Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Maid - Squeezing Dry The Employers (3)

MTUC: Cut Maid Agency Fees Instead

PETALING JAYA, Aug 9 — Instead of the salary of Indonesian maids, the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) wants the government to negotiate and reduce the cost of their recruitment.
MTUC vice-president A. Balasubramaniam said currently, maids were unduly burdened with extra cost which they had to pay to recruiting agents.
According to him, before the Indonesian government imposed the ban on its maids a year ago, the recruiting fee was in the region of RM8,000 each.
Part of the money was deducted by the employers via the maid’s salary, which meant that they (maids) had to work for six months without pay.
“This system is most unfair to the maids as it is akin to forced labour,” he told Bernama today.
Balasubramaniam was commenting on a statement by Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam that the Indonesian government’s demand for RM800 minimum wage for maids could not be implemented as Malaysia did not have a minimum wage structure.
He said this was one of the main reasons why the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Malaysia and Indonesia could not be implemented.
On the RM800 salary, Balasubramaniam said a survey conducted by MTUC early this year showed that some employers were willing to pay RM800 per month to Indonesian maids, provided the agency fees were reduced.
He said the survey also revealed employers were willing to pay higher salaries to the maids  instead of higher fees to the agents. As an alternative, he said the government should take steps to reduce the dependence of maids among Malaysian households.
This could be done by providing crèches and child centres so that working mothers could leave their children in safe environment, he said, adding that the private sector could also assist the government by setting up their own centres for employees. — Bernama

Source: The Malaysian Insider - August 9, 2010

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No Standard Rate For Maid Agency Charges
DARSHINI KANDASAMY

RENU is confused over the rates a manpower supply agency can charge to provide one with a foreign maid.
She has been a housewife the past three years and having decided to return to work, she is now sourcing for a maid.
“I have a rambunctious two-year-old son to care for, and need someone to handle the household chores while I am at work,” she said.
She and her husband have gone to various maid agencies in Kuala Lumpur and each quoted different rates, from RM6,000 to as high as RM8,000 for the service,” RENU said.
She wants to know if there is a standard fee for someone seeking to hire a foreign maid.
“Is there a standard rate? Or, are some agencies already increasing their rates because Indonesia has demanded that the maid’s salary be RM800 a month?” she asked.
Some of the agencies said they could get her an Indonesian maid, but RENU added: “I am under the impression that the intake of Indonesians maids has been frozen. Am I being deceived?”
She hopes the matter can be clarified so that she and her husband would not be taken for a ride.
MALAYSIAN Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) vice-president (1) Jeffrey Foo said the freeze on the intake of Indonesian maids is still in effect.
“The freeze affects all Indonesians whose passports are dated after June 26, 2009. Those with passports issued after this date are not allowed to work in Malaysia.”
There would be no problem if an agency brings in a maid whose passport is dated before June 26, Foo said.
As for the cost to bring in a domestic helper, he said it would be based on the market rate in the country and therefore there was no fixed amount. RENU should check with several agencies
for the best rate and service.

The cost also depended on other factors, Foo said, such as the maid’s experience, where she comes from and her training.
He added that the minimum monthly salary of RM800 for Indonesian maids was only a suggestion by the Indonesian government and “nothing has been confirmed”.

Source: Malay Mail - Tuesday, September 8, 2009
 
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Complaint Of Maid Agency
Posted by: behfern 

This is regarding complaint against a fraud maid service agency.
I, beh fern fern , and my husband, john teo, register for maid on april 09 . Since I am 5 months pregnant on april, I was looking for a full time maid and contacted above mentioned agency on 23rd April ’09. One, ms sheila told me that their agency has a full time maid named
Mrs. maria aged 36 years. All process were done and fees were paid on april and pending for maid arrival on july which is promised by the
agent. However, maid named maria were unable to make it due to her last minute medical check up on jul and agency did not update us until
we contact the agent to check up the status on end july.  The agency also promised for replacement of the maid in case the same is not
suitable to us due to medical failure which they promised maid will come on 15 aug. This second promise were broken again where agent claim
the process is tedious and facing visa problem , but all this process status were not updated to us again until i called up on 16th aug
2009 again to ask about the condition. After long argument over the phone, agency wrote an email to promise they will ensure the maid come
onm 5.9.2009 and finally arrive to my house on 8 sept 2009.
In a week’s of 8 sept 2009, When we asked sheila for maid status, she started avoiding us, either not picking us his cell phone or keeping
on switched-off mode. When contacted on landline, he asked us to talk to some other person. Sometimes, when we called, she said she is in
meeting. 
we are totally and absolutely frustrated and dissapointed over this agency where it used to be claim as the best maid agency in malaysia
from their own website. i sincerely urge all resident who wish to hire maid , please do not attempt to approach this agency to avoid from
huge hassle in future. thank you.

Source: The Star - Tuesday. September 8, 2009

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Maid Agencies Fees Are ‘Exploitative’

The Malaysia maid agencies appears to be deeply immune to the Malaysian government's instruction to reduce the maid agency fees to RM2,415.

We, Migrant Care, one the most active Jakarta-based migrant workers non-government organisations, presents the breakdown of the cost incurred by the Indonesian maid.

The demand for the RM5,000 to RM6,000 fees is way too high as the cost of hiring a maid, including the profit for the Indonesian agent, is only about RM2,000.
The ceiling price set by the Malaysia government at RM2,415 is actually very reasonable, something that will allow the Malaysian agent to enjoy about 25 percent profit for their recruitment service.

