Singaporeans have been hiring domestic workers for many years now; this is especially common in homes where both parents are working full time jobs. However, in the recent past, part-time maids have become quite popular. This is partly to do with the fact that the salaries of full-time workers have increased sharply in the last few years. Deciding on whether to hire a full-time or a part time maid is a consideration one has to make whenever the need for a domestic worker arises. What are the factors that you need to consider in this case? Here are some of the key ones.
The Services Offered
This entails the quality and quantity of services offered by a maid. A full-time domestic worker offers the advantage of being with you at all times. This is especially useful when there are young children or elderly involved. The presence of a maid at all times can offer peace of mind, considering that there is always someone taking care of all the chores that may arise. Much more can also be achieved with a full time maid. This also means that the employer can be away taking care of other engagements. This may not be possible with a part-time maid. In most cases, there has to be someone in the house supervising the work since it’s uncommon to leave one’s keys with a part-timer or the employing agency.
While a full-time worker is naturally expected to do more, there are chances that she might not. Since the maid has all the time to plan and do her work at home, laxity may set-in with time so that less work is done within a given period of time. This can easily happen since she spends all her time at the work place. With part-time maids, the time available is limited and often monitored. They are only paid based on the work they complete. Therefore, they are much more motivated to accomplish more so as to increase their pay.
The issue of cost is critical since there are many components involved. First, there are certain legal fees that should be paid for every domestic worker, whether full-time or part-time. In the case of part-time maids, the cost burden is borne by the employing maid agency. When it’s a full-time agency, you bear the full burden as the principal employer. Some of the costs involved include:
When the Domestic Worker is Foreign:
– Settling-in program fee
– Work permit application fee
– Work permit issuance fee
– A foreign domestic worker levy
– The monthly salary
– Security deposit
– A personal accident insurance cover
– A medical insurance cover.
When dealing with a part-time maid from an agency, the only payment due is the agency fee charged for the work done. However, when the worker is full-time, the cost can go very high, especially with foreign workers. Hiring a foreigner is becoming very common in Singapore since one can hardly find a local who is willing to work as a maid.
Upkeep and Accommodation
A full-time maid fully relies on her employer to cater for food, upkeep, and accommodation. This means that all the costs that come with housing an individual fall on the employer. You will have to take care of her food, where she sleeps, and most her personal effects. All these do not apply to part-time workers since that is mainly the responsibility of the employing agency.
Safety and Security
The reputation of full-time maids in Singapore has taken a deep in the recent past. With many cases of mistreatment of children, theft, and disagreements arising, people are choosing not to hire them. Since domestic workers spend a bulk of their time at home, dissatisfaction with the employer or work place can manifest in very negative ways. Since a maid may not be able to confront her employer, she may choose to take out her frustrations on the children or the elderly who are left in her care. Complacency may also lead to laxity and negligence of her responsibilities. During such times, the maid may also decide to steal and run away with valuables.
This has led many employers to install CCTV cameras to monitor their domestic workers. This is an added cost to the already high budget of hiring a full-time worker. The fear for the security of your home or those left in the care of a maid may also add emotional strain. These concerns barely exist with part-time workers. This is because they only come when they are required to. At such times, you get time to lock away your valuables. In most cases, they only come when the homeowner is at home, meaning he or she can monitor how the work is being done. There is low risk of losing anything.
Difficulty in Training
When one hires a maid from an agency, chances are that she is already trained. The agencies take it upon themselves to ensure that they only hire out trained and experienced workers. However, when you hire a full-time worker fresh in the field, the job of training her falls on you as the employer. This can be strenuous and time consuming. There is also the potential of accidents happening or items getting damaged. On the other hand, well trained and experienced domestic workers can be very costly to maintain.
While circumstances may demand otherwise, not many people love having strangers stay under the same roof with them, especially due to security issues. They would prefer to maintain a sense of privacy by only inviting strangers when a specific chore needs to be addressed. This has led many employers in Singapore to prefer employing part time workers.
In addition, there are those who would prefer to have more time with their families without worrying about the prying eyes of a stranger. Accommodating someone who is not a member of the family can be emotionally strenuous, even for young children. As such, hiring a full-time maid only comes as a last resort for most people. These are all factors that can help you decide on which option works better for you. Seeing that each option has its benefits and drawbacks, weighing each factor on a personal level can help narrow down the choices.