Why would a maid come to our shores to seek employment, after incurring a huge debt that will take months to repay, yet terminate her contract after a short period ("Clamp down on maid transfer market" by Mr Ong Chin Meng; last Friday)?
One would think she needs the work badly and will do all she can to keep her job. But for some maids, this logic does not apply.
A few months ago, I checked up on maid agencies on the Net and in shopping centres, while helping my in-laws to look for a helper.
I came across many transfer maids who refused jobs that involved caring for elderly folk, or if there were adults at home in the daytime. Some refused to work for anyone other than expatriates.
Some of these maids had been in Singapore for only a few months; others had changed employers a few times within 1½ years.
A good employer-employee relationship does not happen overnight. As with any relationship, it takes time to establish rapport and build trust.
Above all, both parties have to make it work.
Perhaps it is time to consider putting a cap on the number of times a maid can switch employers within a certain period. Exceeding that limit will result in the maid losing her work permit and being sent home.
Grace Chua Siew Hwee (Madam)
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