‘New system protects boss and maid’

PETALING JAYA: The new direct hiring system for foreign maids contains an employment contract template for the protection of both employer and employee, said Immi­gration Department director-gene­ral Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali (pic).

He said although the agreement is made directly between employers and domestic helpers, without the involvement of agents, both parties still have to abide by the department’s regulations.

“The new system was introduced to protect both the employer and the maid. We do not want any cases where either party will get cheated,” he said yesterday.

“Within the online system, there is a template contract to ensure that the rights of both parties are protected.”

He said the contract under the direct hiring system also requires employers to provide insurance for their workers.

Since the online application service started on Jan 1, a total of 3,141 applications for maids have been received, with 76 employers submitting all the necessary documents, including the required Fo­­me­­ma medical examination results.

According to the department, the work permits for those who have completed the process would be issued within the 16-working day window.

The Government had announced that it would give employers the choice of hiring domestic helpers directly from nine source countries – Indonesia, the Philippines, Viet­nam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos and India.

It is estimated that employers get to save up to 90% if they hire their maids directly, compared to forking out up to RM18,000 if they go through agents.

The savings is calculated based on the RM1,635 that an employer has to pay the Government for fees, permits and other charges if their prospective maid is already in the country on a social pass.

According to an official at the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, employers wanting to hire maids from the Philippines should go through agencies registered with its government.

“They are required to hire from our registered agencies, for the protection of our workers,” said an embassy official who declined to be identified.

Malaysian Maid Employers Asso­ciation (Mama) president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein said some feedback received about the system is that it crashes when too many users try to access it.

“Mama is grateful to the authorities for simplifying the needs of employers through the new system.

“We hope over-the-counter services would still be offered along with the new online system,” he added.

immigration , maids