$5,000 bonds for maids not forfeited if...

Sat, Jun 25, 2011

THE Ministry of Manpower (MOM) would like to clarify some questions about the security bond posted by employers of foreign domestic workers.

The security bond is aimed at ensuring that employers remain responsible for the proper upkeep and maintenance of, as well as prompt salary payment to, foreign workers. It also prevents illegal deployment and ensures the timely repatriation of foreign workers.

The security bond applies to employers of both foreign domestic and non-domestic workers. These conditions are made known upfront when employers apply for a Work Permit on behalf of their foreign workers.

From 2005 to 2010, MOM forfeited an average of 65 (less than 0.04 per cent) security bonds for maids each year. As of December last year, there were 201,000 maids working in Singapore.

MOM understands employers' concerns that they should not be held responsible when their maids violate the Work Permit conditions on their own accord, especially outside designated work hours or on their rest days.

Therefore, since January last year, MOM has removed employers' liability if the maid gets pregnant or breaches other Work Permit conditions that relate to her own behaviour.

It is untrue that the $5,000 security bond will be forfeited for pregnancy.

Even in the extreme case where the maid absconds and the employer is unable to repatriate her, only half of the security bond will be forfeited, so long as the employer has made reasonable efforts to locate the maid.

The forfeited security bond is used to cover repatriation and other related costs once the worker is found, so that it does not exact a cost on taxpayers in Singapore.

This includes the cost of providing food and temporary accommodation, as well as arranging for her repatriation to her home country. This is also the case for non-domestic foreign workers.


MOM is studying the suggestion for the Government to legislate a weekly rest day for maids, with compensation in-lieu when the maid and employer mutually agree that the rest day be forgone.

We will need to consult all stakeholders, including employers, employment agencies, domestic workers and non-governmental organisations.

MOM would like to reassure employers that all views and feedback would be considered.

Further, should there be any changes, sufficient notice will be provided. Members of the public can e-mail their views and suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Farah Abdul Rahim (Ms)
Director, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Manpower

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