SINGAPORE — 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 charged 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.
Here’s what they said:
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.
This does not include deductions made for:
- Absence from work.
- Recovery of advances, loans, overpaid salary or unearned employment benefits.
- Payments, with your consent, to registered cooperative societies for subscriptions, entrance fees, loan instalments, interest, and other dues payable.However, when her contract of service is terminated, the total authorised deduction may exceed 50% of her final salary payment.
Last year, another foreign domestic helper who had the first three months of her salary deducted asked if she would have another three months’ pay deducted if she was sent to a new employer.
In a post to Facebook group FDW in Singapore (working conditions forum), a netizen by the name of Steph Malditah asked a question on behalf of her friend. Her question was about the maid’s salary deduction and quarantine.
In Ms Steph’s post, she asked if the helper was supposed to pay for her lodging and quarantine the second time around and have her salary deducted for another three months.
Ms Steph explained that the helper already had her salary deducted for three months from her employer. However, her employer no longer wanted to hire her and sent her back to the agency. There was no reason why her employer no longer wanted to hire her.
Since the helper was sent back to the agency, during the time taken to find another employer, Ms Steph asked if she would have to pay lodging and quarantine fees again, as well as face another three months’ salary deduction from a new employer.
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