Help for maids to set up electronic payments of their salary

Foreign domestic workers who wish to receive their wages via electronic payments can now get help doing so at one of three centres run by the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE).

They can approach the CDE to set up a special POSB account - called the POSB Payroll Account - that does not require an initial deposit or a monthly minimum amount.

The initiative is an extension of a trial that ran between June and July.

E-payments will help reduce instances of salary disputes between foreign domestic workers and their employers, said CDE chairman Yeo Guat Kwang, speaking yesterday at an event to celebrate International Migrants Day.

"In these cases, there is often a dispute over the records of how much (the workers) have received or whether their employer has paid them," he said. "Using electronic modes of payment, there will be a proper record to reduce some of these unnecessary disputes."

There are about 240,000 foreign domestic workers employed in Singapore.

Salary disputes are among the top three issues most commonly raised by these workers here, according to a report released by the CDE in January. The other two are requests for transfer of employer and physical abuse.

Mr Yeo noted that a provision under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act allows for domestic workers to request employers pay them through electronic means.

One foreign domestic worker, Filipina Lalaine Ortigas, 32, whose employers have been paying her salary electronically since 2013, said she no longer encounters late payments.

At the CDE's offices at City Plaza and Peninsula Plaza yesterday, about 1,000 domestic workers received gifts as part of International Migrants Day celebrations.

Separately, the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training held early Christmas celebrations for about 600 foreign domestic workers yesterday, treating them to lunch, performances and make-up demonstrations.