Domestic worker not paid 13 months salary by S'porean employer charged for working elsewhere

A 56-year-old Singaporean woman is facing 13 charges for not paying her helper.

Zhangxin Zheng | September 24, 2021, 12:01 PM

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A 56-year-old Singaporean woman is facing 13 charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) for not paying her domestic worker salary for slightly over a year.

Failed to pay domestic worker for a year

The Ministry of Manpower's investigation found that Santa Maria Michelle Theresa did not pay 43-year-old Filipino, Emferatriz Borja Montefolka, who is also known as Emma, her salary from April 2018 to April 2019.

If convicted, Theresa can be fined up to S$10,000, or jailed for up to 12 months, or both, for each charge of failing to pay Emma’s salary.

Domestic worker worked illegally at other residence

Emma was also found to have worked illegally at the residence of Norliza Binte Kamardin, a 48-year-old Singaporean, from August 2018 to April 2019.

As a result, Norliza is facing one charge of employing a migrant domestic worker without a valid work pass under the EFMA.

If convicted, Norliza is liable to a fine of between S$5,000 and S$30,000, be jailed for up to 12 months, or both.

For illegally working part-time for another employer, Emma is facing one charge of working without a valid work pass under the EFMA.

If convicted, Emma can be fined up to S$20,000 or jailed for up to two years, or both.

Earlier this month, MOM had also reminded employers in Singapore that it is illegal to deploy domestic workers to work for other households or perform non-domestic chores.

Employers will have to notify the ministry if their domestic workers are helping to care for their children or parents at other homes.

In the press release, the ministry also encourages employers to pay their migrant domestic worker’s salary electronically, such as through General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO) or direct bank transfer.

Employers must do so if requested by migrant domestic workers.

This ensures prompt payment and minimises salary disputes due to transparent records, MOM said.

Migrant domestic workers who need assistance on salary and other employment-related matters can call the MOM MDW Helpline at 1800 339 5505, or CDE at 1800 2255 233, the ministry added.

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Top image by Julia Yeo