Beware of illegal part-time maids!

September 2010

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Hiring an illegal part-time helper puts the employer at risk of facing heavy penalties: fined up to 15 000 SGD* and / or jailed for up to 12 months. Know how to avoid uncomfortable situation.

In 2009, about a hundred employers were fined between 1500 SGD and 18 000 SGD* for illegally employing a helper or for deploying their own helper. Most cases were full time in house domestic workers moonlighting for a few weekly hours in other households and presenting themselves as “freelance helpers”.

The law is however very clear: one Foreign Domestic Worker for one employer as stated on the Work Permit, with absolutely no exception to this.

It means that it is strictly forbidden to all Foreign Domestic Workers (meaning all full time maids)  to work part-time for another employer. Both herself, her unique employer stated on her Work Permit and the employer hiring her for part-time may face stiff penalties from MOM.

But it is also strictly forbidden for an employer to allow his / her helper to do part-time job in another household.

To avoid such misfortune, it is advisable to ask any freelance domestic helper applying for a part-time job to show her Pass: Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents, Employment Pass or Dependant Pass are allowed to work as part-time domestic helpers but NOT Work Permit holders. And even if she says that her employer “sponsors her and agrees with her doing freelance missions”, you should not hire her.

And as an employer of a Foreign Domestic Worker (full time maid), you have the responsibility to ensure that she doesn’t moonlight during her free time. Inform her of the risks for her: fine up to 5 000 GSD and / or jail up to 12 months and also being barred from ever working again in Singapore. And in case your domestic helper is caught moonlighting by MOM, you can’t say that you didn’t know since when you signed the security bond form, you have undertaken the responsibility of the surveillance of your helper…

* Both figures are cited by the Straits Times. The 18 000 SGD is probably the result of several infringements of the law and not only the illegal employment or deployment of a maid.

(from the Straits Times September 19th, 2010)