The Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has suggested that it will not take any action against employers who fail to comply with a recent requirement by the Indonesian Embassy that they buy a performance bond against breaches of contracts of employment of Indonesian maids.

Since April 1, employers of Indonesian domestic workers have been required by the embassy to buy a S$6,000 (US$4,470) performance bond costing S$70.

All maid agencies have been notified by the Indonesian Embassy regarding the new requirement, under which prospective employers of Indonesian maids or current employers who renew a contract with their maids have to make a one-off S$70 payment for the bond, Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore).

Employers were reassured that they had to pay the full S$6,000 only if they breached the terms of the employment contract.

However, the MOM has stated in a press statement that the bond was not a requirement from the Singapore government. In other words, it would not take action if employers failed to comply.

The ministry also stated that it had made clear to the Indonesian Embassy and the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower that Singapore already had a comprehensive set of regulations to protect all foreign domestic workers, implying the new practice was deemed to be “unnecessary.”

The ministry said the embassy had not made clear to the government, maid agencies or employers what the specific conditions were under which the embassy might exercise forfeiture of the performance bond.

As of the time of report, the Indonesian Embassy and the two insurers approved to handle the bond  – AIG and Liberty Insurance – had not replied to any media requests about reasons for the imposition of the new performance bond, specific conditions under which the embassy might exercise forfeiture, or the possibility of exercising mediation.