Educate employers on treatment and care of maids to stem abuse

I refer to the report (Jail for woman who nearly blinded maid; Aug 30).

On the same page were three other cases of serious maid abuse, not to mention the many more cases that have been reported over the last few years.

Are we seeing a rising trend of maid abuse?

I am sure many readers were appalled by the inhumane behaviour of employers who resorted to violence to manage domestic workers or threaten them into submission. The time has come for the various stakeholders to work together on appropriate measures to stem maid abuse.

We strongly believe that compulsory education for employers on the treatment and care of domestic workers is one of the many policies we should adopt.

Just as domestic workers undergo the Settling-In Programme, employers too need to go through an orientation programme with specific emphasis on the treatment and care of domestic workers, the legal implications and dire consequences of their actions or inactions as well as training on cross-cultural and differing work practices.

Employers could be struggling with language and/or cultural barriers, which may lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings.

Their inability to manage expectations or other challenges could stress the employer-employee relationship.

Employers should also be educated on the importance of seeking recourse amicably if they have issues with their domestic workers.

Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training offers mediation services that can help in such situations.

We urge all parties, employment agencies, employers and non-profit organisations to be concerted in their effort to protect domestic workers from abuse.

Seah Seng Choon

President

Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training