Singapore

$15,000 fine for woman who didn't pay maid for nearly a year

A Singaporean woman has been fined $15,000 for failing to pay her foreign domestic worker (FDW) for almost a year.

The owed salaries totalled about $5,700. Li Jun, 30, was found guilty in the State Courts on Tuesday (Sept 12).

If she defaults on the fine, she will be jailed for six weeks.

She failed to pay her maid between March 7 last year and Feb 21 this year. The maid was owed salaries of $420 a month, as well as rest-day allowances for the period.

Last month, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) slapped Li with 13 charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

She pleaded guilty to three of the charges. The remaining 10 counts were considered in sentencing.

The ministry has also barred Li from hiring any FDW.

She made full payment to her maid last Thursday.

Ms Jeanette Har, MOM's Well-Being Department director, said: "The FDWs rely on their monthly salaries to support their families back home, and we should not deprive them of their salaries.

"We will take strong enforcement action against employers who do not pay FDWs their salaries."

Since 2014, there have been four reported cases of employers being fined for failing to pay their FDWs.

Maids' work permit conditions state that they must be paid no later than seven days after the last day of the salary period, with each period not exceeding one month.

It is also an offence if employers fail to maintain a monthly salary record for the amount paid.

They should also obtain written acknowledgment of the payment from their workers.

The public can contact MOM at mom-fmmd@mom.gov.sg or call 6438-5122 if they know of any FDW who has not been paid her salary.

courtMAIDMINISTRY OF MANPOWER (MOM)FOREIGN WORKERS