Forfeiture of bond will be last resort

We refer to the report on the performance bond on employers who hire Indonesian foreign domestic workers in Singapore (New bond for hiring Indonesian maids unnecessary, says MOM; May 9).

Despite efforts taken by the Indonesian Embassy, the number of cases of misconduct and abuse by employers of Indonesian foreign domestic workers has not reduced.

Last year, the embassy handled 1,579 such cases, including salaries not being paid for months and even years, sexual and/or physical abuse, foreign domestic workers working up to 19 to 20 hours a day and the restriction of religious prayers.

As of May 10, the embassy has seen 571 domestic workers seeking help for various reasons.

As part of continual efforts to ensure the well-being of foreign domestic workers, the embassy implemented a performance bond on employers of domestic workers, working with employment agencies and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to enable its effective implementation.

The performance bond policy will be attached to the employment contract issued by the embassy.

The signing of the contract takes into account the consent of all parties involved. The embassy's premium on the performance bond is not more than $75 for a two-year period and the amount may slightly vary, depending on the insurance agencies. This amounts to as little as $3 a month.

The embassy will not recklessly forfeit the bond, should there be any breaches of the contract.

We will facilitate mediation and, for cases that involve the police or MOM, this will take place after a decision has been made or a verdict issued either by the court, the police or MOM.

Forfeiture of the performance bond will only be the last resort, if the employer involved remains uncooperative after mediation.

The embassy remains open to any clarification needed to help employers better understand the policy.

We would like to thank all stakeholders involved in the effort to better protect our migrant workers. Didit Parlambang

Counsellor

Protection of Indonesian Citizens

Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2018, with the headline 'Forfeiture of bond will be last resort'. Print Edition | Subscribe