Listi (*not her real name), a domestic worker from Indonesia, was not paid her salary for 10 months. She was owed more than S$5,000. She was not given any rest days, and her handphone usage was severely restricted by her employer. Listi woke up at 5.30am every morning, and worked till 11pm or midnight. Listi finally sought help from HOME and filed a complaint with the Ministry of Manpower about her unpaid wages. She would like to transfer to a new employer, but has been told by MOM that since her employer — the one who did not pay her and denied her rest days —has already purchased an air ticket for her, she has no choice but to go back home. Tomorrow.
In Singapore, the law says that if your current employer refuses to allow you to transfer to a new employer, only the Ministry of Manpower can allow you to do so. However, this is currently limited to those who are required to remain in Singapore to be prosecution witnesses. Even if your employer has violated labour laws or mistreated you, as a domestic worker, you do not have the right to transfer. Many domestic workers with valid claims often have no choice but to return home. If you need more advice about your situation, please send us a message on Facebook or call our hotline at 1800-797 7977 /+65 6341 5525.