There needs to be a discussion on the employer-maid working relationship.
While there are laws to protect the welfare of foreign domestic helpers here, there also needs to be laws to protect employers' vulnerable family members from being abused by maids.
There is no foolproof process to assess a maid's character, reliability and sense of responsibility. For the employer to select a good domestic helper, luck is involved.
Maids may also lie in order to find an easier job, for example, saying they are afraid of animals so that they will not need to care for pets.
They may also change their minds when they discover the work environment is not to their favour, such as having to serve a huge family. They may then choose to break their contract.
This has a tremendous impact on families who require help urgently.
If the maid decides to break her contract, are there laws to protect the employer?
The authorities should come up with a fairer employment contract, with the aim of protecting maid employers from being caught in a jam when their maid chooses to break the two-year contract.
For instance, if the maid breaks her contract, she should not be entitled to an air ticket home.
This would be fairer as it does not lean so much in favour of the maids, giving them the chance to break their contract at any time. Let us not penalise responsible maid employers.
Ada Chan Siew Foen (Ms)