Expatriates’ Domestic Staff Cause Blacklisting for Employers
27 Sep 13
Clients are advised to gather information from expatriate employees about any foreign nationals the expatriates employ as domestic staff. Recently, BAL has become aware of several cases wherein companies were blacklisted by government authorities when an employee’s maid left without notice. As described in detail below, this can have serious consequences.
For blacklisted companies:
- Any immigration cases currently being processed will be put on hold.
- New immigration applications will not be accepted.
- The employer must complete a clearance process before the blacklisting is removed.
Understanding the Situation
When a foreign national is hired as a maid by an expatriate employee, the maid’s immigration status is tied in with the expatriate’s status. The maid’s immigration application is filed with the expatriate’s Employment Pass reference number. A maid who leaves without giving notice has violated the conditions of his or her own immigration status. If the expatriate’s maid leaves without giving notice, it is up to the company who employs the expatriate to make a full report to the police and immigration authorities. The report will be filed with the expatriate’s immigration records.
If no report is filed, blacklisting can happen automatically within the electronic system used by the immigration authorities. BAL and its network partner are discussing this situation with government representatives, but no changes are yet in the works.
When a company is blacklisted, immigration authorities will provide the name and passport number of the maid, but will not provide information about which expatriate employed the individual. Therefore, it can be difficult to identify which expatriate is involved. This makes it harder for the company to clear blacklisting.
How to be Prepared
Under the current system, it is impossible for an employer to prevent this situation. However, BAL advises companies to take the steps below to be prepared for action if blacklisting occurs.
- Request all expatriate employees to report to Human Resources with the following information about their domestic staff:
- Passport number.
- Photocopies of main passport page and page with permit displayed.
- File this information with the specific expatriate’s file.
- Remind expatriates to immediately notify HR about any change in a maid’s immigration status. This includes passport information, permit cancellation, and of course resignation without notice. HR should update the expatriate’s file.
- If a maid resigns without notice, a copy of the police report should be kept with the expatriate’s file. This is paramount, as it can help the company clear blacklisting.
This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Malaysia. For additional information, please contact GlobalVisaGroup@balglobal.com.
Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact email@example.com.