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Ask Andreas: My helper ran away, what should I do?

ExpertsPost Category - ExpertsExpertsFamily LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - Domestic HelpersDomestic Helpers


On a recent trip overseas my helper ran away – she literally went out for errands and never returned.  We quickly got word that she was apparently lured by the promise of higher salaries here and was probably not aware of the legal implications since she’ll be working illegally. What should I be doing – what authorities do I need to inform, etc? 

You are required to file a missing person report with the Police and cancel her Work Permit with the Ministry of Manpower within seven days. The Work Permit can be canceled with the “WP Online” system here.

If her Work Permit is still valid, you have one month to locate the helper before you forfeit your security deposit due to her non-repatriation.

The Ministry of Manpower website explains the procedures to be followed in detail here.

For the only guide you’ll ever need on working with a helper, check out Andreas’ fab book ‘Hiring and Managing Domestic Help’ and buy it here.


Andreas Rosboch was born and raised in Sweden by an Italian father and a Swedish mother. He has been an expat for more than ten years and plans to keep it that way. He has spent most of his career in the information technology field, handling everything from brand management to customer support. He is the author of one of our most-recommended books Hiring & Managing Domestic Help – an absolute must-have for Singapore mamas (psst- and you can buy it here). He lives in Hong Kong with his wife, two children and dog.


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