PUTRAJAYA: Maid agencies should purchase insurance policies for their foreign maids as a safeguard against abuse by employers.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn said at present only foreigners working in factories or in the construction sector were required to have insurance protection.
“The insurance is a way of compensation when these workers are injured in accidents at their workplaces.
“Unfortunately, maid agencies are not required by law to purchase insurance for maids because they do not fall within the definition of workers under the Employment Act.
“We therefore urge them to buy insurance for their maids,” he said after the Cabinet meeting here yesterday.
He said an insurance policy could accord legal protection to the employers and maids.
“For instance, if there is any claim of abuse by the maids such as burns and cuts, the insurance company can bring in professional investigators to determine whether it is true.
Indonesian authorities had recently announced that they would temporarily stop sending women abroad to work as maids because of reports of abuses in host countries.
Dr Fong said at present, employers only paid RM75 per year as insurance for each foreign worker.
“I expect the rate for maids to be even lower because there is less likelihood of serious accidents happening in households,” he said.
Dr Fong also said the ministry had appointed auditing firm Sahir and Co in Selangor to investigate the accounts belonging to the squabbling factions in the National Union of Bank Employees.
“The firm will audit accounts and monies for the last 15 months. It has been given a fortnight to complete the task.
“The trade unions director-general will then take whatever action necessary,” he said.