Lucky Plaza, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps
Lucky Plaza, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A Singaporean woman has related a tale of woe after investing S$4,000 (US$2,930) to hire a domestic worker to look after her baby, only to have the Filipino woman abandon her for refusing to help her out with a salary advance.

Not only has the 25-year-old woman been left without anyone to help her care for her 10-month-old child, loan sharks have started pestering her for payments, including a S$1,200 settlement due by January 13.

The young mother, surnamed Sim, hired a 29-year-old domestic worker named Dati last July with the help of a man who claimed to be an employment agent. She paid S$3,500 as the first installment of the worker’s settlement fee (S$6,200 total) and another S$500 for a health checkup, the Shin Min Daily News reported.

On October 1, Dati started working for Sim and her family, but after a week, the Filipina began complaining that she was having trouble adapting. She also asked for an advance on her wages, claiming that her child had been hospitalized and she was short of money.

Unwilling to pay Dati any wages in advance, the employer advised her to take what she needed out of the settlement money she had paid the agent.

After Dati failed to get any money by this method, her employer continued to refuse to pay her. On November 3, Dati abandoned her boss, turning to a non-governmental organization for assistance.

Sim found that it might have been the agent who was to blame for this saga as Dati had entered a contract that required a 10-month-long referral-fee payment schedule of an unknown sum, meaning that she might not have been able to receive any money for the first 10 months of her employment.

Nevertheless, the worker was not being honest either, Sim complained, as she had apparently been telling lies about being maltreated, given only instant noodles to eat but no proper meals.

Sim said she was shocked by Dati’s claim as the worker had been taking every meal with her family at the same time at the same table, where there was plenty of food to go around.

The sad tale got worse when Sim received a letter from a moneylender on Orchard Road chasing a S$600 loan repayment and requests from some unknown lenders calling for a S$1,200 settlement by January 13.

To play safe against further possible harassment by illicit moneylenders, the Sim family filed a case with the police.

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