Maids should be given privileges as stated by MOM

Singapore households need to understand that hiring a domestic helper is a privilege; not an unfettered right.

Ms Priscilla Poh Beng Hoon's letter (Annual leave for maids not practical; July 15) smacks of a patronising attitude towards these helpers.

Unfortunately, it is an attitude which is all too prevalent in Singapore today.

Some of these domestic helpers are barely out of their teenage years, but are forced by circumstance to leave their families behind in order to work in Singapore.

Often, they do not see their family members for years on end.

Allowing them to visit their hometowns once a year can scarcely be considered a privilege.

If households are unable to afford the extra costs home leave will incur; they should perhaps consider not employing a helper.

A domestic helper deserves employment conditions in line with the Manpower Ministry's human resource guidelines in Singapore.

Theseinclude having a minimum of seven days of paid annual leave.

Domestic helpers are not second-class citizens. They are here to earn an honest living, and we should afford them every privilege which we give to the rest of our workforce.

Ultimately, we should simply ask ourselves this question: Are we treating them the way we would want our loved ones to be treated?

Tay Qi Hang