Multiple efforts to deter domestic helpers from approaching unlicensed moneylenders
- The Straits Times (30 May 2022):"Don't put employer's address on maid's work permit card"
Multiple efforts to deter domestic helpers from approaching unlicensed moneylenders - The Straits Times, 30 May 2022
We refer to Mr Wee Gim Leong’s letter (Don't put employer's address on maid's work permit card, 30 May).
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has taken measures to make address information less visible on the Work Permit cards. Work Permit cards issued since 24 August 2020 no longer show the employer’s address. Migrant domestic workers (MDWs) who need to show proof of their residential addresses, e.g. to acquire services from service providers like banks and healthcare institutions, can retrieve their addresses through their SGWorkPass app instead. By July 2022, MDWs will be required to log in with their SingPass before their address information can be retrieved. There are also other ways to provide documentary proof of residential address, e.g. correspondences from MOM to the MDW.
To address the issue of MDWs borrowing from unlicensed moneylenders, it is important to educate MDWs on good money management practices and the risks of borrowing from unlicensed moneylenders. We do so through our Settling-in-Programme, regular newsletters, and courses that Non-Governmental Organisations conduct.
In addition, enforcement action will be taken against MDWs who borrow from unlicensed moneylenders, to deter them from doing so.
Director, Customer Operations
Work Pass Division
Ministry of Manpower
Don't put employer's address on maid's work permit card - The Straits Times, 30 May 2022
I know of maids who used their work permit cards to borrow money from loan sharks, and returned to their home countries when their contracts ended without returning the money they borrowed.
This left their employers at the mercy of the loan sharks, as the address on the card is the employer's home.
A numerical code should replace the employer's address on work permit cards. If verification is needed, a person could just call the Ministry of Manpower to check the address.
If the employer's home is not on the work permit card, loan sharks would be less likely to lend maids money as they would not know if the maid is giving them a genuine address.
Wee Gim Leong