STOMPer Sabrina was appalled after she got saddled with medical bills and repatriation costs for her maid who gave birth within three months of employment. The STOMPer wonders how the maid got through the medical check-ups without the pregnancy setting off any alarm.
The STOMPer wrote:
"I employed an Indonesian maid to look after my mother (not living with me) in February this year but returned her to the maid agency last Friday (May 04) and got an alarming piece of news yesterday (May 08) -- that she has given birth to a healthy baby boy in the office of the maid agency!
"How can this be possible since she was only in Singapore for less than three months. Now, the maid agency says that according to MOM's (Ministry of Manpower) rules and regulations, the employer is to bear all the medical fees and costs for repatriating the maid and the baby.
"In the first place, the maid should be at least 6 months pregnant when she arrived in Singapore -- how could she have passed the full medical check-up?
"Furthermore, the medical check-up is handled by the maid agency, not me!
"As such, shouldn't the maid agency be responsible for the costs or go after the doctor who did the medical check-up?
"I checked through the contract that I signed with the maid agency -- under clause 15, it's stated that 'in the event FDW (Foreign Domestic Worker) falls ills or suffers personal injury...employer shall bear all the medical costs'.
"Can an 'unexpected' birth be classified as an illness or injury?
"The agency is going to discharge the maid and the baby from NUH today (May 09).
"Is there any of you out there who has a similar story to share? Is there any immediate action I should take to protect my rights?
"I am very very sad. Staff from MOM called me up yesterday too and surprisingly, she told me that they are not going to mediate the matter involving.
"She advised me to settle the bill and send the maid back as soon as possible and said 'it has nothing to do with MOM as the ministry issued work permits based on medical reports'.
"Who should I turn to then?"