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Domestic helper pays agency S$3,000 to come to Singapore – Singapore News

“… is it right helper paid agency fees 3,000? and her employer paid only the insurance and the permit” she asked

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SINGAPORE: A maid took to social media asking if it was fair that she paid S$3,000 in agency fees while her employer only had to pay for her insurance and permit.

In an anonymous post to a support group for domestic helpers and employers alike, the maid asked: “Hi’ everyone here, i just wanna ask something if it is right that the helper paid all the agency fees for almost 3,000sgd alone? and her employer paid only the insurance and the permit”. She added that the S$3,000 was amortised over five months.

The helper also did not state if it was her first time working in Singapore but noted that she was overseas when her agency arranged for her to come.

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In the comments section, a netizen asked her: “1st, How do you know that the Employer paid for the insurance and work permit only? 2nd, did the helper pay any monies to the agent in her home country? If she doesn’t pay any monies to her agent in her home country, the $3,000 plus, which as you mentioned is equivalent to 5 months deductions of her salary, is the loan that the helper has to be responsible to pay her agent in her home country. The employer in Singapore needed to fork out the $3,000 plus in advance on behalf of the helper, to the agent in Singapore to be forwarded to her agent in her home country. Hope this clarify said question”.

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Responding, the helper said: ah ok, the said helper is my friend, she had a breakdown of the payment each time… and it was also written there that the insurance and the permit are the only deducted from the amount 3,000sgd which is the employer paid, and the rest is paid by the helper… because ma’am, as what I’ve known and heard from others, half of the 3k should be paid by the employer and half is for the helper… that’s why i asked this question to get some opinions according to what you guys know”.

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Last month, another foreign domestic helper took to social media asking how many months of salary deductions an agency could make. Well, according to the Manpower Ministry (MOM), “Singapore employment agencies (EAs) are allowed to collect no more than 1 month of a worker’s fixed-monthly salary for each year of service, capped at 2 months’ salary. This fee cap is in place to protect vulnerable workers who may not have bargaining powers. Foreign workers can refer to the in-principle approval (IPA) letter that MOM issues to them before their arrival in Singapore. The IPA letter includes details such as a worker’s fixed-monthly salary and fees paid to the Singapore EA”.

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“It is an offence for an EA to charge excessive agency fees. Workers who are being overcharged can contact MOM for assistance. All information will be kept strictly confidential,” the MOM added.

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