Forum: Support networks for maids strengthened over the years

We thank Mr Mohamad Farid Harunal Rashid for his letter, "Ensure that maids who can't cope can get help early" (Aug 31). The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) does not condone acts of ill-treatment by or to migrant domestic workers (MDWs).

MOM has strengthened support networks for MDWs over the years. Since April 2021, we have started house visits to engage some MDWs and their employers directly.

Our officers are trained to look out for indicators of stress and discuss any issues raised with employers so that they can be adequately addressed.

Together with the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) under the National Trades Union Congress, MOM has launched two CDEConnect centres. The centres provide convenience for MDWs and their employers to walk in and seek advice on employment issues. The centres conduct compulsory interviews for all first-time MDWs to ensure they adapt well to their new role.

In addition, within three months of the MDW's placement, employment agencies must conduct a post-placement check. All newly arrived MDWs also attend the Settling-In Programme, where they are taught how to work safely and carry out their duties responsibly.

Furthermore, MOM works with non-governmental organisations to extend our support measures.

For example, CDE and the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training provide face-to-face counselling services, and MDWs who need assistance can call its 24-hour hotline.

A whole-of-society effort is needed to build up the ecosystem of support for MDWs. We encourage MDWs and employers to maintain open and regular communication to resolve any issues amicably.

Tan Shu Xiang

Director, Engagement

Foreign Manpower Management Division

Ministry of Manpower

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