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Author Topic: Sending Maid on Home Leave without Contract  (Read 3469 times)
Direct Transfer
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« on: 14 July 2007, 14:01:34 PM »
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Hello

Sorry if this has been asked before but I have searched everywhere and cannot find any answers.

Has anyone transfered their maid direct and then sent her back home for a holiday within her 2 year contract period?

My dilemma is that I will not be here for Christmas so instead of leaving my maid in the house am going to send her home.  She has been with me since the beginning of the year and as mentioned I transferred her direct on line.

The Philippine Embassy is asking for a authenticated work contract which of course I do not have.  I just downloaded my own contract and filled it in and was signed by me and my maid.  Apparently my maid cannot even renew her passport without this 'authenticated' work contract which needs to be authenticated by Philippine Embassy.  According to the Embassy, if she had been working for me for 2 years then there would be no problem, I could download a form and fill it out and presto, she could go home.

Do I need to pay money to the Embassy in order to get their version of a contract or do I have to go to an Agency and pay them to give me a contract?

Also when reading the form on line at Philippine Embassy they are requesting that the maid has to be paid S$600.00, anyone encountered any problems with this?

Thanks in advance.
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social visit?
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« Reply #1 on: 14 July 2007, 14:45:02 PM »
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Why not let her go back to Philippines and renew her passport there?  She can comes back to Singapore as tourist or social visit pass.  You can then hire her like you did in the past?
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leave2
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« Reply #2 on: 14 July 2007, 20:02:32 PM »
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You have to get a contract with a Philippine embassy accredited maid agency. Go to Lucky Plaza, there are several there. You'll have to shell out around 300sgd to get all the paper work done. That includes the Philippine embassy contract, POEA (that's a Philippine govt workers' document), OWA (overseas worker document also required by Phil embassy) and an exit pass. This is valid for 2 years so if she has to go home within the 2 years, you just pay 6sgd for the exit pass. As for the 600sgd, as of March 2007, the Philippine embassy contract stipulates that maids must be paid 600sgd a month. But that is not enforceable in Singapore.
As for the previous suggestion of letting her return home and bringing her back, that would entail cancelling her work permit then applying for it again.
You do know that in Singapore, if you terminate a work contract three times, you will be questioned by MOM and you won't be allowed to hire a maid again until after a few years.
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Direct Transfer
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« Reply #3 on: 14 July 2007, 21:39:24 PM »
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Thanks alot.

It looks like I will have to fork out the $300 to an agency and get the appropriate contract that the Embassy requires. 
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Try calling the embassy
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« Reply #4 on: 15 July 2007, 10:34:25 AM »
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I did the paperwork myself - did not want to pay an agency because of the way our helper was treated by an agency we used once (very disrespectful). It was a pain, and required a trip to the embassy, but it is do-able. On the phone, the embassy will say "use an agency" so you have to say "how can I do it WITHOUT an agency?" and eventually they'll tell you how.
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Direct Transfer
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« Reply #5 on: 15 July 2007, 10:51:30 AM »
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Thanks for your information PP.

But did you also transfer your maid direct so had no official contract?  This is my dilemma.  If she was working for me for a period of 2 years then I could also do it myself thru the Embassy, just download the form but the problem is that she has been employed by me under the 2 year period.

She cannot even get her passport renewed without this 'contract'.

My maid has been up to the Embassy and they have given her the appropriate forms of what she needs to renew her passport and go on home leave.  I am just wondering if I should go up myself now and try and get everthing done for her without paying $300 for the appropriate 'contract'. 
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Alicia
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« Reply #6 on: 16 July 2007, 13:32:10 PM »
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There is another thing about getting a new passport for a maid on direct hire. According to the new standards set by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the salary for a domestic helper (or Household Servive Worker as POEA now refers to Philippine migrant domestic workers) should be USD 400 (about SID 600).

It is true that the POEA's reach does extend beyond their country. The Philippine Migrant Workers' Act stipulates that a domestic worker can sue her employer for salary owed in Manila, within 2 years of her return home. Of course, it is not easy to persuade an employer in Singapore to go to Manila to fight any clain. For all intents and purposes, the employer can simply ignore any summons.

However, notice that when you sign a contract in Singapore you are also require by the Phil Embassy to submit a security bond. It used to be $2000. (I have heard that it is now $7000?Huh) If there is a claim for unpaid salary, will the $2000 be used to satisfy a claim?

It sounds quite worrisome.
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Thoroughly confused
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« Reply #7 on: 16 July 2007, 18:28:53 PM »
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I hope you don't mind my jumping in here but your question has raised another one along the same lines.  All this maid paperwork is so intimidating, obviously as none of us wants to be left holding the bag or doing the wrong thing.

I recently took a transfer maid, paperwork handled thru the agency, she started working for us 2 weeks ago.  She told me before coming that her previous employer owed her a trip back and has given her the money for this trip which she would like to take in August, 2-3 weeks back in the Phillipines.  She has assured me that I don't need to do anything, that she has handled the paperwork with her embassey.

My questions:

1.  Do I need to pay her salary while she's gone?
2.  Is there any paperwork or certificate or ANYTHING that I need to ensure that she has no problems returning to Singapore?
3.  What is this "contract" you're talking about not having?  I did our transfer thru an agency and don't recall getting a "contract".   I was given the maid's passport and valid work permit.  Do I need something else?

Sorry for all the questions but as I said, I feel like I'm getting conflicting info from different sources.

