By: Lynzy Valles
Macau Daily Times | April 21, 2017
Following the MSAR’s new restrictions on the duration of stay for non-resident workers who leave their place of employment, migrant workers are more likely to cling to recruitment agencies in hopes of finding immediate employment.
Yet these firms are the stuff of horror stories. Indonesian domestic helpers complain of paying placement fees ranging between MOP2,500 and MOP3,000 a month – totaling almost MOP24,000 for an eight-month period – while Filipino helpers reportedly fork out a one-time payment of up to MOP5,500.
Some recruitment agencies refused to assist victims altogether. A few such firms require a non-refundable payment just for a chance to be interviewed by a potential employer.
Yosa Wariyanti, president of the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union, revealed that around 10 Indonesian helpers sought the association’s assistance this year regarding their mistreatment at the hands of employers. These individuals were refused help from the same recruitment agencies through which they were hired.
According to Wariyanti, the recruitment agencies were unwilling to help the victims of maltreatment, even in cases where employers refused to grant them a day off.
“[The agencies] keep their passports. Some agencies only give them part-time [jobs] until the visa for two months is finished,” she told the Times.