Annual leave for maids not practical

The suggestion by Mr Amarjit Wasan to give domestic helpers paid home leave is a very kind and noble one, but also idealistic. (Consider giving maids paid home leave; July 12).

The comparison he makes with expatriates' home leave, the cost of which is usually borne by commercial multinational and regional corporations, does not make sense.

Furthermore, not many households would be able to afford all the extra costs home leave will incur - cost for the helper's leave and travel, the cost of a short-term relief helper and the system for all this to happen, as suggested by Mr Wasan.

Many Singapore households that employ maids do so out of necessity and not because they are well off, so any extra payments related to maids will not be appreciated.

When our forefathers came to Singapore to work, they had few resources to even communicate with their families back home.

Sure, times have changed since then. But today, our maids are hired on two-year contracts. During their time here, they are allowed to use their smartphones and their employers' Wi-Fi to keep in touch with their loved ones back home.

Maids are accorded many privileges. Let us not overlook these, in the haste to give them new perks.

Priscilla Poh Beng Hoon (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2017, with the headline 'Annual leave for maids not practical'. Print Edition | Subscribe