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Maid needs monthly medication for high blood pressure, employer asks if she should deduct it from her salary

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"... her monthly medication which I am paying for is over $50," the employer said.

SINGAPORE — After looking to renew her maid’s contract, an employer was unsure how much to pay her or whether her medical fees should be deducted from her salary.

In an anonymous post to Facebook group FDW in Singapore (working conditions forum), the employer wrote that her Indonesian maid had been working with her for over three years. She added that she wanted to renew her maid’s contract when the current one ended and said that her maid was keen to continue working for her.

She was also recently was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure, and her monthly medication which I am paying for is over $50. She has been doing an okay job so far and most important to me is that she doesn’t give me any major issues. My younger kid likes her alot and she dotes on the younger child too”, the employer wrote. 

She said that her maid’s work was to do housework, cook meals and take care of her employer’s two children. The two children were not home most of the day as one was in full daycare, and the other was in primary school.

The employer added that her maid also only took one day off per month as she wanted to earn more money.

“Would like to know considering the working condition and time she spent with us -finishing 2nd contract, what would be a reasonable salary? if I am looking to increase what is the usual rate ? Should her medical condition and medication fees be considered in this?” the employer wrote.

Those who responded in the group mostly said it was up to her as an employer. Some said that upon renewing a contract, the salary is usually increased by $100 to $200.

Here’s what they said:

Earlier this year, a foreign domestic helper took to social media asking if the three months of salary that her agency planned to deduct was a normal amount.

In her post, the woman wrote that she had not come to Singapore yet, but added that an agency she reached out to charge her three months’ pay.

In the comments section, many helpers added the varying amounts they had been charged by agencies when they came to work in Singapore. Some even added that they were charged up to 8 months of their salary by the agency.

According to the Manpower Ministry, maid agencies in Singapore are only allowed to charge foreign domestic workers a month’s salary for each year of work as per the work permit for a maximum of two years (i.e., a maximum of 2 months’ salary). This fee cap includes any fees transferred by the agency used in the FDW’s home country.

Similarly, a maid’s employer cannot deduct more than 50% of her total salary payable in any one salary period.

Maid says her agency deducts 3 months of her salary, asks if this is normal; other maids say they’ve had 8 months’ salary cut

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