TO GET a maid nowadays is not an easy task.
If you do not have $2,900 to spend, do not even think of getting one.
The fee now is incredibly unbelievable and beyond the reach of a lot of people.
With the Employment Agency Order introduced by the Labour Department, the fee that previously stood at around $600 (typical) has shot up by almost four folds!
Are we getting better maids than before after spending that amount of money?
Let me share with the Borneo Bulletin readers my own experience.
Four months to finishing her contract, my maid asked for a month’s leave, so I bought her a return ticket and expected her to come back in a month’s time.
Having waited for almost three hours at the airport on her supposed return date to Brunei Darussalam, I contacted RBA to find out what was going on.
And why am I not surprised?
According to RBA’s record my maid did not board the plane! No phone call or message received from her and she simply vanished into thin air!
There goes my $2,900 with the employment agency! To make my story interesting, that maid was not my chosen one.
I actually picked somebody else before being told weeks later that that maid could not make it here, so with a heavy heart I had to choose, rather was forced by the employment agency, this maid as a substitute.
Her work was average but certainly not of the ‘quality’ portrayed by the Labour Department in defending their decision to enforce the Employment Order.
My woes continued.
My second maid requested to go home after working with me for almost six years for personal reasons.
I went to another employment agency this time expecting a better treatment and service.
Again it was $2,900, with $2,000 down payment and the remaining $900 to be paid once the maid arrives.
I chose the maid I liked and paid the deposit to the agency. Later I was told by the agent that my chosen maid was not coming and I was forced to take another as her substitute.
Now, why on earth the Employment Agency Order fails to protect an employer like me despite being forced to pay such a huge amount of money to get maids?
Where is the so called ‘quality’ mentioned by the Labour Department?
Who is actually the order trying to protect?
Or the loyal subjects of His Majesty?
Or the Labour Department?
Has any study been conducted so far to assess the effectiveness of the order? How is it supposed to benefit the country (if any at all)?
The order, in my view, is against employers like me.
From what I understand, a big chunk of the money that I pay to the agency is sent to the handlers of my maid abroad to be used to make her passport, undergo medical check-up, pay the local agency and so on.
What will happen when that money is used up and suddenly the maid decides not to come here?
The local employment agency cannot refund our money resulting in we, the employers, having to pick a substitute not of our choice.
The Employment Agency Order must be looked into so that the fee could be reduced.
If the maid is serious about coming to work here then she must raise her own money to finance her expenses instead of expecting ‘borrowed money’ from potential employers.
– Frustrated Employer