A 44-year old pregnant Filipina domestic helper and her former employer have failed to reach an agreement for a dispute filed in the Labour Tribunal because the latter insisted only to offer $10,000 as settlement, causing the officer to defer the case until next year.
This will be quite an extension as far as the case is concerned, considering that the Filipina claimant, Alma (not her real name) is expecting to give birth on January 24, as shared in a report by sunwebhk.
Pregnant Filipina Domestic Helper Seeks Compensation for Release
Presiding officer Eric Tam instructed Alma and her former boss Ng Fong Yu last November 2 to appear again on April 21 of 2019 to argue their cases in a different court.
Tam had instructed both parties to present a witness on the stand who can reinforce their claim that it was the other party who ended their work contract.
The two parties were only given up until December 15 to provide additional statements for their case.
For this purpose, the Filipina claimant shared that she will be asking her employment agent to stand as witness, whereas the defendant identified her brother to stand witness for her on court.
The claimant is asking for $14,500 compensation which include arrears in wages, one month’s salary in lieu of the notice, paid maternity leave as well as a $4,500 security deposit which the court ordered the defendant to produce.
To their defence, the defendant is seeking $9,000 from the helper which represents a month’s salary in lieu of notice and damages sustained due to the Filipina’s abrupt departure from work last Aug 30 which had left the employer’s ailing elderly father without any caregiver.
The helper pointed out that it was her employer who told her to leave at the height of a heated argument that night as to where the maid’s soon-to-be-delivered child would stay.
The maid’s former employer denied this allegation, and even expressed her happiness over the pregnancy.
To this, the presiding officer questioned the defendant’s statement pointing out that how could she order her maid to leave if she’s truly happy about her pregnancy.
The employer stood by her word and denied the allegations. However, Tam also pointed out that the employer had also sent her maid numerous warning letters.
During the hearing, Tam requested for several breaks to let the two parties settle an agreement, but to no avail.
Upon their return to court, the employer agreed to drop all charges against the Filipina and raised her offer to $10,000. However, the maid insisted that she be given $10,500 on top of the security deposit.
The presiding officer also suggested that the employer raise her offer to $12,000, but this was rejected by both parties, which ultimately prompted him to set the case for trial by April next year.