWs perform their duties according to the safe work practices stipulated by MOM in its training course and safety materials. Employers who fail to do so can be prosecuted, and upon conviction be fined up to $5,000 and/ or jailed up to 6 months.

b. Enforcement:
From 2007 to 2011, 14 employers were found to have endangered the lives of their FDWs. 9 employers were prosecuted and were permanently barred from hiring FDWs. On 3 May 2012, an employer was fined the maximum penalty of $5,000 for failing to ensure the safety of her FDW who fell while cleaning windows.

c. Education:
First-time FDW employers and FDWs are educated on safe work practices through the online or classroom Employers’ Orientation Programme (EOP) as well as the 1-day Settling-In Programme (SIP) for new FDWs that started on 1 May 2012. In the SIP, FDWs receive verbal and practical instruction in their native languages on how to perform household chores safely, especially cleaning windows and hanging laundry. They are also each given a handy guide and safety pamphlet (in English and their native language) with pictures of the safety Dos and Don’ts. Under the new SIP, we have increased the emphasis and time spent on the safety messages. SIP trainers will note down their observations of each FDW during the practical component. If trainers observe that the new FDW is having difficulties doing certain household chores safely, these points will be shared with the FDWs’ employment agencies and their new employers.

Read more here
Comments extracted from Yahoo:
* So now we can't clean our windows because a few foreign maids had wasted their lives in the process of doing it. We have been cleaning our windows all along and found ways and methods to mitigate the danger it involves. Please don't continue to approach everything with such short sighted solutions. Find the root cause and deal with it. This country is being run by too many short sighted solutions already.

* Please ban window cleaning, and HDB should step up to do outside cleaning more often. Take people's money like mafia and sell costly overpriced flats and yet cannot clean windows 3 times a year for the residents? Stupid HDB! Innocent maids' lives are more precious and meaningful to me than you greedy thieving PAP ministers!

* hire maids for what? they might as well not handle hot oil too. because floor slippery can fall and oil splash on them. should not climb chair to clean house too. can fall. a bit ridiculous. just improvise with longer stick and sponge, can clean windows already. no need to climb on stool. not just maids fall from window. many have fallen hanging clothes too. so bamboo poles are next to ban!! the list goes on. better to have a dirty house to be safe.

* What happen if the maid open the window wide not to clean window but want to talk to another maid in the opposite building - but topple over? Should we clamour for Gov to ban maid from opening the window and ban maid to talk across building?

* What happen if the maid use a knife and cut herself? Ah I got a better idea, maid should use karate chop to cut meat, to break bones, use head to head butt coconut, use buttock to crack the water melon - so that maid will not be injured by knife.

Ah, I got a even better idea, since gravity is the culprit that cause maid to fall, ban the gravity, put gravity into jail - so that there will be no more gravity in Singapore and maids will not fall from flat.... What happen maid go off on off-day and got into accidents - ban maid from off day. maid having off-day to go out got accident, got boyfriend, get pregnant then who bear the responsibility? Employer?

* I had a maid before. Despite repeated warning, she still climb to clean the windows, even I have locked the metal grilles, somehow she has her way to locate those keys. Really scare the SHlT out of me few times. In the end I have no choice but to send her back. Sometimes, it is not the employers fault, the maids just do not have any sense of danger. Maybe the training should include showing them a few pictures of those fallen victims will help them to understand the consequences.

* Our ministers are always quick to ban this and that... other measures come by making us pay to resolve problems... COE, ERP. I think this has become their modus operandis. I have maids for the last 10 years but have never requested them to clean windows on the outside. Irresponsible are those who did. Sometimes the maid may have taken the initiative to do it but have unfortunately ignored the safety issue. So now to resolve the problem, maids are banned from cleaning windows. That was a clever solution from a bunch highly educated and well-paid ministers. So, my next question is - When maids start getting themselves cut by knifes while preparing meals or getting scalded when boiling water, cutting by knifes and boiling/cooking will be banned?

