Although the country’s name may sound exotic to many people, hiring a maid in Singapore isn’t a task much different or harder than in any other part of the world. Just like anywhere else, it is possible to find experienced, qualified maids who will take care of your property or little ones while you are away.
And just as anywhere else, it is easy to make a few mistakes that can lead to unpleasant situations and conflicts. Those, however, can be avoided if before hiring a maid in Singapore, you learn about few important facts which will make the whole process less stressful and risky.
1. Get your house in order
The first thing you need to do before hiring a maid in Singapore is getting your house in order, quite literally. Getting your house in order means setting certain boundaries and defining the parameters within which the maid will operate. Maids in Singapore undergo intensive training and they understand their roles but in order to ensure they do not overstep their mandates, you need to define exactly what needs to be done for regardless of the top training received, you will still be their ultimate boss.
2. Get agency assistance
A lot of maids in Singapore are grouped in professional agencies that help them find a good employer. This solution is very comfortable and, what is most important, reliable and trustworthy. To put it simple, an agency ensures that there is no fraud on either side. This means that both the maid and employer can be sure of the honesty of the other party. Of course, an agency will demand a fee for helping you find a maid. You should be ready to pay even $500 dollars just for their assistance.
3. The agency must be licensed
However, before you visit an agency – let alone pay anything – make sure that it’s reliable, trustworthy and authorized. All the certified and licensed employment agencies are listed in the official websites and local Singaporean directories so make sure to look them up before you trust anyone with your money.
4. Not everyone can be a maid
Whether you look for a maid alone or with a help of an agency, you need to know that Singapore doesn’t allow everyone to work as a domestic helper. There is a strict law on who can become a maid working in Singapore. A potential maid must be at least 23 years old female, have at least 8 years of formal education and speak the language of her future employer. She must also originate from one of the few approved countries, but we will talk about that later.
5. The maid’s experience matters
It’s obvious that the majority of people want to employ an experienced worker. They are usually more independent, more reliable and more efficient. Some people don’t mind their maids being new in this field of work and both groups of employees can be found in Singapore. The experience, however, matters. It affects the maid’s wage in the first place, but the new workers must also participate in a special settle-in course. This is none of your worries, though, if you look for a maid via an agency.
6. The maid’s nationality matters a well
You can find a maid native to Singapore, but a lot of them are coming to work here from other countries. These are specified by the law, so if you wish to individually hire a foreign maid, be aware that it is only legal if she is from countries such as the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan,Thailand or from a few more countries listed in official sources. Regardless of their origins, the maids usually speak English. Bear in mind, however, that their language proficiency may be far from fluent so sometimes it’s better to word your thoughts and needs carefully.
7. Legal regulations can’t be skipped
Regardless of whether you hire a maid on your own or with a help of an agency, there is a lot of paperwork to be done to make the whole process legal. The only difference is that in the second case, the agency accepts the whole responsibility and covers the majority of things that need to be done. However, if you hire a maid individually, you must remember that there are taxes to be paid for her and her insurance to cover. If you avoid an agency’s help, you will also have to organize the maid’s trainings (if it’s her first time in Singapore), register her in official institutions and ensure she passes medical examinations.
8. The costs will vary
The total cost of hiring a maid will be dependant of a few factors. That is why it only is possible to estimate it once the potential maid is chosen and the work schedule is planned. Depending on her experience and skills, a maid can take $10 per hour or even twice as much. You also need to include the agency fees or the insurances and taxes if you hire a maid individually. It is necessary to know that in Singapore, every Sunday and public holiday are days off. Besides that, it is up to your personal preferences how many hours weekly do you want her to work. If your maid is foreign, you also have to be aware that her travel costs are your responsibility. That includes plane tickets for her annual home visit that she is entitled to.
9. You should set solid rules
As it’s not a formal contract that we talk about here, you should discuss with your maid the less formal aspects of her work. It’s better to specify your demands and needs in the very beginning, rather than clarify them when something goes wrong. Avoiding conflicts rather than solving them is the key to a healthy relation between you and your maid, so try to be open with each other from the start.
10. Staying updated is your duty
If you hire a foreign maid, it’s your obligation to know the latest legal regulations on the employment. The Ministry of Manpower has a great database of the official information that is updated frequently and according to the recent legal changes. Be sure to visit their page often to avoid unpleasant consequences of omitting anything in your maid’s legal status.
Hiring a maid in Singapore can be easier and cheaper than someplace else, but sometimes it can be a time taking task. Luckily, aside from the Ministry of Manpower, there are other sources that squeeze everything you need to know into simple guides on how to find your perfect maid. In case you seek more information, you can visit pages such as maid-agency.com.sg to find what you look for!