Why e-salary payment for maids is best

The Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) noted the many letters to the Forum on Oct 16 and 17 regarding the safekeeping of domestic workers' salaries.

As part of the labour movement, CDE believes that every worker in Singapore must get paid on time for every day of hard work put in. No worker should have his or her salary kept by the employers.

This cardinal rule applies to foreign domestic workers (FDWs) as well.

They should have control over their salaries, as do all employees in other professions.

It is the reason CDE has been advocating electronic salary payment for FDWs.

FDWs want a safe place to keep their money and this place is a bank.

So far only POSB has come forward to extend support in a pilot project last year, which involved CDE and selected employment agencies assisting FDWs to submit applications for POSB payroll accounts.

We urge other banks to consider offering similar services.

As of Oct 7, employers of newly arrived and transferring FDWs who do not already have a POSB account are able toapply for a POSB payroll account and CDE membership as part of the work pass issuance process, all to be done online.

Together with our partners, CDE has also been running financial literacy workshops for our members.

CDE will be working with industry stakeholders to enhance transparency on the related costs in the hiring of an FDW.

We believe that making the cost more transparent to both the FDWs and the employers will help reduce instances of excessive salary deductions - another major source of salary disputes.

Shamsul Kamar

Executive Director

Centre for Domestic Employees