Just to share the measures you can take to protect yourself if you employ a FDW.
Look for an agency that accepts post-dated cheques. Reason: When there is a dispute, you do not have to worry that your whole loan repayment for current maid will be forfeited. Although the agency fee will be slightly higher, it beats having the whole loan amount forfeited. You are in control of the money as the cheques are post-dated and you can cancel them if need arises.
Never believe an agency that you CANNOT cancel your maid work permit. YOU CAN. Reason: When the maid has outstanding loan, they don’t want you to cancel the permit as it will be difficult for them to sell your maid to another employer. They will want to re-market the maid to another employer till the maid settles her loan with the agency. Just bear in mind that if you cancel her permit, you have to bear the repatriation cost.
Always read the entire agreement. Always take the effort to read through the entire agreement. Never sign blindly as there are clauses that are tricky and will not benefit the employer. Once you ink the agreement, you are contractually binded.
Look out for clauses that state your stand if the maid runs away, commits an offence or pregnant. Find out what can the agency do to help you.
Free replacement of maids. Always ask in details. Be very careful if the replacement is unlimited as it will be too good to be true. Always ask the terms and conditions for replacement. Some agencies will not replace you with another maid if you repatriate your current maid even if she has committed an offence.
Go to big and reputable companies. As in buying, always go to reputable companies that had been around for many years. Small agency may charge you $1 agency fee and who knows few months down the road, they will just fold up.
Always ask for a timeline. For new maids, it may take 1 month for her to arrive. Ask the agency for a timeline, if they cannot deliver a maid, are you entitled to a refund if you cannot choose a suitable maid from their biodatas? This is very important or else you may just lose all the money and time waiting.
For transfer maids, ask to speak to the previous employer. Do not just believe what the agent and the maid says as the story might have been fabricated.
When the maid is here, make sure that it is the same maid that you have chosen. Always ask if they have friends, relatives or boyfriend in Singapore.
Always check the belongings. Do not leave things to chance.
If your maid has no off days, make sure she signs on the agreement letter that she is aware and agreeable to that. You won’t know what will happen in future.
Draft out a timetable for the maid. Orientate her and ask her to follow the timetable for the first month.
Tell her about the rules and regulations on the first day. Do not wait till she does something wrong then you tell her off. She will feel unjustified.
Tell her if you will like her hair to be short or she can keep it long. Be very clear about it.
Hope the above helps and may prospective employers find a good maid soon
P.S. Always find a maid that can understand and speak your language especially if you are a FTWM or FTWF.