What to do when your maid runs away

You may have heard horror stories of maids running away. Most of them are true. Some are not, thankfully. So it is time to peel away facts from fiction. 

Maids run away for various reasons – some are valid, others are plain frivolous. Nevertheless, when it happens it creates a lot of inconvenience for everybody. Here we shed some light on what you can do (other than panic) when this unfortunate event unfolds.

The good news is, you are not altogether defenceless in this situation. You can stay on top of it and not allow this to disrupt your life too much. We hope that you won’t ever be placed in this bad situation. But if you do, you will know what to do and what not to do:


1. Employer must make every attempt to locate the maid. If the maid cannot be found after 24 hours, the employer has the option to make a police report. The Police will assist the employer to contact the relevant parties – embassy, ICA, MOM and NGOs – to locate the maid.

2. Employer has the option to cancel the work permit of the maid after a police report has been lodged. If the FDW is found after the police report is lodged, the employer has to reinstate the work permit with MOM. It is therefore wise to wait for a reasonable period for the maid to resurface.

3. Employer may apply to MOM to waive the maid levy for the period the maid is missing.

4. If the maid cannot be found after 30 days, MOM will call in the $5,000 Security Bond. If a police report has been made, MOM may require the employer to pay the $5,000 Security Bond partially. If you had purchased the optional cover (or runaway bond), in which case you only pay the excess of $250.

5. When the maid is found, the embassy or NGO will facilitate an amicable solution.

6. If no solution can be found, the case will be sent to MOM. Subject to investigations, MOM may allow the employer to proceed to hire another maid or allow the maid to find another employer.

7. If the maid is in breach of any work permit conditions, she may be referred to MOM and/or referred to the police for an investigation.

8. If the employer has violated any laws or is in breach of any work permit conditions, he/she may be referred to MOM and/or referred to the police for investigation.

9. If the maid has been guilty of any misdemeanor, the employer may inform MOM and blacklist the maid via mom_wpd@mom.gov.sg


10. Employer is responsible for repatriating the maid at all times if that becomes necessary.

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