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Maids Who Make False Police Reports Can Be Jailed

The Straits Times (02 December 2009) : Maids Who Make False Police Reports Can Be Jailed


The Straits Times (14 November 2009) : Easy for maids, hard on employers

The Straits Times (12 November 2009) : False Police Report - ‘After she confessed, I still had to pay to repatriate her. How does the law protect employers?'

Maids Who Make False Police Reports Can Be Jailed
- The Straits Times
, 02 December 2009

We refer to the letters on the responsibility of employers to repatriate their foreign domestic workers (FDWs) by Mrs Lillian Lim (12 Nov 09) and Mr Manmohan Singh (14 Nov 09).

2.   Under the Work Permit conditions, employers are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their FDWs during the period of employment and for their repatriation once their employment is terminated. This ensures that an employer who brings in a FDW takes personal responsibility for the worker's well-being and prompt repatriation when the contract ends. This responsibility is made known to employers when they apply for a work permit.

3.   The responsibility to repatriate should be kept separate from any dispute between the employer and employee. This is to prevent delays in repatriation which could in turn cause FDWs to remain in Singapore for an extended period of time without employment.

4.   The Police view all complaints seriously and will conduct thorough investigations. FDWs who make false police reports against their employers will be committing an offence under the Penal Code. In Mrs Lim's case, her FDW has not been repatriated but is still in Singapore under investigation for giving false information. If prosecuted and found guilty, the FDW will be liable to imprisonment for up to one year, or a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both. 

Easy for maids, hard on employers
- The Straits Times
, 14 November 2009

I agree with Mrs Lilian Lim's view on Thursday ('False police report - After she confessed, I still had to pay to repatriate her. How does the law protect employers?') and wish to relate my experience which also illustrates how maids disadvantage employers by exploiting the use of police reports.

My maid showed signs of self-inflicted distress and we sympathised with her. She was underweight and ignored our appeal to eat more, replying that her husband left her because she was overweight. Each morning, she told us she wanted to go to Serangoon Road to look for her 'husband'.

Despite our attempts to accommodate her, she subsequently asked for a transfer and we willingly took her to the agent. But no employer wanted to hire her and one weekend, she ran away.

Subsequently she telephoned me and asked to be repatriated. We agreed. Following the phone call, she sent a letter to my family, signing off as slain Pakistani leader 'Benazir Bhutto' and 'Princess Diana'.

We realised she had lodged a police report only when the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) called and told my entire family to report for an investigation.

The maid had alleged that we had assaulted her. After two sessions, an ever-professional MOM dropped the case.

It was a different story with the police report. Although we produced written evidence that we were not at home at the time of the alleged assaults and showed the police her bizarre letters, the police were not convinced.

The investigating officer even came to my home with a team to snap photographs of the place where the alleged assaults occurred.

Then, out of the blue, I received a call telling me to buy a plane ticket to repatriate the maid.

The supervisor of the home in which the maid was placed told me she had appealed to the police to send the maid back as she and her staff could not handle her.

False Police Report - ‘After she confessed, I still had to pay to repatriate her. How does the law protect employers?' 
- The Straits Times
, 12 November 2009

'Recently, I returned my maid to the agency. A few days later, she lodged a police report against my mother. After one month of police investigation, the maid finally confessed that she had made a false statement. What happened subsequently was bizarre. After my maid confessed to making a false statement, she faced no penalty and I still had to pay for the air ticket to repatriate her. The investigating officer said that if I wanted to sue her, I would have to hire a lawyer, and even if she loses the case, I would still have to pay for her air ticket home. How does the law protect employers in such cases? If there is no such law, it may deter employers from hiring maids because even if the maid makes a false statement, she is not punished and so has nothing to lose.'