Take proactive steps to ensure maids' well-being

Since the reason for the Indonesian government's plans to stop sending live-in maids overseas ("Indonesia plans to stop sending new live-in maids abroad"; May 18) is to prevent maid abuse, would it not be more prudent for our nation to be the first to introduce a law of mandatory feedback for all maids?

In the employment contract for maids, there could be a simple clause that states that once every quarter, the maid has to submit an SMS of a coloured code to the Manpower Ministry.

A green code indicates a positive response that requires no action. A red one, however, is an alert that the maid is not being treated according to the contract she signed, that is, being provided ample food, rest and civil kindness accorded to a visitor in the household she services.

The maid agency would then be contacted whenever a red code is displayed, and has the responsibility of resolving any issue, since the onus is on the agency to ensure that the treatment of the maid is in compliance with what is in the contract for employment.

As there are many retirees who are in need of some simple work, they could be given a token allowance to be "welfare inspectors".

With these measures in place, Singapore will then be known as a country that cares for its workers, and one that not only takes appropriate action towards preventing maid abuse but also looks out for the wellness and welfare of those who come to help its citizens grow the nation for a better future.

Vivien Tan (Mrs)