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A foreign domestic helper who wanted to return home due to family issues was asked by her employer to pay $600 and buy her own plane ticket.

In a public Facebook group called FDW in Singapore (working conditions forum), a netizen named Devi Balbuena Sadang Abad asked a question on behalf of one of her assistant friends. She wrote that her friend finished her first contract in December 2021, and “she accepted that her employer renews even if the employer has a bad attitude because he needs the money”.

Ms Devi added that her friend’s circumstances had changed by then and she had to return home due to family issues. Her friend didn’t want to come back to Singapore to work either.

After her friend spoke to her employer, she was told that “she has to pay her plane ticket and pay her mom[‘]am $600 for an opinion (she didn’t[‘]t (sic) know what the notice is for)”.

Ms. Devi asked what the $600 “notice” was for and whether her friend was really the one who had to buy her own plane ticket.

In the comments, a group administrator wrote that if the domestic helper’s salary was $600 a month, then the $600 she had to pay was “an indemnity in lieu of notice. If she wants to leave without respecting the notice period, she must pay 1 month’s salary. If she gives a month’s notice, she has nothing to pay”.

The administrator continued: “As for the one-way ticket, the employer has to pay. If they force her to pay, she can contact her agency for help, or contact CDE or MOM for advice. Whatever suits him.”

Here’s what other caregivers said:
Others in the comments suggested he check his employment contract for more information, as the situation was unclear.

In March, another foreign domestic worker asked how she could help a colleague facing a difficult situation. She sought advice and help from other employers and helpers in the group.

The woman, who goes by the name Eliz Morante Domingo LIanillo, posted the appeal in a Facebook group called “FDW in Singapore (working conditions forum)” and said she was doing it on behalf of a friend.

Her friend wanted a transfer, she says, because she keeps having repeated misunderstandings and conflicts with her current employer, which “lead to degrading and insulting remarks”, she therefore wants to be transferred to another employer.

But the current employer insists that the aide who wants to change must repay them the S$6,000 it cost them to hire him.

“So my question, are there any facts that support the wizard should pay that amount if they want to transfer because things aren’t working out for both of them?” asks Mrs. Eliz.

Maid Requests Transfer, Difficult Employer Demands She Reimburse $6,000 Hiring Fee

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