Tighten requirements for being a maid

Whether or not to hire a maid is a burning question for many families. With the spate of incidents - even fatal ones - involving maids, we should take notice and act.

First, we could increase the requirements for a maid to work here, such as work experience.

We should tighten the rules and regulations, as there have been cases of maids who are too young to be working in Singapore.

More can also be done to help maids integrate into Singapore and their new job.

They are human too, and could suffer emotional and psychological distress when they do not see their family over long periods of time.

Perhaps helplines like the Samaritans of Singapore could extend their help to maids in troubled waters.

Lastly, we could change the mindsets of Singaporeans towards maids.

Parents should teach their children to be independent, or share the responsibility of taking care of a child between them.

By reducing the need for maids, we will see fewer cases of maids harming children and the elderly.

We can then tighten the requirements and accept only experienced maids, who would provide help and fewer worries to families who truly need them.

Jordan Loo Ming Zhou,14

Secondary 3 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'Tighten requirements for being a maid'. Print Edition | Subscribe