Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Good start to maid course

By Mazlinda Mahmood

The first half-day course for employers and foreign maids was held on Feb 22 and attended by some 300 employers and their maids, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam.

The next course will be held at the end of this month nationwide.

The first course was held at Wisma Perkeso in Kuala Lumpur.

Despite reports that employers found the course of little use and had complained that it was a waste of time, Subramaniam said the response was good.

"The course will continue and amended according to the feedback from participants. We will identify the weaknesses and revise the course.

"Our objective is clear. It is to explain to all three parties -- employers, maids and maid agencies of their responsibilities -- so that they will have better understanding of the laws and know what will happen if they fail to adhere to the rules."

The course, held during weekends, looked into terms and conditions of salaries, working conditions and general tips.

It is aimed at reducing cases of runaway maids and physical abuse by employers.

A day before the course was held, Dr Subramaniam had announced that employers and maids must attend the course to improve working relations between them.

He had also said the maids would have to attend the course within six months of employment.

At present, there are some 216,000 foreign maids in the country with some 2,000 new maids entering the country every month.

Those attending the course will also receive a booklet containing hotline numbers, government agencies' addresses and phone numbers.

Officials from maid agencies, police, Immigration and the Labour Department will also attend the course to know more about their role in issuing permits and to look into enforcement issues.

The majority of maids working here are from Indonesia. - NST

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