Employers will not be able to protect maids under new law

It appears the majority of employers are being penalised because of a few errant employers who failed to pay their foreign domestic workers' salary (Employers can't hold on to maids' cash: MOM; Oct 8).

The Government's implementation of the new law that does not allow employers to safeguard their maids' salaries seems like a reflex action, especially considering the harassment some employers faced after their maids borrowed from loan sharks (Employer harassed after maid borrowed from loan sharks; and Quick and easy loans trap maids in cycle of debt; both on Oct 14).

It is evident that the majority of employers pay their maids on time and many also act as a safety net to control their maid's spending.

There are also cases of naive maids being cheated when they lent money to their boyfriends and did not get a cent back.

If we leave the maids to their own devices, how are we going to protect them from losing their money needlessly?

I agree with Senior Tech Correspondent Irene Tham that although they are adults, many maids may not be able to make wise decisions on their spending habits and that the majority of employers do have good intentions in protecting their maid's hard-earned money (Maids in debt: Protect employers from their creditors; Oct 15).

If we leave the maids to their own devices, how are we going to protect them from losing their money needlessly?

As long as maids and their employers have a mutual agreement for both to jointly manage their salaries, they should have the option to do so.

As a safeguard for my maid, I send her money back home every quarter so as to avoid owing her a large sum of money when it is time for her to go back.

If the Government is insistent on implementing the new law, I support the idea of not including employers' addresses on the work permit card to prevent illegal loan shark activities affecting the safety of our families.

I hope the Government is not overreacting and, hence, forgetting to take care of its own citizens first.

Sharen Lim (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2018, with the headline 'Employers will not be able to protect maids under new law'. Print Edition | Subscribe