In a Facebook post last Sept 14, the Ministry of Manpower had announced that it is now conducting investigations regarding cases of ‘maids’ being listed as commodities in online retail platform Carousell, as shared in a news by the Straits Times.
(ALSO READ: How Domestic Workers Can Get a UK Working Visa)
While investigations are currently underway, the ministry had already performed measures for the listings to be taken down in the aforementioned online platform.
MOM Investigates Inappropriate listings on Carousell where Foreign Maids are being ‘sold’
In the listings posted by user @maid.recruitment, who had just recently became a member on the platform since August 15, faces of several foreign maids, particularly those from Indonesia, have been publicly uploaded – where some of the profiles have also been tagged as ‘sold’.
In line with this issue, a representative shared with the Straits Times that such kinds of listings are prohibited on the marketplace as per its community guidelines. While agencies are allowed to market services, posting personnel listings are not.
Displaying or sharing information such as a person’s biodata is strictly prohibited and goes against the company’s set rules and regulations according to the representative of Carousell.
To this issue, the representative shared that no such sale or transaction was completed because it would have been barred from the marketplace when detected.
Furthermore, the company [Carousell] is already working with authorities with the investigation. Carousell has also terminated the said account, and took the listing, as well.
In a Facebook post shared by the Ministry of Manpower, advertising maids like commodities is unacceptable and is considered a violation under Section 11(1)(c) of the Employment Agencies Act.
Any employment agency that violates this rule will be given demerit points as well as have its license suspended or even revoked.
Additionally, conducting employment agency activities without a valid license is a serious offence which is subject to a fine of up to USD 80,000, imprisonment of up to 2 years, or both. Anyone who is caught using such services can also be slapped with a fine of up to USD 5,000.
If such listings appear on the marketplace once again, users are encouraged to flag the account for Carousell to look into. The company is also continually developing its technologies for early detection of prohibited listings.
The Ministry of Manpower also advised the public to avail services only from MOM-accredited employment agencies, and to check if the agency is legally operating and is registered at www.mom.sg/eadirectory. (ALSO READ: Singapore Bank POSB Introduces E-Payments to Prevent Maid Salary Disputes)