Employment agency SRC Recruitment and one of its staff were slapped with 243 charges yesterday for "selling" maids on online marketplace Carousell.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a statement that advertisements, placed between Sept 1 and 17, had cast the maids in an undignified light.
The employee, Erleena Mohd Ali, 41, had uploaded the insensitive ads, the statement added.
SRC Recruitment faces 144 charges under the Employment Agencies Act, while Erleena faces 99 charges. The offences include advertising foreign domestic workers in a manner akin to a commodity and failing to ensure that SRC's name and licence number were reflected in the advertisements.
SRC's licence has been suspended, which means it can no longer deploy any foreign domestic workers, while Erleena has been deregistered as an employment agency worker.
MOM, which was first alerted to the Carousell listings on Sept 14, put up a Facebook post to warn other employment agencies against such practices. It also told Carousell to take down the offending posts.
An MOM statement on Sept 19 identified SRC Recruitment as the agency behind the ads.
The listings on Carousell were posted by email@example.com and showed the faces of several women believed to be from Indonesia.
The listings on Carousell were posted by user @maid.recruitment and showed the faces of several women believed to be from Indonesia. Some of the posts indicated the maids had been "sold".
The postings led the Indonesian Embassy to say that it would request a thorough investigation.
In its statement yesterday, MOM said it expects employment agencies to exercise sensitivity and a duty of care towards their clients, including maids, when marketing their services.
It added that there are established guidelines on responsible advertising that are well publicised - including on the MOM website - which employment agencies are expected to adhere to.
The ministry urged those who have any information on infringements under the Employment Agencies Act to report the matter via the MOM website at www.mom.gov.sg under "Contact us" or to call 6438-5122.