* The decision to ban maids from cleaning the exterior of windows is just a smokescreen on the real problem which stems from HDB;s use of antiquated window design. Casement windows that opens with 70/30 opening should have been installed to allow for cleaning the exteriors without leaning/climbing out

* so many singapore born soldiers died doing national service, why nobody come out or even open mouth to BAN national service for singaporeans?

* Ban is the simple way out . Then may I ask before having maids, how we managed to survive the window cleaning tasks for generations. It boil down to how to carry out the task safely. We should help the maid to understand the Danger and how to take care of oneself. Look , now the Indonesian authority is saying that BAN maids from doing window cleaning and hanging out of clothing for high rise flats then who clean the windows and hangout the clothings....Ah Ma … the employers? Maybe.........? We Singaporeans are not Stupid so pls stop saying Ban this and that, let us go to the root of the problems and set it Right.

* The main problem now is not just banning the cleaning, how can window exteriors not to be cleaned. We have so many ELITE ENGINEERS working with hdb, hdb is a non-ending project for the citizen. We are in the 21st century, yet none of their engineers can come out with a 180 degree center pivoting movement for windows design. Cleaning can be done from inside for both side of the panels. Just like the bamboo holders for drying for high raise hdb, can,t they redesign a fixture install on the inside wall to hold the bamboo without stretching out of the window.!!!!!!!!!! Useless and yet getting so high salary.

* There are so many filipino maids in singapore but why no one died this year or last year?!?!?!

* Next ban washing of dishes that causes harmful skin problems to maids, after that ban taking care of screaming children cos they cause ear damages. Maids ARE hired to do housework. What a bunch of goons!

* There're always two sides of the story, so to ban maids from cleaning windows, and hang laundry is not thinking and rush decision.. We must be rational, and get to the root of the problems.

* Not all homes are able to pully system, especially the new generation flats.

* So do you expect the old folks (or your aged parents to hang the clothes) since you hire the maid to take care of such manual jobs? Are the maids who falls to death too short in height to do such laundry? If yes, perhaps we need to hire maids of certain height, so that they would not tiptoe to hang laundry.



8. FDW agent and placement fee

It is extremely unfair to make employers absorb the cost of FDW's placement fees ie maid's loan/placement fee.  Philippines is trying to get its citizens to come over for a free ride, No more maid loan!  It wants employers to bear the cost of overseas placement, which is about S$2400, excluding Spore agency fee, insurance, etc.  This high price doesn't guarantee you a good maid or a person willing to perform in her capacity as FDW.  If FDW doesn't work out well, another round of recruitment and money to throw away.  Can you afford such risks and uncertainty?  Nothing, no terms to severely punish a bad FDW.

If MOM is not pro-maid and pro-agency, all maids should be firmly 'educated' to be responsible for her own overseas recruitment via home country banks and the Spore maid agency fee should be capped at FDW's one month salary but MOM gave EA (maid agencies) the free-hand to do anything they like. Nothing has been done to stop maid agencies from taking easy money from the employers. Our interest and concerns were overlooked,  If source country really care about its citizens, eliminate maid agencies or let us be able to direct recruit via an international FDW database. 

If maid wants a job in Spore, she should pay for her loan, otherwise, don't come!  There's no such thing as Free Lunch! Why MOM treat maids like they are so special and unique, treated better than Sporeasn?  By making Employers foot their costs, it is encouraging maids to job hop, show no job committment, 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 is very pro-maid and pro-agency, not forgetting extremely happy to support source countries, unconditional love and indulgence.



Currently, MOM will endorse whatever EAs did or source country demanded .... by KEEPING QUIET or issue policies in their favour.  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.  Employers don't want prideful Filipinos, expensive, stubborn and untrainable to remain here as live-in FDWs. 


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.

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, including our children's?

