How to manage expectations and challenges of employing maids in Singapore

There are more than 230,000 maids in Singapore working in all segments of the families. Many households in Singapore employ a maid to help with the household chores and caring for the young and elderly so that more Singaporeans are able to join the workforce, knowing that their homes are well taken care of while they are at work.

Maids in Singapore attending some lessons

Employing foreign maids in Singapore is a serious commitment. You need to consider the financial cost, the time needed to train and supervise the Singapore maids and your legal responsibilities. More importantly, you must be ready to have a Singapore maid living with your family under the same roof.

As in any employer-employee relationship, it is important that both parties work towards establishing a harmonious working relationship. As an employer, you have an important part to play in helping your maid in Singapore adjust to the life and work in Singapore.

Some Singapore maids for deployment

You also have to be prepared to face the challenges of the Singapore maids who may:

• Not be able to speak or understand your language easily. The spoken English of your maid in Singapore may not meet your expectations
• Not be able to care for your loved ones or to clean your home according to your expectations
• Need constant supervision and coaching
• Have difficulty adjusting to living and working in a new environment
• Have a different way of life, beliefs and customs

The job scopes of the maids in Singapore largely revolves around domestic chores, therefore, it is impractical to detail every task as these vary with households. Have reasonable expectations of your Singapore maid.

The bottom line is that no maids in Singapore should be forced to do something that she is either untrained to do or does not feel comfortable doing them.

But once you have decided to employ a Singapore maid, think through your selection criteria carefully. Focus on the primary duties you want your maid in Singapore to fulfil and select a maid in Singapore with the skills and qualities to perform those duties.

Maids enjoying shopping on their off-day

For example:

Caring for children

Look for the maids in Singapore who:

• Likes children
• Are energetic and patient
• Are pleasant and willing to learn
• Have experience caring for children
• Have the ability to communicate with your children

Caring for the elderly or disabled

The Singapore maids should be: Physically strong if the family member needs assistance to move around

• Patient and sensitive
• willing to learn
• Have experience in looking after the invalid, disabled or elderly
• Have the ability to communicate in a language the family member is familiar with

Cleaning the house/cooking

A suitable Singapore maid should be: Familiar with using household appliances

• Know some basic English if you require the maid in Singapore to do marketing or shopping for groceries and be able to do some cooking.