Raised of S$1,200.00
96Days to go
The workplace accident threw her life into disarray
The 48-year-old came to Singapore with high hopes and started working as a beautician in November 2018 with a basic salary of $800 per month. She worked for about 6 months till the 26 February 2019, when she slipped from the edge of the massage bed and fell to the floor, fracturing and dislocating her tail bone.
Before coming to Singapore, She was asked to pay 21,000 rmb ‘agency fees’ in total. But there was actually no agency involved. This ‘agent fee’ was actually meant to be paid to her employer as kickbacks before she could get the job. She paid 10,000 rmb (5,000 rmb in agency fees over WeChat and another 5,000 rmb in cash in Singpore, upon arrival) as well as a S$632 plane ticket to Singapore out of her own pocket even before she started work. Her employer was to deduct the remainder of the 11,000 rmb from her salary every month.
After her first month at work, her employer told her she would not have any salaries that month as she did not yet have enough to pay back the ‘agency’ fees she still owes her. When she asked for her salaries, her employer would simply tell her that if she continues to work hard, she will not be short-changed.
Even when Changmei requested to see the doctor after her fall, her employer insisted that she sees only a Chinese TCM practitioner, saying that it is minor injury, and told her not to worry about it.
Unsatisfied with the answer, she requested for her salary so that she can seek treatment at on her own with a government. She began suspicious when her employer continued telling her that she will not be receiving any salary and that still not paid off her recruitment fees even though she had worked already for more than 3 months. She then used her own savings to seek medication at a polyclinic, and subsequently at a government hospital.
Even then, when the doctor gave her MC, her employer did not let her rest but required her to do work at the counter, sweep and mop the floor, and make tea and other chores for customers.
It was only in April, after 4 months of work, when she did not have anymore money to see the doctor, that her employer then offered to pay her $1,200 after deductions of the ‘agent fees’ and housing allowance which was not an agreed deduction in her In-Principle Approval. It was also then when her employer allegedly lied to her to say that the insurance refused to pay her medical expenses, and therefore they had to cancel her work permit. In actuality, her employer had already cancelled her work permit on the 23 April 2019, but yet asked her to continue to work to 28 April 2019, which Changmei complied out of fear for her own safety. Changmei then reported the case to MOM on 29 April 2019.
Give hope to the single mum
During this time when she wasn’t receiving a salary, she depended on the savings she brought from China. She would only buy a $2 loaf of bread at the beginning of the week and have only 2 slices in the morning, together with a pack of Horlicks for breakfast. For lunch she would just fill her stomach with another slice of bread or instant noodles. She would often skip dinner or have some water at the end of the day. Occasionally, customers who knew of her predicament would buy her meals.
Changmei currently resides with a volunteer who has kindly taken her into her home. However, her employer refuses to pay any amount for her food upkeep as she does not wish to stay in the employer’s accommodation, which is hostile towards her. Her employer has also not been paying her medical expenses and medical leave wages even though her work injury has already been established. In short, aside from the $1200, she has not received any monies from her employer since her arrival in Singapore last November.
Even without getting ample rest having to work more than 10 hours day, 7 days a week, Changmei had no complaints. Like most foreign workers who left behind their family to work in Singapore, she believed that she could improve her family’s living conditions back home as long as she worked hard enough here. The single mum was eager to break the poverty cycle for her two children and wanted to give them the best that she could afford. For fear of burdening her family, Changmei has kept her illnesses from her children, 27 and 22.
The accident has left Changmei completely helpless since she stopped working since February. She has also been advised by the doctor that the fracture will likely take between 6 to 12 months to recover fully, and she is unable to work during this period.
Ray of Hope would like to raise $1,200 for Changmei’s living expenses for 4 months while she continues to seek recourse from MOM.
*Ray of Hope case workers have cited medical documents provided by Changmei. However, they will not be published as she is currently seeking recourse with MOM.
God bless you and keep you in your family. The least we can do to bless
Hope this little bit helps. God bless.