Consider mediation to resolve issues with maids

We refer to the report (Woman who beat maid jailed 25 months; July 18). This is a worrying trend as it is the fourth case of maid abuse in as many weeks.

Abuse is not tolerated, no matter how minor.

Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are vulnerable as they work in homes and away from the public eye.

To minimise situations developing into abuse, employers must always look for appropriate ways to resolve issues involving their domestic helpers instead of resorting to violence.

There are many reasons or causes that trigger such behaviour.

We do understand that employers react differently to situations. Some may be at their wits' end in their relationship with their domestic helpers and might need assistance.

We suggest alternative dispute resolution as an option to resolve problems or difficulties between FDWs and their employers.

Mediation involves engaging an impartial person to help the disputing parties reach an amicable solution that is acceptable to everyone.

Such alternatives can result in reducing obstacles to communication between the parties involved.

One of the benefits of mediation is that it aims to restore and maintain the employment relationship if possible. The focus is on helping the disputing parties seek a workable solution so that they can move forward in an acceptable manner.

We would like to urge employers, employment agencies and domestic workers to use this mode of resolving disputes.

The Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training has offered mediation services since 2016. Since then, we have been able to resolve successfully all the twenty cases referred to us.

Seah Seng Choon
Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training