Electronic system to ensure Indonesian maids paid on time

Under the MoU, employers must pay their workers’ salaries directly to their bank account by the seventh day of each month.

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 Mei – Employers who fail to pay the salaries of their foreign maids will immediately be flagged through an electronic system developed by the human resources ministry, says Indonesian ambassador Hermono.

He said the system, which will allow real-time monitoring, will be implemented to ensure transparency and to avoid manipulation of payments.

Hermono expected the system to solve the problem of late payments as well as the issue of employers defaulting on or withholding salaries.

“Can you imagine, there were some (Indonesian domestic helpers) who worked for 12 years without getting paid? With this system, we can now monitor and determine which employer has paid workers’ salaries and which has not,” he told FMT.

Hermono.

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Malaysia and Indonesia on the recruitment and protection of Indonesian maids, employers must pay the workers’ salaries directly to their bank account not later than the seventh day of each month.

An additional 5% of the total unpaid salary will be charged as compensation if the salary is not paid on time, while failure to pay salaries for two consecutive months allows the maid to terminate the contract and seek compensation.

“These terms are not only good for Indonesia but Malaysia as well as it has been in the international spotlight over forced labour allegations,” he said.

Hermono said his embassy was currently handling 35 cases of alleged abuse and non-payment of salaries among Indonesian maids. He said the maids were being given shelter by the embassy while awaiting court hearing.

“In court, the employee is always blamed for either being undocumented or without a valid work contract,” he said. “The employer is never questioned when, in reality, it should be their responsibility to manage work contracts.”

He stressed that the law should be fair as there appeared to be no punishment for employers who hired undocumented workers.