Maid agents get dos and don'ts about marketing maids

SINGAPORE - A list of dos and don'ts has been issued to maid agencies by the Ministry of Manpower to inform them how to market domestic workers.

In a letter sent on Wednesday morning it told them to not include words such as "cheap fees or promotional rates" in advertisements as this may "liken foreign domestic workers to merchandise that can be purchased".

Agents should also refrain from getting maids to sit outside their offices as they wait to be interviewed by prospective employers.

"This reinforces the impression that foreign domestic workers are commodities to be tested or traded," said deputy commissioner for employment Penny Elaine Yapp who signed the letter.

The circular comes at the back of a news report by Arab news agency Al-Jazeera earlier this month which pointed out that maids are being "displayed" and treated as commodities by agencies in Singapore.

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