Most 'clever' maids are already enjoying great lives yet still want to ask more from us... their never ending feeling of forcing employers to treat them better than the payer are wrong, so selfish, infuriating! If I get a maid who lets me 搓圆或搓扁 .... in other words being 'bullied' and still keep quiet, endure for two years.... I will have to thank heaven for showing me mercy. When you get a FDW who learns to adapt and 'tolerate' life as a maid, it means this woman needs a job. Her willingness to compromise, co-operate and be a good helper is what I'm looking for. She's afraid that employer will fire her and doesn't look forward to be repatriated home. Nowadays, I think it is hard to get a submissive and trainable maid. All I got were transfer maids who have high expectations, can't wait to lay their fists on me, bully me and make my life tougher.

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.



Cost to hire a maid



9.  Domestic Maid's mandatory off day
MOM: A well-rested FDW is more productive. You should ensure that she has sufficient rest, especially during the night. Rest days should also be catered for, as agreed between yourself and the worker.    

To give employers and FDWs greater flexibility, employers may compensate their FDWs if there is mutual written agreement between both parties for the FDWs to work on their rest days. The compensation should be at least one day’s salary or a replacement rest day taken within the same calendar month.

The Ministry of Manpower understands that the weekly rest day is a new requirement and there may be questions on how employers can implement it. Therefore, MOM has produced a special rest day edition of the employer newsletter pdfInFOCUS, and also a special guide entitled pdfFDW Weekly Rest Day: A Guide for Employers 


Mandatory off days, implemented on 1 Jan 2013, the most recent unfair MOM policies

(Read what MOM replied to me). 

It doesn't mean I don't agree FDWs should take off days to mix with her girlfriends, get good influence, attend courses or get good tips on how to cope with loneliness and work well with an employer from different culture/background. It is the problems that maid would cause and bring back after her official rest day.

MOM has added additional stress and liablities to us, they and the maid agencies have nothing to lose nor responsibility to bear.    Employers have to pay for FDW's half yearly medical check-up to satisfy MOM's requirement by keeping MOM updated on our FDWs' pregnancy and HIV test results.

Why MOM not picking up the costs?

Why we need to know what maids did and bear the actions of FDWs?

The policies implys who FDW mixed with, we are suppose to question and monitor her? 

Shouldn't FDWs know what is right and what is wrong?

MOM wanted to let our domestic maids unwind but for those who has high sexual desires, clamied very lonely in Spore and needed 'boyfriends', why implement a mandatory off days to give us additional stress and problems?  Not all FDWs are responsible and sensible. They can be extremely selfish and lack of sensible thoughts, easily lead astray when in wrong company. In her circle of friends, if most people doing or having the same thing, FDW thought it is right but it could be wrong.  Example, some FDWs have their own rooms and thought MOM made it compulsory for employers living in small HDB units to satisfy their maids' request. 

Read: Domestic Maid's Off Day


10. Live in FDW
I am not keen to have a FDW living in my house, bear her live-in costs (eg insurance, food and lodging) and nonsense! Really don't understand why MOM insists employers must pay for a live-in maid. Why maids cannot receive a monthly salary like local cleaners and bear their meals, transport, accommodation, etc? Why can't we house FDWs in nearby boarding house? Maid can go off, leave my house once I get home (after work). Don't tell me what she did outside, don't ask me to monitor and leave me alone! Don't make me be responsible for a stranger-human being. She is suppose to be an adult, above 23 years old, let her bear responsibility for being naughty and bad.  Just give me a FDW who can ensure the daily chores assigned are well done, my girl well protected and taken good care of. Let FDW has plenty off time for herself at her own costs and risks.  Let FDW stay in cheap boarding house, share/squeeze in a room with her own kind and enjoy freedom. MOM can implement a security system to track FDW's clock in/out time from her boarding house and employer's house. 

If FDWs didn't get 8 hours sleep everyday, they should be held responsible for failing to carry out their main domestic duties at employers' house. She has to bear the consequences as an working adult! FDW is not a child! Employers are not FDWs' guardian and shouldn't be held responsible for maids' problems/misbehave.

