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HomeDomestic HelpersWhat happens if maid is caught moonlighting? - Singapore News

What happens if maid is caught moonlighting? – Singapore News

To moonlight is to have a second job, typically secretly, in addition to one’s regular employment

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SINGAPORE: A netizen took to social media asking what would happen if a foreign domestic helper were to be caught moonlighting. To moonlight is to have a second job, typically secretly, in addition to one’s regular employment.

Between 2017 and 2020 alone, about 30 domestic workers have been caught annually for willingly taking on second jobs despite knowing that it is illegal for them to moonlight, according to a report by CNA. Some maids moonlight by selling various items online, while others provide part-time cleaning services on their days off.

Earlier this year, an employer took to social media asking others for help after she found out that her maid was making an extra $200 to $400 monthly doing a side business. In an anonymous post to a support group on Facebook, the employer asked others for advice and help.

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“I got to know that my helper is making some extra money by reselling clothes”, she wrote. She said that her maid orders clothes from Chinese wholesalers and then sells them to other helpers in Singapore at a marked-up price.

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“She is very nice hard-working woman, and so far this additional business of hers did not affect her job. I am only worried about her doing that because as per law she cannot have any other job, isn’t it?” the woman asked.

She said that should her maid get caught, she was not sure it would end well for the helper. “I thinks she makes extra $200-400 per month, sometimes more, sometimes less. I am happy that she can have some extra money in addition to her salary. I am just conserned (sic) about the legal side of it. I haven’t spoken to her about it yet, and any kind advice will be much appreciated”, the employer wrote.

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The Manpower Ministry makes it clear that foreign domestic workers here must work only for their designated employer according to the terms of the work permit. If convicted of breaching this, a worker can be fined up to S$20,000 or jailed for two years or both. Her work permit will be revoked, and she will be sent home and barred from working in Singapore. Her employer can also be fined up to S$10,000 and barred from hiring another foreign domestic worker.

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It is also stated on the MOM website that for illegally deploying helpers, employers may be liable to pay a financial penalty of up to S$10,000. Errant employers may also be banned from employing helpers. Additionally, employers may be fined between S$5,000 and S$30,000 for employing a helper without a valid Work Permit, imprisoned for up to one year, or both. For subsequent convictions, offenders face mandatory imprisonment. /TISG

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