Monday, September 7, 2009

Should there be a Minimum Wage for Maids?

Malaysian homes are highly dependent on foreign maids especially for homes with both partners working and no family member to help out with small children. It is estimated that 294,115 Indonesian maids are working throughout the country currently.

We have heard more scary tales than pleasant ones with regard to maids.

Recently, Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Da’i Bachtiar has been quoted in press reports as saying that the republic is pressing for the minimum wage following cases of maid abuse by Malaysian employers.

Do you have a maid at home? Do you think the minimum wage of RM800 as demanded is justified or realistic?

Related article:

Demand for RM800 maid salary not feasible, say groups


  1. i think there should be a minimum wage for every position.. but RM800 for a maid is kind of high while some of our people don't even earn up to RM800..

  2. It's a matter of supply and demand...

  3. I thing yes. RM800 is certainly no no! Rm500 is ok. If the employer is rich...then that's a different story altogether. But then again we should have treated them better!

  4. I think a measure to protect immigrant workers from abuse is more important than the wage per se, but some minimum is in order. What the amount should be, I cannot know from here.

    In Japan, immigrant workers (mostly from China) have been in the news of late because of illegal over working without proper compensation - I'm talking so much overtime as to kill some of them.
    Every human being deserves to be protected from being exploited, especially poor people living in relatively richer countries.

  5. RM800 sounds quite high for the average Malaysian.

    If the Malaysian government wants more women to contribute to society (it will reduce foreign dependency), then maids should be made affordable.

  6. Even though I don't have a maid, and I don't plan to have one, I think RM800 is too high. Besides, most of the Indon maids are not especially good judging from my own sister's experience and what I heard for others. They certainly do not deserve such a high income!

    We should reject this demand for minimum wage unless they set it lower at say, RM500.

    But I highly recommend that we do not take in Indon maids at all if we can help it.

  7. Anonymous1:39 PM

    I don't have a maid. I double up as the maid in my home. Actually, I am thankful I don't need a maid. I prefer doing household stuff myself. Plus it's hard to find good ones these days.

  8. SK, I agree that RM800 is kinda high for a maid's minimum wage but then again some maids are doing more than one person's share of the work. It's hard to strike a balance sometimes.

    KS, all things are, I guess.

  9. Tekkaus, RM500 sounds fair considering that lodging and food are provided for, even clothes mostly. Yes, good treatment should be part and parcel.

    PandaB, I totally agree about placing importance on a measure to protect immigrant workers over wages though the latter is important as well afterall their being here is to make money to send home.

    I've read about village girls in China literally dying of exhaustion working in the factories in China cities. Didn't know it's also the trend in Japan. So sad.

  10. Shingo, RM800 is high indeed. Some clerks don't even get that amount.

    This amount is being dictated by the Indonesian govt actually.

    Foong, I too have heard many negative feedback regarding these maids. My colleague's maid pee'd in her garden right in front of her young son; another used her vaccuum cleaner to suck up a flooded kitchen putting the vaccuum cleaner out of business.

    Of course, there are exceptionally good ones. Still RM800 is too high, I agree.

  11. Mei Teng, I know the feeling.