Is it legal for a main agency to charge 300SGD for a standard employment contract if which they are only a witnessing and facilitating party?
A few weeks ago I found out that the agreement we signed when we hired our help was the one that is required for the embassy to issue an OEC. Stating that I had already paid 300 dollar for a contract I entered discussions that escalated to the point that we will probably need contact a new agency.
The situation: Our maid is a direct hire transferred from an acquaintance that left Singapore. The agency facilitated the transfer and the domestic maid insurance. at the request of our helper a Standard Employment Contract was signed for which the agency charged 300 dollar.
Not having done my homework, I was surprised to find out that the agreement can be downloaded from MOM or AEAS websites for free and, worse, that for the OEC, the Philippine Embassy demands a different contract to be filed with the embassy.
The agency has now offered to "null & void" the existing contract and refund the 300 SGD, but also state:
"(...) the Agreement between You (Employer), Joecel (FDW), & Agency (AV Global Harvest), which is the only way that binds the 3 of us.
There is no reason also to do the OEC which the Philippines Embassy's Contract will give all Risks & Responsibilities to our Company (AVGH) & our Partner Agency in Philippines. We cannot afford to take that risks."
I have already tried to contact MOM, to verify if the charges are even legal and I can/should report the agency. So far I did not get a response.
Any suggestion on how to move forward? My concern is of course what power the agency still holds over our maid and her workpass/insurrance.
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