Employers not allowed to safe-keep maids' money from 2019
If you are employing a maid in Singapore, please remember - From 1 Jan 2019, employers will not be allowed to keep any money belonging to their maids...
Those employing a maid in Singapore, please note: From 1 January 2019, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will introduce a new Work Permit condition to protect both employers and maids from money-related disputes.
Employers will no longer be allowed to safe-keep any money belonging to their maids, including paid salaries or any other money. The information was released in a press release by MOM on 7 October 2018.
Employing a maid in Singapore: Employers can no longer safe-keep maids' money
Earlier this year, the Centre for Domestic Employees had suggested that employers should not be allowed to keep any money belonging to their maids.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower, Ms Low Yen Ling, said, “We are aware that employers safe-keep their FDWs’ money for various reasons including doing so at the request of their foreign domestic workers (FDWs)."
"However, such arrangements may inadvertently lead to disputes. By not allowing employers to safe-keep salaries, MOM seeks to protect the interests of both the employers and FDWs.”
There are apparently many risks and problems involved in safekeeping maids' money.
For instance, maids who have no direct access to their money will have to approach their employers whenever they need their money.
And employers will have to deal with the inconvenience of tracking the correct amount of money to be returned to their maids.
Other risks include lack of proper documentation and facing claims lodged by maids who may not be comfortable to ask for the return of money.
Do note that, employers found guilty of keeping their maids' money can face a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and 12 months' jail.
Electronic salary payment encouraged
The law requires that employers pay their maids their salaries in full and on time.
For ease of transaction and maintenance of proper salary records, employers are encouraged to pay the salaries of their maids electronically. They can help their new maids apply for a bank account, such as the POSB Payroll Account, during the Work Permit issuance process.