Pay more for Indonesian maids from November


Hiring an Indonesian maid will be more expensive by year's end.

Employers hiring such maids from November will have to sign a contract with a clause stipulating that the maid must be paid at least $450.

Another clause will state that if she works on all her four weekly rest days each month, she has to be paid another $70, or $17.50 for each day off she works.

These two clauses will be in the contracts issued by the Indonesian government. But how far they will go to ensure Indonesian maids are compensated fairly depends on the rigour of enforcement - and the Indonesian Embassy's record in this has been patchy.

Nonetheless, embassy counsellor Sukmo Yuwono stressed that the embassy will from now on take a tough stance on its minimum-salary guidelines, and employers and maid agents who flout the terms of the contract will be barred from hiring and recruiting Indonesian maids.

Contracts now in force already state maids must be paid a minimum of $450 a month, but this clause has hardly been enforced.

It is an uphill task to get maid agents here and the recruiters in Indonesia to play by the rules.

The Straits Times reported last week that Singapore agents have been working with their Indonesian partners to circumvent the policy pertaining to the sharing of the cost of recruiting and training these maids, which was introduced by Jakarta on May 1; about 260 Indonesian maids were brought in through the "back door" as a result.

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