One day off for foreign maids

Foreign maids in Malaysia to get day off: minister  (AFP). I am sure you have read this news. What do you think of it?

It was reported that “Indonesian maids often work long hours, seven days a week, for a wage as low as 120 dollars a month..” I wonder where they got that figure from. I pay my maid RM570 a month (it is much more than that if you include agency fees). I have not heard of anyone paying as low as 120 before. Or perhaps they meant US dollars. Hmm…

Anyway, I tend to agree with this view. What about you? What do you think? I think that allowing maids to go out on their own on days off means trouble. Oh, I think there should be a limit to the number of hours they have to work each day and checks by authorities are a good thing. In fact, it would be a good thing to allow them to have a day off if the circumstances and situation were suitable.

However, sad to say, I do not thing the situation here is positive towards allowing maids days off on their own. There are too many negative influences. The maids are often very young, naive and easily influenced. There are too many illegal foreign workers too. Just look at the coffee shops and hawker stalls. Do you really think that all of the foreign workers there have permits? All it takes is a “Why don’t you join us. Its lucrative.” and your good maid turns into a runaway. And then there are the available foreign men workers. One thing leads to another and soon you will have unwanted phone calls and even house calls. We do not wish to limit the maids freedom but don’t forget that they are here to work for a year or two to make better lives back home for themselves and their loved ones. Negative influences are bad for them too. A wrong turn, running away and losing their permits, unwanted pregnancies etc are all bad for them. How do you curtail all these?

At the present moment, my maid is very free. She has lots of time off during the days and she goes out with us to the cinemas, out to eateries, everywhere. That raises my cost of living. Now, with a compulsory day off, which I prefer not to give so I will have to compensate, that raises the cost of having a maid even further. Couple that with loss of monies when you get the wrong maid (my sister lost thousands recently because she had to return an unsuitable maid) and I would say employers are at the losing end.

Apart from giving maids better working conditions and checking on employers, I would say that one very important thing that needs to be done is checking on the agencies.

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14 thoughts on “One day off for foreign maids

  1. my maid dont know, n i dont plan to tell. however my maid earns a day a month. however she keeps that for going to UN.

    We don’t mind giving them the day off, its what they will be doing on those days off that is worrying.

  2. i slave 24/7. 365 days a year. no day off. no epf. no socso. no salary. no bonus. my benefit? can blog. LOL..

    I have the same fringe benefits as you wor. But then some others got salary but also can blog………. during office hours!

  3. The authorithies are not thinking for all possible parties. They are only reacting to a maid abuse case. Biasalar… Msian mentality.

    For us, its not mau berak baru cari jamban, its lepas berak baru cari toilet paper mentality.

  4. I sent my maid off a day after she took numbers from another old maid in my kampung while i was not around. This old maid who has been in malaysia very long also offer maids to others. This old maid always hang around the playground. This is one of the danger if we let the maid out during day off.

    Oh my goodness! We all better watch out for old maids in playgrounds then since some of them have even started their own “agency”

  5. who have this stupid idea of rm120 per month? probably 15 yrs ago la! now their rates are getting higher and maids are lousier than before. i dont agree maid having day off by going out. if leave her at home to rest, i am ok with it.. if maid is very free everyday, then no need day off. imagine if we hv no maid and do what maid does, do we get day off on sunday and no need to cook or clean a bit here and there? can we just lay on the bed on sunday for the whole day? no right? stupid idea from the govt

    I’d rather they lay in bed all day then be up to no good outside.

  6. As usual our govt does only one-tracked thinking.

    Usual lah. Go ahead and implement without considering all parties as well as the consequences. I believe there will be more social ills and more maid problems arising from this move.

  7. I think the Filipino has the Sunday off and they thought this is possible for others too! aiyo.. even no off days, I can tell lots of maids are doing the hanky panky already! with that, what’s more? I did came across an article from Singapore, where they mentioned on both the maid abuses and also runaway maids.. who is going to tanggung the employer side ah? If maid lari, employer got to pay fine lei.. gila rite!

    Yup. We got to pay.

  8. Yeah….I don’t think this will work out well in Msia. Other countries have days off becuase some go to church on Sunday. Or some return to their families. IN malaysia where the domestic help is all foreigners, some illegal no doubt…what do they do on their day off? Make more money I am sure…..doing NOT SO NICE THINGS! And then bringing it to your home? Unless on the day off, we can return them BACK to the agency for some field day!!!

    Actually that is an idea. The agencies should organise a field day for the maids to get together. 🙂

  9. i also in shock hearing such news and the first thing that came to mind is that what the heck is my maid going 2 do coz she doesnt know anybody? and who is responsible if she goes out, transport, expenses..and does this mean she gets a mobile? if this is really the case, i will deduct the expenses off her salary.

    and like u, my maid is not that busy. got time off when she follows us out or on holidays. so how? do i assume these days when she follows us out as her off days?

    sad la, just because of a few cases, they come up with this. i feel they shld focus more on the agents, make sure the agents are doing a proper job, etc. let it be compulsory for agents to check on the maids occasionally to ensure the maids are not abused, etc if they’re worried abt this rather than just implement something out of the blue and can make matters worst.

  10. I don’t have a maid but when I think of my late grandmother’s lazy, rude, abusive Indonesian maid, I’d definitely wouldn’t give her a day off!

    Agree that it’s harder to give them a day off vs the compulsory Sunday for Filipina maids. If maids have a body looking out for them, couldn’t employers via e.g. FOMCA ask for their rights to be looked after also?

    Feel sorry for nice employers who are are unlucky enough to get not-so-nice maids…

    If many of you are living close by, maybe can arrange a family outing and the maids can get together as a day off?

    I know my friend and her SIL get together so their Indonesian maids can chit-chat and let off steam about crappy Malaysian ibus LOL

  11. I am very lucky to have a great maid who I can trust to be alone at my house and not take anything. And I find that when you pay someone enough they will take better care of your belongings because they know it is worth their while.

  12. I agree with the government. MUST give a day off IFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF they quality of maid is as promised. Simple as that. if quality sucks, then sorry no day off. Already so damn free, eat what we eat, do what we do, seee what we see samo want day off? Can I choose not to feed her or let her into my house during her off day? Cannot right? then cannot lorrrrrrr

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