Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

With most families being dual-income-with-kids, outsourcing home cleaning and home economics to domestic helpers is almost a way of life for Singaporeans. Come in and discuss issues pertaining to maids and home management.

Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

Postby camleelaa » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:44 pm

My maid has been with me for 2 months. She tells me her 8 month-old daughter in Indonesia has a serious accident. Her husband has returned from working in Malaysia to care for their daughter. She looks so miserable all the time and I am prepared that she may need to go back to Indon in case things don't work out. She still has an outstanding loan that I am supposed to deduct from her salary over the next 7 months.

My question is, contractually, does she owe money to me, or to the agent? Can I allow her to go back to Indon or is it the agent's decision? If I terminate her contract, the agent has to pay me the money back, but that's because th agent can place her out to another employer. Does the same apply if she goes back to Indon?

I would appreciate any advice in this matter. Thanks.

camleelaa
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Re: Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

Postby wiimum » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:57 pm

If you have paid the lumpsum to the agent, its probably your responsibility. But if it is a series of post dated cheque(which means you can stop payment), then you may have some say. Whatever it is, the agent would want to cover their costs (or even more, their profits!) so I would expect the agent to say that you should release the maid after her loan is paid up.
It is a very tricky situation and you have to assess first off, is it a real emergency or just an excuse? (I have been through enough stories that I am quite skeptical)
Are you able to release her for her to go back for a while and then come back to continue to work for you? (another risk factor because she may not even come back and you waste the return ticket and forfeit the loan amount).
But then if you don't release her, the next 7 months will be miserable for you and her(assuming it is real), a lose-lose situation.
Just my 2 cents.

wiimum
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Re: Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

Postby camleelaa » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:08 pm

Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately I was not so far-sighted as to pay the agent via a series of post-dated cheques.

I believe it is a real emergency, yet I am not sure she will choose to return home as she will need to work to pay for her daughter's medical expenses.

I am able to release her to go back for now, but as you rightly say, she may or may not come back. I'm not sure I want her to come back anyway. To be honest she is quite a lousy worker. I had wanted to transfer her out last month but held back because the cost of hiring another maid has gone up post Jan 2013. Now that this has happened to her daughter, I feel very sorry for her and would like to help her. I'm wondering whether I should just release her and forget about the outstanding loan...

camleelaa
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Re: Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

Postby Linlin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:44 pm

camleelaa wrote:Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately I was not so far-sighted as to pay the agent via a series of post-dated cheques.

I believe it is a real emergency, yet I am not sure she will choose to return home as she will need to work to pay for her daughter's medical expenses.

I am able to release her to go back for now, but as you rightly say, she may or may not come back. I'm not sure I want her to come back anyway. To be honest she is quite a lousy worker. I had wanted to transfer her out last month but held back because the cost of hiring another maid has gone up post Jan 2013. Now that this has happened to her daughter, I feel very sorry for her and would like to help her. I'm wondering whether I should just release her and forget about the outstanding loan...


I think u shld check with agency to see what is their advise. If u release her and forget about outstanding loan must as well spent the money for new maid loan.

Linlin
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Re: Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

Postby taz » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:46 pm

Isn't cost of hiring another maid is cheaper than release her and forgo outstanding loan ?

To me, this sound fishy....yes... i went thru few stories... felt pity for them. paid for return trip, home leave, then mia.

Understand that it is norm for them to say that accident or even death to their immediate family member - father, mother, son or daughter, etc.

why not ask the agent to talk to the maid and also help to verify if it is true. Usually the agent is better position to judge if it is true.
Very likely that she will decide not to go back, saying need to continue to work for $ to sent back or borrow $ from u.

Since u said that she is a lousy worker & plan to transfer her out then no point to do much for her since she is not helping u much also..

just my view only... u decide the best decision for your family & u.

taz
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Re: Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

Postby Linlin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:52 pm

taz wrote:Isn't cost of hiring another maid is cheaper than release her and forgo outstanding loan ?

To me, this sound fishy....yes... i went thru few stories... felt pity for them. paid for return trip, home leave, then mia.

Understand that it is norm for them to say that accident or even death to their immediate family member - father, mother, son or daughter, etc.

why not ask the agent to talk to the maid and also help to verify if it is true. Usually the agent is better position to judge if it is true.
Very likely that she will decide not to go back, saying need to continue to work for $ to sent back or borrow $ from u.

Since u said that she is a lousy worker & plan to transfer her out then no point to do much for her since she is not helping u much also..

just my view only... u decide the best decision for your family & u.


Totally agree with you :smile:

Linlin
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Re: Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

Postby Harlequin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:01 pm

Check your contract signed with the agent, talk to them, the balance portion of the loan might be able to transfer to the new maid provided you take a replacement from them, and allowing your current maid to transfer; that's what my agent told me, although I have not "tested" it. Mine was paid in a lump sum too.

Years ago agent collect post-dated cheques, but it seems that they no longer practice this?

Harlequin
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Re: Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

Postby POA Teacher » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:20 pm

Normally, if you want to recoup the loan $, you have to give the agent some time to look for a new employer for her and to transfer her.

Whether you paid a lump sum, or in post-dated cheques shouldn't make any difference. You are still liable for the cheques you issued. You can get the bank to cancel the cheques, but they can take action against you.

POA Teacher
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Re: Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

Postby Harlequin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:33 pm

Actually, the agent officially represent the maids or the employers? It's a confusing role they are having.

The contract we sign with the agent, about engaging their services, replacement, payment terms and all that, is a simple standard one, more like a note to me.

Harlequin
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Re: Maid needs to go home - who is responsible for her loan?

Postby Mdm Koh » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:58 pm

taz wrote:Isn't cost of hiring another maid is cheaper than release her and forgo outstanding loan ?

To me, this sound fishy....yes... i went thru few stories... felt pity for them. paid for return trip, home leave, then mia.

Understand that it is norm for them to say that accident or even death to their immediate family member - father, mother, son or daughter, etc.

why not ask the agent to talk to the maid and also help to verify if it is true. Usually the agent is better position to judge if it is true.
Very likely that she will decide not to go back, saying need to continue to work for $ to sent back or borrow $ from u.

Since u said that she is a lousy worker & plan to transfer her out then no point to do much for her since she is not helping u much also..

just my view only... u decide the best decision for your family & u.


Yup, not to be cynical but my friend's maid had said the same thing to her and it was a lie. She found the maid's sudden wish to depart fishy, checked her things and realised that the maid had stolen a substantial amount of valuables from her.

Show compassion only if you are sure that she's telling the truth...

Mdm Koh
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