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Can we refuse a transfer request?

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EmpressPlace
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Postby EmpressPlace » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:59 am

earthfriendly wrote:Hello Empress, this is an expat forum. I am not sure how well-received a "confinement maid" will be. It is a "unique" culture in terms of cooking style and after-pregnancy care that not everyone can easily agree with.


Confinement nannies is what local Chinese call them. But they are in effect baby nurses who care for mother and baby. There are agencies who can recommend such nurses who do not practice the Chinese style of afterbirth care and who speak English. I had a friend who hired a local English speaking Indian lady (Singapore citizen) who came in as the night nurse during the early months. No Chinese practices whatsoever. My friend had a Philippino helper as well (who was nice to her baby but turned out to be a thief - but that's another story).The Singapore night baby nurse correctly advised her to send her baby to the emergency department when she noticed the baby's breathing was not normal. Her paediatrician had diagnosed it as a minor cold.

Foreign helpers are a lower cost option but they are certainly not the best option.
Last edited by EmpressPlace on Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

morenangpinay
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Postby morenangpinay » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:01 am

EmpressPlace wrote:
So once the Philippines government is forced by internal pressure to let up on the restriction of foreign domestic helpers leaving the country, employers may find some reprieve.



that won't happen soon. the philippine manpower agencies themselves have banned the singapore agencies from hiring in the philippines.the reason is the singapore agents don't follow the contracts and impose salary deductions.it's not allowed in the original contract.

EmpressPlace
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Postby EmpressPlace » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:20 am

HK also plagued with helper job-hopping:

http://www.timeout.com.hk/big-smog/feat ... ction.html

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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:07 pm

EmpressPlace wrote:
earthfriendly wrote:Hello Empress, this is an expat forum. I am not sure how well-received a "confinement maid" will be. It is a "unique" culture in terms of cooking style and after-pregnancy care that not everyone can easily agree with.


Confinement nannies is what local Chinese call them. But they are in effect baby nurses who care for mother and baby. There are agencies who can recommend such nurses who do not practice the Chinese style of afterbirth care and who speak English. I had a friend who hired a local English speaking Indian lady (Singapore citizen) who came in as the night nurse during the early months. No Chinese practices whatsoever. My friend had a Philippino helper as well (who was nice to her baby but turned out to be a thief - but that's another story).The Singapore night baby nurse correctly advised her to send her baby to the emergency department when she noticed the baby's breathing was not normal. Her paediatrician had diagnosed it as a minor cold.

Foreign helpers are a lower cost option but they are certainly not the best option.


Empress - thanks for your input. Your comment - "Tell the helper that you would send her home if she does not fulfill her duties as per the contract. Under the employment contract, this is what an employer is required to do and agreeing to a transfer is not an entitlement of the helper." is actually very helpful to know. As there is a significant cost (in the PI) for the FDW to move back out of the PI on a new contract this is a handy disincentive to remember.

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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:33 pm

morenangpinay wrote:...impose salary deductions...

This is what really surprising for me in Singapore (I mean, those low-skill workers employment agencies). Even in Ukraine this is forbidden.

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Postby Fortan » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 1:17 pm

Just thought I'd share this with you.

I contacted a bureau about hiring a 'fresh' helper from Myanmar. The agency fee +their various costs would end up at around S$ 900. But then they expected me to cover the initial 'loan' that the helper would have to take out in order to get to Singapore. I asked how that worked and how much money that was and the guy I talked to informed me that it was an additional S$ 3,300. I was literally in shock. I asked the guy what on Earth the S$ 3,300 dollars 'loan' covered for the helper and he told me that they go through a 'course' in Myanmar and that the fresh helpers besides that pays for their own airfare to Singapore. He got upset, bordering to getting angry when I started quizzing him about the so-called course and how it could be that expensive and in the end he ended up saying to me: 'well, if you are not interested, go somewhere else'....

So the basics of this is that I pay a fee to the agency of S$ 900 + the loan of S$ 3,300 = S$ 4,200. However then the helper will have to work for nothing (paying back the loan) for the first SIX months of her contract until the loan is payed back, which equals a salary of S$ 550 a month, which I in the first place thought was way too high considering it is was a young 24 year old with no previous experience.

Also kept me wondering as to, what would happen if she did a runner or wanted to change employer.....