 
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Direct Transfer
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« Reply #8 on: 16 July 2007, 18:35:45 PM »
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I would ring the agency and ask for the contract as it needs to me signed by both yourself and the maid.  They agency may be keeping it best check with them.  But you should not have any problems in the future if you have gone through an agency, hopefully.

Re her ex employer owing her a trip, that sounds a bit suss.  She said that the ex employer gave her the money instead so I really don't know what she is talking about.  I would not being paying her whilst she is away.

Hopefully someone else can add to this.
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Lilly-
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« Reply #9 on: 16 July 2007, 20:16:52 PM »
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To thoroughly confused.

Your maid's story sounds a little suss to me. If she was owed a trip by her previous employer I dont think you are obliged to let her take the time after she has started her employment with you.

When we first started interviewing maids (without an agency ) a couple of them tried to tell us that they were owed leave and would take it a couple of months after they started with us but when we eventually went through an agency they told us that the girls only have their two weeks leave and the end of a two year contract and as part of the contract if they dont take the leave the employer must pay them for the time instead which she says her previous employer has done so really she isnt owed anything until the end of her two year contract with you.

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nope
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« Reply #10 on: 17 July 2007, 1:54:33 AM »
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Sorry, this is all a load of rubbish as far as the employer goes.

The Phillippine govt has no jurisdiction to try and impose conditions and a contract between you and anyone else outside Phillippines.  They can try (and this is one way) but they can do nothing to you in Singapore.  All this must post this, must do that is garbage.  They may try and impose something on you if you go there but otherwise a non-issue.

What they can do is make life difficult for the maid as a Phillippine national (making it hard to get a pp etc).  Depends how nice you want to be.  Ultimately it is a requirement of her employment that she have a valid passport, it is therefore her problem albeit one created by her own govt.  She should be able to get one at home (I assume and indicated by another poster) or someone stumps up the cash to get her contract approved here by the Phillippine authorities which would mean her contractual terms would need to fit with their ideas (NB again, they have no jurisdiction over you or the maid for that matter here, they can however withdraw priveleges extended to her as one of their citzens, this could be viewed as a restriction on her human rights/civil liberties but pursuing that ain't getting anyone anywhere).  If you go this route you have a choice - who pays.  Obviously it is either you, maid or combination.  There are a few ways of looking at this:

1 - You pay.  You can afford it more easily, you feel nice, you worry she may leave and you like her, whatever.

2 - She pays.  It is a requirement of her employment, it is her problem.  I doubt my co. would pay to sort my passport out so why should I pay hers.  Also, financially if brought over by an agency she would have likely paid this herself anyway, many maids hand over pretty much their first 6 months income to the agents to cover costs of getting them here and contracts sorted.  If you think the fees you paid were all then you are dreaming (new maids rather than transfers at any rate), therefore she is no worse off than most new maids would have been.

3 - Split it - whatever you feel appropriate.

For $S300 I'd probably just pay it for her but depends how much that impacts your cashflow I suppose.

Lastly, in terms of being owed leave from a previous contract.  How the hell is that your problem???  Not sure where the previous poster came up with that issue but you don't owe her it until the end of the contract.  You are of course free to allow her to return home, or even tell her to (if you pay fare and salary) whenever you like.

In terms of bond, if I would not pay the Phil authorities any cash.  I would take an unapproved contract or hire someone who is a citzen of a sensible country I'm afraid.  Having an overseas govt trying to impose that sort of thing on me while residing in a 3rd party country - they can sod off.
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Thoroughly confused
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« Reply #11 on: 17 July 2007, 10:59:58 AM »
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Sorry, I suppose I should have clarified.  She was completely upfront about her desire to go back in Aug during the interview and it was MY request that she start work with us before she went back for the leave.  I told her then I would be ok with her taking the trip then as long as it was being paid for not by me but the previous employer.  I should add that I have known this girl for several years, trust her implicitly, and am absolutely thrilled to have been able to hire her.  She truly is a gem.  I just want to be sure the she, and I, are doing all the right things for paperwork and that she won't be stuck trying to get back to Singapore from the Phillipines after this leave that I have approved of. 

Is that clearer?  Sorry, but it can be confusing to explain. 
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To thoroughly confused
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« Reply #12 on: 17 July 2007, 13:26:44 PM »
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In answer to one of your questions, no you don't have to pay her.  The leave would usually be taken at the end of one contract and before another starts.  It is up to the old employer to pay her if she's in contract and not sure what happens at the end of two years.  You can of course pay her if you want.  Our maid went home the christmas after being with us for 9 months - we gave her her flights as a christmas bonus but i paid her only half a month for december and the whole of Jan (so she got about 4 days holiday pay).  This year she is going home again and as we are counting it as home leave we will be paying her door to door travel and just over two weeks holiday.  Although i'm just reminded that i can claim back the employers levy while she's away (forgot last time). 

We are happy for our maid to go home each year since we're usually out of the country four weeks of the year anyway.  As long as she doesn't expect us to pay each time.  Maybe you want to not pay your maid this time since it's not necessary just to draw boundaries.  Up to you of course.

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Direct Transfer
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« Reply #13 on: 17 July 2007, 13:33:24 PM »
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To above post. 

You mentioned that you are responsible for your maid 'door to door'.  Can you please clarify further, I understand that you are responsible for her airfares, are you also responsible to get her home from the airport in Manila to whereever she lives?
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