Employers found to have ordered their Indonesian maids to do other tasks, other than at the employers’ home, can be fined a minimum of RM500,000 or jailed three to 20 years under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007.
Peninsular Malaysia Manpower Department Director-General Sheikh Yahya Sheikh Mohamed said the offence included ordering the maid to work at night markets or groceries, attending to the sick other than at the employer’s house, or working in other homes, including those of the employer’s relatives.
“In Indonesia, when we apply for house maids, we will be ask the purpose because if the maid is employed to look after elderly people, the training to be given will specifically be for the task.
“If the maid is employed to do house work, she will be trained to do house work,” he told a media conference yesterday.
When asked whether it would be alright if the maids themselves volunteered to do other jobs to supplement their income, Sheikh Yahya said they would not be allowed to do so.
“The maid is employed for house A. So she has to work at house A. If the maid is caught at other houses, action can also be taken against her,” he added.
With Indonesia having agreed to resume the sending of domestic maids to Malaysia, Sheikh Yahya said he hoped employers and employment agencies would be more responsible and to respect the terms that had been agreed upon by Prime Minister Najib Tun and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at a bilateral meeting in Bali recently.
They included the need to have a working contract for domestic maid, the cost of recruiting Indonesian maid fixed at RM4,511, compulsory 200-hour course and one day off per week.
Employers, on the other hand, are allowed to take back RM1,800 from their cost in advance payment for the maids by deducting their pay of not more than 50 per cent per month from their salary.
Sheikh Yahya said that only 121 of the 400 registered maid agencies agreed to the terms on the employment of Indonesian maids.
“The list of the agencies will be displayed at the department’s portal early next month.
Agencies who do not agree to terms will not be allowed to supply Indonesian maids,” he added.
He said there were about 50,000 Indonesian maids waiting to come to Malaysia.