Most people needed a FDW not solely for childcare or cleaning, it could be dual functions.  It doesn't make sense for them to hire a local babysitter and a part-time cleaner although the total cost is lesser than a live-in FDW.  A live-in, inexperience FDW cost S$1500 to $1700, is this cheaper than to hire a local babysitter (S$500 to $800) and a part-time cleaner (S$200 to $300/month), no need to bear their living expenses? It is a neccessity and the flexibility (working hours) to fit employers so to some people, a maid is hired.

Most employers are not trying to be nasty, unkind, stingy or inhumane. We're just trying to protect ourselves. We don't want to get hurt.  Nobody in Singapore will protect employers, except ourselves! We are forced to learn to protect ourselves, barricade and not to over indulge a maid. Before maid starts to demand these and that, she should ask herself what sort of quality work she provided?  How's her working attitude?  Does she really deserve the perks .... as a reward not entitlement?  Most employee would want a reward for good performance, eg You or Me. A good appraisal, reward or salary increment shows our work in the company is recognised or appreciated by our superiors.  If you cannot perform, which company wants to give your increment and rewards?  Won't you be fired for giving problems?  


11. FDW's insurance

MOM website  
Medical insurance

For medical insurance policies taken up or renewed on/or after 1 January 2010, the insurance coverage must be at least $15,000 per year for each FDW’s inpatient care and day surgery during her stay in Singapore. This is in line with the employers' existing responsibility for the upkeep and well-being of their FDWs, including the provision of medical treatment.

Personal accident insurance

It is compulsory for employers to take up a Personal Accident Insurance policy for their FDWs before they can employ the FDW. The minimum sum assured should be $40,000. Any compensation payable should be made to her or her beneficiaries.

Why insurance is not part of FDW's own cost which include repatriation, a one-way ticket for pregnant FDW or those maids who has violated MOM's work permit conditions? FDW should pay for her own insurance so that each time the maid is transferred to another employer, it will be tagged to her name and not employer's, thus, new employer is not required to buy new policy. Nowadays, it is so hard to find a maid who comes with the right mindset and will provide reasonable service for 2 years. Maybe employer pays for fresh maid's insurance but the policy showed only maid's name, thus, employer is no longer being held responsible? Also, make sure hospitals know the basic FDw insurance policy and do not purposely order the most expensive procedures and medicine.

Just a guide, NTUC Income FDW insurance policy refund amounts:
This is provided that your Foreign Maid Insurance policy is taken up for a term of 26 months and is cancelled within 180 days. The day your maid's work permit is terminated is the day your refund is calculated, not the day you sent her back to her agency. If your maid wants a transfer after working 6 months with you, you will get back nothing.

When policy cancellation is done from the start date of Foreign Maid Insurance
Refund Amount
Within 60 days
70% of policy premium
Within 61 to 90 days
55% of policy premium
Within 91 to 180 days
40% of policy premium
From 181 days onwards
No Refund


12. FDW starting pay
An inexperience maid shouldn’t be paid a salary that is higher or similar to those domestic helpers working HongKong or Taiwan. It is sending wrong message to maids that no experience, bad or unable to perform, Singapore welcomes them to mince us…. due to demand for maids by people who don’t really need a maid. Some hired FDWs thinking they are very cheap, something like an entitlement. Spore FDWs should be paid lower because they are not trained to carry out proper housework or pay FDW high salary does not equate to better performance and get appreciation from FDW.

Employers who have learnt the hard way will know what I meant. Those who had been very kind, accommodating and caring to their FDWs but were played out by them, how would you feel if you're the one breaking your bank and getting the headaches? FDWs nowadays get much higher salary, better welfare and more people to pity them but they are still not please. Look their Facebook comments and their expectation on job websites, some asked for live-out, knowing it is illegal for Spore FDWs. Why are maids so arrogant and demanding? Because expatriates (the westerners) spolit the market or activists brain-washed and fed FDWs with wrong info?

