Just an update after my post in June on my runaway Phillipine maid. She has since been repatriated on 16 July 2012 and my replacement has arrived 2 weeks after that.
Overall lesson learnt: Be patient.
1. MOM acts fairly quickly once such matters are brought to their attention. As per Employment Act, Employer is responsible for repatriation costs and MOM will set a timeline( not more than 14 days) for agency/employer to repatriate the maid.
2. Before that happens, try to reach an amicable resolution with maid or maid agency for outstanding loans. Coz, once the maid leaves the country, employer lose leverage against the maid agency. MOM gives pressure on Agency to repatriate maid and Agency will in turn "chase" employer to do so. I leveraged on this and refused to cancel the work permit until a resolution is achieved with the agency. NOTE: There is no regulation that states that Employer must repatriate maid within XX days if maid is in custody of embassy (unless abuse or break the law). When MOM officer inform me that I am to cancel work permit and repatriate the maid within 14 days, I responded that I may not do so within 14 days as I am still in the midst of settlement with agency and will only cancel wp when an amicable resolution is achieved. MOM officer did not say I cannot do so and requested me to update her if I am unable to cancel the wp within 14 days.
Outstanding Loan: I managed to reach an agreement with the agency to split the balance loan by 50-50 after issuing them a letter via CASE. Agency was adamant initially that there will be no refund but as I had signed up for a replacement maid before the maid ran away, I "appealed" for amicable settlement via CASE as I am a continuing customer. Lucky for me, the agency however reluctantly they are, had "compromised" in the end and shared the costs.**
- Despite numerous emails, I only receive respond from MOM after I left message on MOM fb.
Lesson No. 1: Use fb for fast respond.
- MOM as per SOP couldnt intervene with regards to the balance loan and referred me to AEAS & CASE. However, AEAS being an association for employment agency responded negatively and referred me to CASE.
Lesson No. 2: If maid agency respond negatively, go straight to CASE, pay S$15 and issue request/appeal letter via CASE for faster resolution.
- After MOM took up my case, MOM contacted the Embassy and maid agency. A day later, the runaway maid lodged a complain of abuse against me at MOM!! However as I managed to contact and inform MOM of this matter before that, MOM had some history and investigation took only 1 day. The maid had actually dug her own grave with her "complain" as her complains were found to be "petty and invalid" by the MOM investigation officer.
Lesson No. 3: Keep MOM informed of the dates, events, contacts of embassy, agency for faster resolution.
Refund of Levy: There is an application form at CPF website for refund of maid levy for the duration that maid is not with employer (At embassy, police, etc..) Just obtain letter from embassy to prove that maid is in their custody and attach to the application. I got the refund!
** Maid agency is Labour E***. I would not recommend this agency as they did not attempt to mitigate/intervene at all. They also failed to advise what are the steps I can take to mitigate myself; like visiting embassy personnally. They merely insist that I pay up loan for replacement maid in full before they fly the replacement maid in! Person in charge acted like a gangster on the phone after receipt of letter from CASE. Furthermore they couldnt advise me on levy refunds and I had to search internet to know that I am eligible.