The demand for a fee of between RM5,000 and RM6,000 is a reflection of abusive and exploitative nature of maid agencies in Malaysia, an industry ranked by Transparency International as the second most corrupt.
The maid agencies are enjoying a hefty RM3,000 to RM4,000 profit per maid placement.

The reasons given by Deputy Home Minister Tan Chai Ho about the low salary in Malaysia being acceptable because maids in Hong Kong are paid HK$3,740 (RM1,681) per month as compare to Malaysia’s market rate of RM400 to RM500 per month. However, the maids bound for Hong Kong are better trained as compared to the maids sent to Malaysia.

There is a very prominent ISO 9001 maid agency in Kuala Lumpur’s Old Klang Road, which has even openly advertised that their Muslim maids are willing to handle pork and bathe dogs. We question how the industry standard certification company could award the agency which openly breach the guidelines set forth by the Malaysia foreign labour task force?

There is not proper laws to regulate the human exploitation in Malaysia - it’s open doors for Malaysia’s maid agencies to exploit both employers and foreign workers. The cartel even openly threatens the Malaysian Employers Federation by delaying the approval of visa renewal that could cost the economy more than RM220 million in lost productivity.

The author is coordinator of Migrant Care.

Source: Malaysiakini - March 15, 2007 

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Foreign Maid Dilemma
Posted by: mysticmonk70
 
She eventually did it. I just could not digest the fact she left our house opened, the gate, main door unlocked. I just heard a motorcycle screaming away. I took my car and tried to go after whomever that was speeding away. I panicked, went around and around. Could not find her. She did what she has told me and I could not do anything.

Few weeks ago, my maid told me that she wants to go back home because all her letters posted to her husband is not replied. She is worried of her kids and husband. My wife contacted our foreign maid agent and told her of this scenario, Ms DDDD, the manager of Malacca branch told us about the contract that the maid cannot leave for the duration of her employment and promised to visit to explain to the maid. If only I could count the number of promises of the visit she promised and convert it to dollars and cents, I can afford to hire 10 maids. During the employment of the first maid, I was promised the heaven and an angel maid. My maid, the angel came with a hope that she was going to take care of an elderly lady only but alas when she arrived and sat down on my couch, I could sense her disappointment and resentment.

After a month, she began to act a bit weird. Her first act was leaving my last son, a 2 year old boy at home alone for hours while sending my second son to child care about 2 houses away. On her way she will have hourly chat with all other Indonesian friend around the vicinity of the housing area. She also an angel in distress, as she used to give away our food storage such as Maggie Mees, Instant coffee sachets, soaps and daily groceries such as vegetables for favors such as posting letters and getting other food in exchange.

Called the manager in the agency and all she could say is “OK”, “Talk to her and I will visit her end of the week”. Maybe it is my mistake not to ask her which week is she talking about. She never turned up. Eventually about 6 months later, the maid came to me and told me she wants to go back to the agent. I took her to the agent, left her there and told my agent to sort my problem out. She now tells me I need to fork out another RM2,500 for a transfer. One thing about me is that I want to do everything legal and in accordance to Malaysian Law. I paid the amount and got a maid who was a chatterbox unlike the previous one. The first day she turned up via taxi from KL, instead of us telling her her duties, she told us , her regulations and expectations. She will not cook, She will only take care of kids. She will not send my second son to the day care centre and she will sleep at 8.30pm with my daughter so that she can wake up at 6.00am to prepare my daughter to school. Having no choice and afraid of “losing” my investment, I agreed and went on with life until that day”. It was also just after a few weeks after renewing her permit and visa for employment. Within less than 2 years I have spent a total of RM16,800 for 2 maids, RM2,500 for replacement in addition to that a further RM760 for renewal of permit, visa and Fomema.

To my surprise, my collegue came to me and told me her maid also ran away. What was ironic is that her maid is also from the same agency. After sourcing around for proof, there were about 4 other also have lost their maid within that month. My drilling mind suddenly tells me that this could probably be a scam. A scam so perfectly planned that they would look like they ran way, brought across to another state and put to work swith a cleaning service, restaurant and other industry which will pay them more. Of course these “employees” will take them to work without any entrance fee or reduced entrance fee as we have paid all of those. Coincidentally, every maid who leaves or run away will do so after the 3rd month (guarantee period)

As much as I am a sore loser, I do not want this to happen to any other person. Hard earned money goes to the agent who may be involved in this scam and enjoy the double profit that they have gained. What I am proposing here to the government is while negotiating with a country which labels us cruel employee is that there should be a fair bilateral agreement which also covers employee in Malaysia that if they (the maid) run away, the should be lawfully prosecuted and the employee compensated for the hard-ship likewise an employee lawfully prosecuted for abusing a maid. Also with the advanced technology that is available today, we can have each maid coming in with their finger-print scanned so that they (the maid) can’t go back to their country , change identity and come back as a different name to Malaysia. Every maid agency should be directly registered under the lawful government agency and be monitored. There should be a standard draft agreement and a standard maximum fee proposed by the government for recruiting a foreign maid so that the cost of recruitment is not determined by agencies but rather by the government with strings attached. The also should be a guarantee amount being kept by the government agency via the agent for every maid so that when they run away or abscond, these “deposit” will be given to the employee as a compensation.

Now I am suffering because my maid ran away and my cost of taking care of my children have increased because I am sending them to a day care centre all day long. What have the agent and the government agency to say to me to console me in this time of crisis. “Nothing” and absolutely nothing. We are the losers…….

Source: The Star - Thursday, February 25, 2010

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