Law has mechanisms for enforcing compensation order in maid-abuse cases

Ms Moe Moe Than (left), who was abused by her employers, was allowed to return home to Myanmar in December 2017 following police investigations and court proceedings.
Ms Moe Moe Than (left), who was abused by her employers, was allowed to return home to Myanmar in December 2017 following police investigations and court proceedings.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home) (Employers punished but abused maid received little else, March 22) for its feedback.

The law currently provides various mechanisms for enforcing a compensation order.

The court making the order may at any time before the sum has been paid in full, do any or all of the following things:

(i) Allow and extend time for the payment of that sum;

(ii) Direct payment to be made of that sum by instalments;

(iii) Order the attachment of any property belonging to the person ordered to pay compensation, by seizure of such property or taking of possession of such property by an appointed receiver, which may be sold and the proceeds applied towards the payment of that sum;

(iv) Direct any person who owes money to the person ordered to pay compensation to pay the court the amount of that sum;

(v) Direct that in default of payment of the compensation sum, that person must be imprisoned for a certain term, which can be ordered to run consecutively to the sentence for the offence;

(vi) Direct that the person be searched, and that any money found on him shall be applied towards the payment of the compensation sum.

In particular, the power of the court to attach property belonging to the person ordered to pay compensation (under (iii)) is very similar to the suggestion by Home for the assets of an employer to be applied towards the payment of compensation.

In addition, foreign domestic workers (FDWs) who have allegedly been abused by their employers will be offered care and support including shelter, food and medical treatment, during the investigation period.

For FDWs who are willing and able to continue working, the Ministry of Manpower facilitates their employment so that they can maintain an income.

Benjamin Tan

Deputy Director, Corporate Communications

Ministry of Law