PETALING JAYA: Indonesia will no longer allow its women to work as live-in maids in any foreign countries beginning next year.
The country wants the maids to be employed as formal workers â€“ with stipulated working hours and no longer having to stay at the employerâ€™s house and they must have a weekly off day, said Indonesian Ambassador Herman Prayitno.
â€œWe want a formal contract between the domestic helper and the employer. Just like the contracts drawn up for employment in companies,â€ he added.
He said this when asked to comment on media reports that the Indonesian Manpower and Transmigration Ministry was implementing its Domestic Worker Roadmap by next year to protect the interest of its citizens.
The report added Indonesia as saying that such a move was crucial to stop what they allege is a systemic abuse of maids who were deprived of minimum wage, leave and fixed working hours.
Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) president Jeffrey Foo said Indonesia should look into enhancing the skills of its workers to enable them to be employed as specialised caregivers or trained nannies.
â€œThen, they will certainly be able to draw a higher wage of more than RM1,000.â€
Foo also noted that the percentage of Indonesian maids had decreased tremendously over the last seven years.
â€œWe used to have about 300,000 registered domestic maids some six or seven years ago and 80% of them were Indonesians.
â€œNow the total number of maids has dropped to less than 200,000, of which 50,000 are Indonesians,â€ he said.