Regulate activities of househelp agencies
The support of househelps in the daily running of homes has become a very beneficial service many cannot do without.
They launder, clean, dust, cook and take care of the children in the home as required by the employer.
In the past, such support was offered by relatives, especially extended family members, however there has been a significant departure from this with modernisation, education and economic reasons, among others.
In other words, more of the extended family members that could be relied on are either busy chasing their own resources or acquiring some education. These days, some of them want the support without having to provide any service.
The difficulty therefore becomes how to employ total strangers in homes as help.
Realising this need, a number of agencies and agents have sprung up offering such human resource at a fee.
Some of them are charging as high as GH¢600 to recruit a househelp for one client and also charge the househelp some money for the placement.
Unfortunately, many of these agents who claim to offer well trained and professional househelps, whose background they claim to have checked, are doing nothing close to this in reality, leaving the employers at a disadvantage and putting them in harm’s way.
Many of these agents have money as their sole aim of being agents and therefore only connect people who call them on phone to clients.
In effect, in some cases, the first meeting with the client and the househelp is often the first time the agent also meets him or her.
The story of the houseboy, John Allister, who has been sentenced to a 20-year jail term for stealing, is an example.
John is also standing trial for allegedly stabbing to death his employer, six days after he got employed by 35-year-old Stella Osei. He had been on the wanted list of the police but was placed in a home as a househelp by an agent.
The Mirror therefore calls for the regulation of the many househelp agencies which have sprung up to ensure that they provide the services that they advertise in relation to training and thorough background checks.
The situation now poses a great danger to clients as they accept such critical human resources in their homes only to become vulnerable to workers who may be of dubious character.
We believe that this is one of the ways of securing the safety of homes which employ such househelps, especially, since a number of them take care of children who are vulnerable.
In addition, some of the homes which depend on the services of househelps can look at other ways of managing without them as they do when they find themselves in another jurisdiction.
That will save such families from the exposure to househelps, some of whose characters may be questionable. As it is now, families use the agency at their own risk because security is not guaranteed.