Gave that up and went for a transfer helper instead...

Still wondering how they can get away with harvesting this kind of 'loan/fee'... I am sure they do next to nothing to school these girls. Surely an air ticket here can be found for roughly S$ 100.

Anyone know more than I do about this?

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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 1:40 pm

I also don't understand the logic in paying S$ 5000 to a Singaporean agency and coming here to work as FDW for S$ 500 a month. I'm talking about a real case in here, just recently encountered. It will take her almost 1 year only to recover that 5K fee, and that is only in case she does not pay for food and does not buy anything or go out anywhere (her employer, a Swiss guy, does not feed her - he thinks, she is fine with the salary, and he lets her out only for half a day on Sunday). And yes, she is looking for another employer. Moreover, she thinks this is her right since she paid to the agency! More than that, in her situation I don't see any chance for her to get out of the trap other than changing an employer. She just used her chance to get in Singapore and hopes it has potential to be in here, but currently she is at loss of course.

It is supposed to be a market economy, no? So lets not make it worse than communist regime and give some freedom to FDWs. Ultimately those bloodsucking agencies will be affected and the situation improves (paying S$ 700-800 pm instead of S$ 500 is not a huge loss, isn't it?)

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Postby EmpressPlace » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 2:52 pm

If salary is $500, 24 months of work would net S$12,000.

In any case, the S$5000 figure is more likely to encompass both the maid's loan and the employer's agency fee. So helper is more likely to be bearing S$3K plus through salary deductions, not S$5K. So assuming she bears S$3.5K, she nets S$8,500 in 2 years. Now the financial calculation is obviously whether she can earn close to $8,500 (USD6,700) in 2 years in Myanmar.

Based on this report, the average monthly wage of factory workers in Myanmar is US$30-35. Over 2 years - US$840.
http://www.irrawaddy.org/protest/rangoo ... eport.html

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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 3:07 pm

EmpressPlace wrote:If salary is $500, 24 months of work would net S$12,000.

In any case, the S$5000 figure is more likely to encompass both the maid's loan and the employer's agency fee. So helper is more likely to be bearing S$3K plus through salary deductions, not S$5K. So assuming she bears S$3.5K, she nets S$8,500 in 2 years. Now the financial calculation is obviously whether she can earn close to $8,500 (USD6,700) in 2 years in Myanmar.

Based on this report, the average monthly wage of factory workers in Myanmar is US$30-35. Over 2 years - US$840.
http://www.irrawaddy.org/protest/rangoo ... eport.html

Does she need to eat/drink/breathe some air outside/buy a piece or two of clothing every so often? That's what I'm saying. Of course she will earn more than in Myanmar (or wherever), she came all the way here. But it does not mean you are entitled to take away her basic human right of freedom. She earns that S$500, its not a gift. And she wouldn't want to change a good employer... if you're the one.

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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 3:26 pm

What I think we see here is a lot of pressure on the supply of FDW...

EmpressPlace
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Postby EmpressPlace » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 3:30 pm

Quoting from the article:

[i]The report found that laborers worked “in unsafe, hot, overcrowded factories, typically for around 11 hours per day, 6 days per week.”

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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 3:37 pm

EmpressPlace wrote:...

This is (soon to become) a free market. If you don't like it, hire a Singaporean and pay 2K/month.

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Postby Fortan » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 4:12 pm

I still feel sorry for the girls from Myanmar, having to dish up S$ 3k for next to nothing to get here. I still can't understand what the agencies provides them for that money. It is a rip off the way I see it.

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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 4:20 pm

Fortan wrote:I still can't understand what the agencies provides them for that money. It is a rip off the way I see it.

They provide them with an opportunity to get to Singapore and once they are here they have a potential to find another well-paying job (and quit current employer). So partially you should thank those agencies for the current situation.

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Postby morenangpinay » Tue, 18 Feb 2014 6:02 pm

Sergei82 wrote:
morenangpinay wrote:...impose salary deductions...

This is what really surprising for me in Singapore (I mean, those low-skill workers employment agencies). Even in Ukraine this is forbidden.


the problem with singapore is that they don't want to work with the terms of the source country. They just get workers in other countries soon those new sources will also demand the same terms and where will Singapore get their workers next?

offtopic-it's the same as the construction workers, they're now trying to source them in the Philippines although they are still testing it at the moment.


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