Any breach of maids’ fee guidelines?

I was aghast to learn that maid agencies have resorted to lowering their fees in order to attract potential customers, but the maids end up paying double to the agents ("Maid agents slash fees"; Monday).

It is inhumane to make a maid work for months without wages in order to pay off what she owes in fees.

Is Singapore adhering to International Labour Organisation guidelines on recruitment fees?

Besides, having too many maid agencies fighting for business and charging low fees is an unhealthy state of affairs.

There should be stringent checks before licences are granted to agencies.

The Manpower Ministry should also set certain guidelines for hiring maids and ensure that their rights are not violated.

Singapore should be a role model on the global stage when it comes to fighting social injustice and any alleged breaches of international labour standards and unfair practices in dealings with migrant workers.

Bennie Cheok

This article was first published on July 09, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.