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Maids not allowed to engage in MLM

  • The Straits Times (13 July 2009) : Maids not allowed to engage in MLM
  • The Straits Times (04 July 2009) : Multi-level marketing


Maids not allowed to engage in MLM
- The Straits Times , 13 July 2009

We thank Mr James Lam for his letter “Multi-Level Marketing” (Straits Times, 4 July 2009).

2.   Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are allowed to work only in the occupation and for the employer as stated in the work permit card. Those who engage in employment or business through multi-level marketing (MLM) activities are committing an offence. They are liable to be fined up to $5,000 or a maximum jail term of six months or both.

3.   MLM companies who use FDWs to sell their products or to help recruit members may be considered as illegally employing the FDWs under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. This offence attracts a maximum sentence of $15,000 fine and/or 12 months imprisonment.

4.   Concerned members of the public and employers can call the MOM hotline at (65)6438 5122 if they come across any such infringements.


Multi-level marketing
- The Straits Times , 04 July 2009

Multi-level marketing companies now target Indonesian maids to become members. The maids are invited to emotionally charged talks and persuaded to sign up as members on payment of a fee, purportedly to cover the cost of some health products and a so-called management book. The objective of these talks is to recruit many members to buy health products. There is a thin line separating multi-level marketing and pyramid selling, with the latter illegal. It is morally wrong to target innocent maids who earn low wages. I hope the Indonesian Embassy will advise its citizens on the dangers and futility of participating in multi-level marketing. I also hope the Ministry of Manpower can give an opinion on whether maids are infringing work permit conditions by taking part in this scheme.