3 agencies team up to recruit Indonesian maids

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3 agencies team up to recruit Indonesian maids

Postby Zhuge » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:17 pm

3 agencies team up to recruit Indonesian maids

They want to ensure steady supply amid recruiters' threats to stop sourcing for maids

Published on Apr 19, 2012

By Amelia Tan
Three maid agencies have joined forces to actively recruit Indonesian maids as impending rule changes could lead to a dip in the number headed here.

Best Home Employment, JPB Maid Specialist and Javamaids are teaming up because some Indonesian recruiters have threatened to stop sourcing for maids. These recruiters said they are unsure of how employers here will react to the changes in May, which will see a lowering of placement fees but a hike in agents' fees.

The trio also want to prevent unscrupulous recruiters in Indonesia from taking advantage of the situation and jacking up fees in return for a steady supply of maids.

They will try to secure partnerships with as many recruiters as possible, and will share any excess maids with other agencies.


The three were brought together by the Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore), or AEAS.

Best Home director Tay Khoon Beng said some Indonesian recruiters have warned Singapore maid agencies that they will turn off the supply tap if they are not given 'under the table' money.

'I want to prevent a situation where the agencies give in to these middlemen and pay more money, and the cost of hiring a maid goes up. Then what's the point of moving to the new system?' he added.

The Straits Times reported recently that a slew of changes to be implemented next month could make hiring an Indonesian maid costlier but less risky on the whole.

While the placement fee will come down, employers will have to pay a much higher agency fee.

They will no longer need to pay a hefty placement fee of about $3,000 upfront, which they then recover by deducting from the maid's salary in the first year of her contract.

Instead, the fee, which pays for expenditure such as training costs, will be financed by bank loans given to the maids back home.

But the one-time agency fee of $400 to $600, which covers the cost of advice given to employers, will go up, with agencies estimating it to be from $1,200 to $1,600.

The hike is linked to the lowering of the placement fee to about $1,600 for maids with no experience, and about $800 for those with experience.

Currently, placement fees include commissions earned by maid agencies and other recruitment middlemen. The new system will strip out these fees and charge them to employers instead.

Only recruiters authorised by the Indonesian government will be allowed to source for maids and at a fixed fee.

The three agencies said they each have a handful of Indonesian suppliers and are confident they can secure more.

Mr Indra, who owns Javamaids, said: 'I have been in this business for about 17 years, so I have the contacts and I am confident that I can get the suppliers.'

Ms Jacklyn Yeo, managing director of JPB, said the trio are doing this to 'stabilise the market and, hopefully, in about four months, when everyone gets used to the new system, things will go back to normal'.

AEAS president K. Jayarema said the three agencies, which have volunteered to share extra maids, are doing so out of goodwill. She has told them not to charge the other agencies any additional fees.

Other agencies contacted said they appreciate what the trio are doing but are unsure if they would be able to recruit enough for the whole industry.

Mr Peter Loh, owner of Swift Arrow Maids, said: 'Their intentions are good but I don't think it will be possible for them to recruit maids for all of us.

'All the maid agencies should follow the new rules; I think this will be the best way to deal with the changes.'

Mr Fachry Sulaiman, counsellor of protocol and consular at the Indonesian embassy, said Indonesia's National Labour Export and Protection Agency has arranged a meeting for recruiters and maid agents in Batam next week to ensure that Singapore gets a steady supply of maids.

There are about 206,000 maids here, and about half of them are from Indonesia.

ameltan@sph.com.sg

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Re: 3 agencies team up to recruit Indonesian maids

Postby POA Teacher » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:32 pm

What do you think will happen to the demand for Indon maids (as opposed to Phil maids) next year when the weekly day off takes effect?

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Re: 3 agencies team up to recruit Indonesian maids

Postby Hard Truth » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:57 am

Am always concerned when agencies teamed up to "help" employers? Will they also teamed up to fix the agency's fees as well to "help" employers?

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Re: 3 agencies team up to recruit Indonesian maids

Postby POA Teacher » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:13 pm

Trust them. They have been "helping" employers whenever there is a change in regulations etc.

I like the part that says agency charges are for the advice they give to employers!!! :laugh:

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