Maid abuse? What about the reverse?

A photo of a Filipino domestic helper, who silently suffered abuse for more than four years.
A photo of a Filipino domestic helper, who silently suffered abuse for more than four years.PHOTO: ST FILE

Mr Neo Poh Goon is an exemplary employer, and I was heartened to read his letter (Treat maids with respect, compassion, Sept 12).

I believe the majority of employers in Singapore treat their domestic helpers well, despite the regular reports about maid abusers.

But no publicity is given to cases where the reverse happens and maids are the ones who had taken advantage of their employers.

And what about the homesick maids who insist on returning home after two weeks in Singapore with all expenses paid by their employers?

I question the service provided by maid agencies, which charge both maids and employers fees, yet seemingly provide little to no training and add no value to the relationship between prospective employer and employee.

I propose that the monthly maid levy paid by employers be allocated to a training centre in Singapore that teaches maids about cooking, infant care, eldercare and English.

Ms Jaya Anil Kumar, a case manager for the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, said that live-in helpers are inherently vulnerable to exploitation and abuse (When family members abuse a maid together, Sept 9).

But what about employers who are out working all day, leaving helpless infants and the elderly in the care of maids - aren't they equally if not more vulnerable to abuse by able-bodied helpers?

Bernadette Chow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2019, with the headline 'Maid abuse? What about the reverse?'. Print Edition | Subscribe