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Ministry: There are rules to employing foreign maids

The Star, Malaysia, 26 May 2017 - Foreign domestic helpers are not allowed to assist in their employer’s business or commercial activities, or help out at a relative’s house.


They must also be given a day off to ensure the domestic helper stays healthy, both physically and mentally, to be able to carry out tasks assigned.

These were among some of the guidelines issued by the Human Resources Ministry yesterday for employers of domestic workers.

The guidebook, which addresses domestic worker issues such as recruitment, employment practices and communications, was launched by Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot.

Other issues addressed include resolving conflict.

Riot, in his opening speech, said the guidelines were divided into three main segments and four annexes.

The annexes consist of a sample of an employment contract, key contact details and other resources of laws governing the hiring of foreign maids.

“The publication portrays the seriousness of the Government and the ministry, especially in ensuring the welfare, rights and protection of foreign domestic helpers be given top priority as they too play an important role in contributing to the development of our country,” he said.

The guidelines were jointly prepared by the ministry and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), after a series of consultations with employers of foreign domestic helpers and several associates.

There are also tips on how to manage the relationship between the employer and the domestic helper to create a trustworthy and harmonious environment at home.

This includes providing a comfortable living environment, establishing mutually beneficial working conditions, contract of employment and parameters, job scope, working hours, weekly rest day, salary and other remuneration, home leave, insurance coverage and other legal matters.

It also provides tips on dealing with language barriers, emergencies, hygiene and personal safety.

The guidebook, published in English and Bahasa Malaysia, and is available on the ministry and Labour Department websites.

At a press conference later, Riot said although the document was not legally binding, the Government hoped that employers would abide by the guidelines.

Meanwhile, employers and employment agencies applauded the launch of the guidelines.

Malaysian National Association of Employment Agencies president Datuk Raja Zulkepley Dahalan hoped that the guidelines could be incorporated into a module for future employers.

The module, he said, should be made compulsory for any employer wanting to hire domestic maids.

Malaysian Maid Employers Association president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein hoped there will be insurance for employers should their maids run away.

Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies vice-president Bayen Lok said the Immigration Department should check with the agencies before the maid was granted a “check out memo” and sent back to the source country.


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