Take interests of maids, employers into account

As a maid employer, I was interested to read about the live-out option for maids suggested by the Indonesian authorities ("Indonesia plans to stop sending new live-in maids abroad"; May 18).

Several issues need to be addressed.

First, the salary issue should be seriously considered from all angles, as it would affect both the employer and the employee.

As the employer will have to do without the maid's services after a certain time, the basic salary should be revised.

Second, there would be many households with young children and the elderly who need the services of a live-in maid. How is this to be worked out, especially if employers do not have a regular income and cannot afford to pay overtime hours?

One suggestion is to channel the maid levy towards this, so that employers are not financially burdened.

Third, who will bear the cost of accommodation if the maid lives out? Will the employer be held responsible for her misdemeanours after working hours?

In the case of a pregnancy, would the employer have to bear the cost of repatriating the maid prematurely? Will the employer still be held under the threat of having the security bond forfeited?

Will the employer have to pay for the maid's insurance if she lives out, or will she take out her own insurance?

With these ramifications, I hope the proposal is carefully studied, taking into account the interests of both the employers and maids.

Padmini Kesavapany (Mrs)