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A foreign domestic help found herself at a loss for what to do when her employer extended her work permit for two years instead of the year she wanted.

In a post on the Facebook group FDW in Singapore (working conditions forum), another woman, an internet user named Devi Balbuena Sadang Abad, asked the question on behalf of her friend.

Ms Devi wrote that her friend had extended her work with her employer for another year, causing it to end in December. However, her employer extended her work permit for 2 years instead of the year she wanted.

“They agreed that she was working[s] only until December. No written agreement,” Ms Devi wrote. Ms Devi then asked if the assistant should seek permission from her employer if she wanted to find a new employer in December.

Other aides who commented on the post said they had been through similar situations and were stuck working for their employers because they didn’t have a written agreement.

Jasmine Breeze, an administrator of the group, replied: “Transferring is not a right. We need the consent of the employer. No consent, no transfer. 1 year or 2 years, no matter how long the wp is renewed, it does not affect the transfer. Whether the help leaves after 1 or after 2 years, it cannot transfer at will. She will need the employer’s consent in order to transfer to a new employer. Too bad for her, they don’t have a written agreement, so if the employer won’t allow her to transfer and send her home, there’s nothing more she can do. Since she has decided to stay for another year, I wish her good luck. Hopefully she will be able to transfer easily when the time comes.”

Here’s what the rest said:

Last week, a foreign domestic helper sought advice from other helpers and employers on what to do after she had already returned home, but her work permit had not been cancelled.

In an anonymous post on the Facebook group FDW in Singapore (working conditions forum), the assistant wrote on Friday (July 22) that she had already returned to her hometown two weeks ago and was trying to find a new employer with another agency. She explained that she was not comfortable with her current employer and agency.

However, since her current employer had not yet revoked her work permit, she wrote that she was unable to find a new employer.

In her message, she added that although she had sent several messages to her current employers, they had received no response. When she also called her agent, she said they didn’t care.

The housekeeper returned to her hometown because she can’t stand her employer, but her work permit has not been canceled, so she is unable to work for another employer, the agency does not care

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