Saturday, November 25, 2006

Consumer Benefits with New Rules for Maid Agencies

Finally the government is helping the consumers to save some money by setting up good rules and guidlines on what Maid Agencies should earn.

We recently got our new Indonesian maid and it cost us a Bomb, and we were trying to figure out how did the breakdown of the Maid Agency work. Was calculating and recalculating, but it all seemed to be a HUGE PROFIT to the Maid Agency, whilst we (consumers) were at their mercy, cos we had no contacts, nor the know-how on how to legally bring a helper from Indonesia to Malaysia.

Well i hope with the guidelines coming into place soon, this will bring down the complains from the consumers.

We also had a friend who went thru another Maid Agency for an Indonesian Maid fairly recently. They were really happy with her performance and was going to confirm her (nowadays they have this "Try and Test the Temporary Maid" thingy), and just as they were to confirm her, they found out - must pay this extra, pay that extra, and the worst thing, the latest was that the immigration didn't wanna renew the maid's working visa! SIGH!!

Anway, let's hope the govt and the agencies gets their act together in order for us to get proper and affordable help around the house.

New rule for maid agencies
Maid agencies are required to sign an undertaking with the Government to comply with new regulations that include capping the recruitment and processing fees of Indonesian domestic helpers at RM2,415.

Agencies that refuse to commit themselves to the new rules already in effect would not be issued permits to bring in maids from Indonesia, said Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad.

“Previously, they didn’t need to sign any agreement or undertaking with the Government, but now they have to. We will call a meeting very soon with the agencies to explain to them the requirements,” he said yesterday.

The RM2,415 new rate is a vast reduction of the amount Radzi had announced in August, when he said RM3,700 was the maximum employers had to pay agencies for Indonesian maids.

The breakdown of the new RM2,415 rate is:
·RM635 for agent’s fee;
·RM500 for airfare from Indonesia;
·RM360 for Government levy;
·RM190 for medical examination;
·RM60 for work permit;
·RM15 for re-entry visa; ·RM10 for processing; and,
·RM645 for miscellaneous costs such as lodging, transport from airport and airport charges.

Of the Old RM3,700 rate;
RM1,000 was the fee paid to the local agent
RM1,700 to the Indonesian agent
RM500 was the processing fee and another
RM500 for airfare.

“In the past, some agencies have charged as high as RM5,000 for each maid. If we don’t control the rate, this will lead to inflation,” said Radzi, adding that employers had been squeezed by the agencies.

On the maid’s pay, Radzi said the Government had not set any minimum wage.

The average monthly salary paid to an Indonesian maid now is between RM450 and RM500. The minister recently announced in Jakarta that Malaysia and Indonesia had signed an agreement to fix the fees to bring Indonesian maids over.

Now that a standard rate has been set, agencies can no longer arbitrarily charge employers.

Source : STAR
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