I am posting this because someone else out there may naively think (like I did) that everything will just be ok when you hire a maid.
Some things I learned:
*you can not be too relaxed (a management style common to a lot of Expats) because you will be taken advantage of
*if you cancel a maid's work permit and buy her a ticket to leave the country that your obligation does not end there, the MOM nor the Police will not help you get her out of the country. If you can get through to Immigration they may help you but I filed a report and nothing was done
*just because someone is "mature" doesn't mean they are honest or good people
*Maid Agencies are not always honest even if they are accredited.
I had hired an older "more mature" maid, Imelda, to watch my son and clean my house (I work full time).
One day my son told me she gave him medicine and yelled at him to go to sleep and that she then layed in bed with him which he did not like. That was the last straw, (despite me talking to her and writing her a list of things to improve upon she had done very poor work as far as keeping my condo clean, constantly complained to me how small my condo is, lied to me about where she was taking my son to play, didn't show me receipts or return change after being asked, and a number of other problems with her had recently cropped up) and I saw no reason to let her transfer to another employer who would likely have the same problems.
I should add that I have good reason to believe my son even though he told me 2 days later- he had slept for 5 hours two days before and when I came home and gave him his cough medicine before bed he reacted in a very strange way- he rolled his eyes back in his head and immediately fell asleep. I thought at the time he must be really sick (he also had a fever) but his Dr. he confirmed that the symptoms I observed were consistent with an overdose of cough medicine.
So the next day I fired her. This is where it gets complicated. I took her to May at Employment Specialist Agency who assured me they would make sure she would be on the plane or they told her she had to options of going to the Philippine Embassy. So the next day when I called to find out the decision she had made, May would not answer my calls. When my husband called she did not recognize the number and picked up right away. She would not confirm that Imelda had gone to the airport or to the Philippines Embassy and therefore we knew she was staying illegally in Singapore.
So, after filing a police report and the police calling her it turns out she had gone to an agency called Home. Here she claimed that we did not feed her (wtf?) and that we owed her $10k (WTF?). These claims were then presented the following Monday to the MOM where they were not taken seriously at all.
They told her that she had to leave Singapore and that she had no basis for these claims. I then found out that this woman has had 10 employers in 10 years and has changed her name in her passport (with the help of the sketchy maid agency, Employment Specialists) and was not the kind, mature, stable maid with 2 employers that I thought I was hiring. She has been through the firing process many times before and knows the ropes.
I also found out that despite my reporting her as being here illegally to the police and MOM that I am ultimately responsible for making her leave but can not force her on the plane or legally hold her passport (Note to anyone who does this! The agency said I should do this but never did). This meant that I had to buy her another ticket and hope that she got on that plane. The HOME agency told her she had 1 week to get out and if she didn't leave Singapore that she would not be able to stay with them. So she got on the plane. But not after some sleepless nights on my part thinking she may stay and I would have to pay the overstay fine and the $5k bond to the govt.
Expat employers beware: she is reapplying for a work permit and is looking for another Expat employer! If you want to know more about who she is, email me and I will be happy to give details! If you are considering hiring a dumpy, 44 year old, Philippina maid named Imelda- DON"T!
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