Is it correct to disregard the existing law in the host country? Showing no respect to the governing country is what a sensible human being should behave?

Every country has its own terms and conditions yet FDWs are trying to bend them in order to suit them.

Do you, as a full-time employee, tell your company or supervisor that you want this and that so that you'll feel happy with your job?  So that you feel like working?

Is this how you feel being treated like human, able to voice, bargain and inflict 'injury' on your employers?

It is correct to ask your company tweak its policies to fit your selfish needs? If you didn't ask your company to accomodate your unreasonable demands, what make maids so special, must be treated well and let them live far better than their employer? If cannot take 'hardship', stay in source country. Don't whine in Spore!

Overall maid's quality is horrible and working attitude sucks and do not worth the dollars we're forced to pay - market rate, according to maid agencies. I believe it's better to pay an inexperienced FDW a reasonable monthly salary of S$400 per month. The monthly levy that MOM made us paid can be considered as bonus. If the FDW successfully completed 23 months' service with her employer, getting a contract renewal, the levy that her employer has paid to MOM should be cashed out and become her bonus. Let's say $170 x 24 months = S$4080 .... provided she renewed her contract for another 2 years. This will really motivate a FDW to provide better domestic service and stick to one employer. Whatever loan the maid paid to the agent, she will be 'refunded' by her good performance .... offset by maid levy. It will certainly encourage FDWs to stay in Spore and not fly to Hong Kong or Taiwan.



MOM should send the right message that hard working FDWs will be duly rewarded. Princess-attitude FDWs are not encouraged to fly and work as domestic maids in Spore. Show us Citizens first and foreigners are not the jewels in your eyes.


Read:  Life as a Singapore Domestic Maid's Employer


This is the result of unfair Ministry of Manpower, Spore (MOM) policies. There's no cap on employer's medical liability based on insurance purchased. We are merely salaried person cum employer, a full-time working employee, didn't own a company or earning as much as PM Lee and the ministers. If FDW is really unwell or unable to work, she should be sent home and not remain in Spore. If anybody disagrees and think FDW is so poor thing, I'd like to know if this is your maid, are you paying S$93,000? Who should be defined as poor thing? Of course it is the FDW's employer!

This illness which probably is hereditary and certainly not due to an injury sustained at work so employer shouldn't be made responsible for the costs. Do all employers (companies) in Singapore pay for ALL its employee's medical expenses? Of course not, there are terms and conditions. Alternatively, look at your own medical insurance, there are also claim limits. There's no such thing as buying a medical insurance and expect the policy to cover everything. This is insane but MOM doesn't want to do something to stop employers from 'bleeding' unnecessarily. Should her country's government be aiding maid's treatment? Or the activists such as HOME help this maid? You want to play angels and talk a lot on humanity, this is the right time to show you care for the 'less fortunate' ... don't do lip show, just for show!

I am sure MOM knows how to draw a line but chose not to because it has no intention to place needy Sporean FDW-employers in its heart.


Girl badly scalded by boiling water due to maid's negligient, 01 Nov 2013, The New Paper

Maid's employer hit by $93,000 medical bill, New Paper, 7 Oct
Employer was straining under the trauma of her husband’s heart surgery when she was hit with a second whammy, one that cost her more than $90,000. Madam Jameela Bee Mohd’s husband was at Changi General Hospital when her maid was hit by toxic epidermal necrolysis, a rare and life-threatening skin condition.

The maid, Miss Nur Umaroh Karwiyahmukhlis, contracted the condition after she sought treatment for gum pain in late April. A few days later, the 26-year-old was in the intensive care unit of Singapore General Hospital fighting for her life.

On May 30 — 33 days later — she recovered, was discharged and returned to Indonesia, leaving her former employer with a medical bill of about $93,000.