Maid agencies clean up their act

Maid agencies clean up their act
Maids who are undergoing training, seen seated inside maid agency JPB Maid Specialist at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre on 10 September 2014.

SINGAPORE- "Fast delivery". "$1 maids".

Advertisements likening maids to goods are no longer seen at Katong Shopping Centre and Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, two months after the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) warned against insensitive ads.

Such demeaning banners and signs have been removed, while notices showing "maid fees" have been covered up at the two centres, which house about a dozen maid agencies each.

Also absent were rows of maids usually seen seated outside the agencies, a practice which MOM had deemed "unacceptable".

Mr Bernard Ryan, operations director of Maids & Manpower Agency, used to have his agency fees and the biodata of maids displayed on his shop window but has since removed them.

Maid agents told The Straits Times MOM officers had visited a few times over the last month to ensure they follow the guidelines.

An MOM spokesman said its officers had talked to maid agents after it issued an advisory in July, asking them to ensure all ads accord maids "basic respect and human dignity".

"(Agencies) that were observed not to be in compliance with the advisory were receptive to the advice given by our officers and readily complied," she said.

Ms May Phua, general manager of May Myanmar Services, for example, knew she was not supposed to publicise her fees but did not realise that a sign bearing the phrase "fast arrival" was also prohibited.

"He (MOM officer) told me that it suggests that the maids are like commodities," she said. She later used masking tape to cover up the sign.

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