Retain experienced maids by scrapping levy

Why are experienced maids attracted to work in Hong Kong and Taiwan, with Singapore being among their least preferred destinations?

And why do we hear more accounts of maids in Singapore terminating their two-year contracts prematurely ("Call to cap maid recruitment fee paid by employers"; yesterday)?

Clearly, our maid industry needs a revamp.

Many maids prefer to work in Hong Kong and Taiwan because they can earn much higher wages in these places, where the levy is minimal or absent.

Those who have worked in Singapore and completed their two-year contracts are highly sought after in these places.

The Manpower Ministry should consider scrapping the maid levy, so that the tax currently paid by employers can form part of the maid's monthly wages.

It could also consider initiating a fair minimum wage scheme for maids, to attract the more experienced ones to come here.

Ada Chan Siew Foen (Ms)

This article was first published on July 18, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.