Maid agency holding passport, maid not allowed to leave

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Maid agency holding passport, maid not allowed to leave


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Old 5th June 2013, 08:09 AM
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Hi all - we have a live in maid through an agency. Her contract with the agency is for 2 years. She has been here 14 months. We just found out we are moving and she would much rather return to the Phillipines, and I am happy to pay her ticket home. But the agency says she has to work the full 2 years. They have her passport. I don't think she cares about a labor ban, she has some health issues and just wants to go home. I'm escalating the matter through the agency (slowly, as no one wants to call me back), but does anyone have any advice? Thanks!

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Old 5th June 2013, 08:37 AM
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I always wonder .. In these scenarios - can't you just go to the police station, report the passport stolen and use the police report to issue a new passport through the embassy?

Is there some loophole I'm not aware of or it's not as simple as I'm thinking it is.

At the end of the day, as far as I know, it's illegal to hold someone's passport so the police should be involved. I'm sure if you raise the issue with the police, as an American, she might get more help then her going by herself.

Good luck.

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Old 5th June 2013, 08:52 AM
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That's what I'd heard, that it's illegal to hold another's passport. If that is really the case, then I should be able to use that for a little leverage WHEN/IF they eventually return my calls?

Of course, they do have quite a little security deposit from me that I would be out if I got her a new passport...

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Old 5th June 2013, 09:11 AM
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Ask the Philippine Embassy if they can help as they should know the legal position and the possible solutions. There's also a body called Filipino Workers’ Resource Center which helps in these matters. The recruiting agency is looking for an ROI on its investment in arranging her employment (sorry to be brutal but that's their issue). Surely there is room for compassion on health grounds even in that harsh industry? At least you are willing and able to pay her air fare home, which is a big issue for some maids in these circumstances.

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Old 6th June 2013, 07:18 AM
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Thanks, I will contact both of those. I am fine sending her home and paying ticket, but the contract she signed with the company is the bigger problem. She wasn't allowed to read it or get a copy of it. They are supposed to email me a copy of it on Sunday, I guess I will see what happens. Thanks for the info.

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Old 6th June 2013, 07:39 AM
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Just be aware that maids and service workers have specific contracts, they are different to the employee contracts the rest of us have and are probably filled with clauses and issues.

They'll probably want her to buy out the rest of the visa, as she's not completed the 2 years and face a ban. There are more than likely going to be all sorts of other costs that the company will want paying back.

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Old 6th June 2013, 10:40 AM
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Hi, you could always refer the issue to a lawyer (which would cost) or the police. I'm pretty sure either way you will get her PP back. If not mistaken it's illegal to hold a travel document which belongs to a third party (but it all depends on her contract with the agency). Good Luck!

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Old 6th June 2013, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JF777 View Post
Hi, you could always refer the issue to a lawyer (which would cost) or the police. I'm pretty sure either way you will get her PP back. If not mistaken it's illegal to hold a travel document which belongs to a third party (but it all depends on her contract with the agency). Good Luck!
Illegal, and yet many companies do it - especially for service workers. Sad, but true.

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