Woman accused of putting maid's life in danger

A 36-year-old woman was charged yesterday after allegedly instructing her maid to clean the glass ceiling of her home by standing on it.

Belinda Huber was charged with failing to provide safe working conditions for her foreign domestic worker (FDW) around June last year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday.

Investigations revealed that some time between early June and July 4 last year, Huber allegedly told her maid on four different occasions to clean the glass ceiling on the second level of her home.

To do so, the maid had to stand on the glass ceiling that extends over the porch area of the house, MOM said in a statement.

The Straits Times understands that the house is a landed property in Goldhill Avenue.

"By instructing the FDW to perform such dangerous acts, the accused endangered the FDW's life," the statement added.

The ministry said it stopped the maid from working for Huber and imposed an interim employment ban, while investigations into the case were ongoing. The maid now has a new employer.

 
 

In the statement, MOM said that employers have a legal obligation to provide safe working conditions for their maids. In addition, they have to ensure that maids carry out their tasks according to safe work practices stipulated by MOM. This includes supervising them to ensure that they are not placed in situations that could endanger their lives.

Huber's case will next be heard in court on June 21. If convicted, she may be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to 12 months, or both. She will also be barred from employing a maid in the future.

In the statement, MOM urged maids who require help on work safety or well-being issues to call the ministry's FDW helpline on 1800-339-5505. They can also call the Centre for Domestic Employees on 1800-2255-233.

Those who have information on suspected offences involving maids can e-mail mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg or call 6438-5122 to report the matter.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2018, with the headline 'Woman accused of putting maid's life in danger'. Print Edition | Subscribe