My maid wants to borrow 5 months of her salary because her father is sick.

Nida Lorna, my live-in maid from the Philippines, has worked for me for three months now and she want to borrow from me three thousand dollars against 5 months of her future salary. I was taken by surprise.

Where I come from (Aurora) we do not ask for a loan except from our credit union. I used to work for a small family-run outfit and had no credit union to borrow from, yet I could never go to my boss to borrow money for whatever reason. With a credit card who needs to borrow from the boss, anyway. After all the banks only charge interest at 24% p.a. though they pay interest at the rate of 1% per decade.

I told Nida Lorna I had to think it over. What are the things I have to consider? What can I do if she does not pay me? Am I entitled to withhold her salary even if she gives me the authority to do so? Will the Singapore Ministry of Manpower permit me to?


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