Woman tells of row over costs after maid attempted suicide
Employer in Singapore said she was pleased with her worker; but the suicide bid was followed by difficulty over a refund and cost of finding a new maid
A 58-year-old Singaporean woman has revealed her shock at finding and rescuing her maid – who attempted suicide due to family problems – weeks after being hired, and subsequent difficulties linked to getting a new domestic worker.
The woman surnamed Li wrote to Shin Min Daily News, revealing that she hired a 27-year-old Indonesian woman named Siti as her maid via an employment agency on October 7 last year.
The worker came with an excellent work attitude and was very diligent and able to speak fluent Chinese, Li said.
However, the maid faced emotional hardship as her former husband refused to let her do video calls with the children while her current husband was jealous and upset knowing she had contacted her ex-husband.
On November 1, the employer returned home after work and was stunned to find Siti, her maid, unconscious on the kitchen floor with an empty bottle of household bleach and a suicide note next to her.
The maid was immediately rushed to hospital, where she recovered after having her stomach pumped. And Li decided it was best to let Siti return home to Indonesia.
But the woman was not able to get a new worker until two months after the drama – until she paid another S$4,000 to the agent.
To hire Siti, the employer said she had to pay S$3,400 (US$3,023), two thirds of which was a placement fee. She also had to cover the cost of medical treatment for the maid – S$1,382.
Given the maid only did 25 days work, Li claimed she should be entitled to a refund of S$1,598. However, the agent allegedly only agreed to pay a third of that sum.
But the agent, who wished to remain anonymous, later told reporters there was a misunderstanding as they had reassured the employer that they would refund the S$1,598 in full. The agent said they had also shouldered the cost of flying the maid home.