The Straits Times
Published on Jan 23, 2013

Give more protection to maid employers


WHILE various regulations have been imposed on employers to protect maids, the same has not been done to help and protect the bosses ("MOM tightens rules on maid changes"; Jan 4).

The quality of maids in Singapore has deteriorated over the years.

Maids and agents provide inaccurate information in their biodata to make the maids seem more attractive to employers. Also, training by agencies is not regulated and standards are inconsistent.

Maids often do not have the skills they claim to have, and are not mentally prepared for the job.

And employers do not have an independent way of verifying the information received from maid agencies, especially when it relates to foreign embassies' requirements.

Employers are often left with little choice but to either stick with the maid, even if she is not up to standard, or go through the hassle of finding a replacement.

With more maids coming from rural and undeveloped parts of their countries, the Manpower Ministry and maid agencies have to play a bigger part to ensure the quality of maids.

Maid levies, which leave employers with less room to pay higher salaries, should be abolished. Training needs to be regulated and a proper grading system put in place.

A centralised website and database should also be set up so employers can check on the regulations implemented by foreign embassies, as well as verify the maids' biodata. Information on transfer maids should also be recorded.

Employers should be given avenues for recourse when maids misrepresent themselves, including the right to seek a full refund for amounts paid when no replacement maid is suitable.

Lim Wan Keng (Ms)