It's not breach of contract if sufficient notice is given

We appreciate the pains that employers go through when they need to replace valued employees, whether they are foreign domestic workers (FDWs) or local hires ("Employers of maids also need protection" by Ms Choo Sing Nian; Monday).

These difficulties are compounded in a domestic setting, particularly when working couples depend on their FDWs to look after their children or elderly family members.

However, the termination of an employment contract is not a breach of contract if sufficient notice or pay in lieu of notice is given.

Given that either contracting party may need to terminate the contract early for unanticipated reasons, employment contracts typically provide for such flexibility through termination clauses. This flexibility is important for both employers and employees.

Some employers and employees have exercised this termination clause before the contract expiry, and it is not in breach of the contract.

While there may be unforeseen circumstances that result in the need for either party to terminate a contract early, we encourage potential FDW employers to select both their employment agencies and potential hires with care.

Employers can access information on all employment agencies' track records and the employment histories of all FDWs who have worked in Singapore on the Ministry of Manpower's website and Work Permit Online Application system, respectively.

Employment agencies are also required to provide prospective employers with the FDW's employment history.

Alvin Lim
Divisional Director, Workplace
Policy and Strategy Division
Ministry Of Manpower

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