SINGAPORE- Employers must always maintain healthy communication with their maids.
This is the most important aspect of creating a healthy working environment for them, said Dr Noorashikin Abdul Rahman, a board member of migrant workers group Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2).
This is especially vital during the maid's first six months in the household, she said.
"We have to bear in mind that maids go through culture shock and will not be used to working in a new and strange environment.
"Let her know that there is someone whom she can talk to about her problems, and ease her into her new life here away from her home," Dr Noorashikin said.
Encouraging maids to join activities and giving them a day off may also help them to better adapt.
"If they go out and make friends, they will have other people to talk to," she said. "Some people feel that if maids make friends, it might cause problems. But we should treat them fairly and allow them to have good work-life balance."
If a maid requests to return home, it is a sign that something could be wrong, said Dr Noorashikin.
"It is important to ask her and find out what's wrong. If you have tried all you can and she is still unhappy, perhaps it's best to repatriate her.
"It's no good keeping someone who is unhappy as it could lead to problems for employers."
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