The Ministry of Manpower is investigating why maids are being ‘sold’ on Carousell

Carousell profile @maid.recruitment posted pictures of several maids, along with their names and ages.
Screengrab / Carousell

Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a Facebook post on Friday (Sept 14) that it was aware of cases where foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are being marketed inappropriately on the online buying and selling site, Carousell.

Carousell is an online marketplace for buying and selling new and secondhand goods typically ranging from electronics, to household and fashion items.

Several domestic workers, allegedly from Indonesia, were listed on Carousell profile @maid.recruitment. Although some of the profiles indicated that these maids have been “sold”, Carousell told The Straits Times that no actual sale transacted and that if detected, such a sale would be removed from the marketplace.

A Carousell spokesman said that while it allows agencies to advertise services, personnel listings violate their guidelines. Carousell has since suspended @maid.recruitment and removed the listings.

In its Facebook post, MOM added: “Advertising FDWs like commodities is unacceptable and an offence under Section 11(1)(c) of the Employment Agencies Act.”

Section 11(1)(c) of the Employment Agencies Act states that if an employment agency acts in a manner likely to be detrimental to the interests of its client, it will face demerit points and have its licence suspended or revoked.

In its Facebook post, the MOM reminded the public that it is also a serious offence to conduct employment agency (EA) activities without a valid licence. Offenders can be fined up to S$80,000, jailed for up to two years, or both. In addition, anyone who uses the services provided by an unlicensed EA can also be fined up to S$5,000.

Carousell’s spokesman added that they are assisting the authorities with their investigations. MOM advised the public to use only MOM-licensed EAs, and to check that the EA they wish to engage is registered and legal here.