Why Do You Need To Hire A Maid Through A Maid Agency

Why Do You Need To Hire A Maid Through A Maid Agency

In a fast-paced society with increasingly demanding work conditions, dual-income parents and rapidly ageing population, it is no surprise that Singapore families are set to depend on domestic helpers even more. For most, hiring a domestic helper is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

However, some would argue otherwise. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of having a maid to help put things into perspective.

Advantages of having a maid

  1. You can spend more time with family
  2. More supervision over your children
  3. Have a helping hand
  4. Well-kept house
  5. More personal time

1. You can spend more time with family

After a long day at work, it is a relief to come back for dinner. It is also good to know that there is someone to take care of the dishes and the cleaning up while you spend some quality time with your family.

Having someone responsible for the housework or cooking, means you have more time to spare and this time can be spent more meaningfully with family whom you have not seen for the whole day.

2. More supervision over your children

If you have children, a lived-in maid will be able to pick them up from the gates when they return from school and supervise them when the parents are busy at work.

There is also no need to bring them out with you whenever you need to run some errands out of home or look for a babysitter when you have urgent appointments.

Having a helper around helps you save time on travelling to and fro places and lessens your worries whenever you have to leave your children alone as they are always accompanied by another adult.

3. Have a helping hand

This is one of the main reasons why people hire a maid, as having a helping hand to help with almost anything around the house helps to save time completing housework and complete chores more efficiently.

For example, if the fridge is empty, your helper can leave the home in the middle of the day to stock up on any ingredients and she can also prepare the food in advance to save you the trouble of cooking and cleaning afterwards.

4. A well-kept house

A maid can clean your house daily, keeping your house cleaner than it has ever been.

Sometimes, there is not enough time to mop and wait for the floor to dry before leaving for work, having a helper complete these chores for you early in the morning lets you bask in the cleanliness of your house without worrying about it collecting dust or bacteria.

5. More personal time

Other than granting you more time with your family, you are also given more time to spend on yourself to do the things you want and like. This could mean going on a date night with your spouse or visiting the salon for a hair dyeing session.

Disadvantages of having a maid

  1. Responsible for an additional person
  2. Take time to build trust
  3. Over reliant on helper
  4. Extra cost

1. You are responsible for an additional person

As an employer, you will need to address any issues in a respectable manner, such as if she is slacking in her household chores or has an attitude problem.

Some employers are not good at managing maid, leading to more stressful and tense environments at home.

2. Take time to build trust

Having a stay-in maid means inviting a stranger into your home. It is important to check the helper’s background and ensure that she can be trusted when you are not around.

It will be very challenging in the beginning to entrust your children and valuables at home with her and it will take some time for you to build trust between you and your helper.

3. Over reliant on helper

As the helpers are the ones who spend the most time with your children, it is not surprising that the children can be more attached to the helpers. It is something that can’t be helped sometimes.

4. Cost

It is not cheap to hire a helper. Other than her minimum salary, there are other costs incurred such as licenses and processing fees that need to be paid to the maid when the application is approved.

Medical insurance will also need to be bought in order to help the maid in the case of any medical emergencies.

Engaging a maid agency in Singapore vs direct hire

If it’s your first time hiring a maid, you may be confused about the differences between hiring a helper directly or through a maid agency. Allow us to break it down for you.

  1. Finding your domestic helper
  2. Employing your domestic helper
  3. Issue resolution

1. Finding your domestic helper

The easiest way to find a maid is to look for transfer maids that are already in Singapore. As they are very limited, you might have to compromise on your list of requirements in order to find one as soon as possible. If you are unable to find one then the helper needs to first be recruited in her home country.

Maid agencies will tend to have offices in those countries in order to recruit potential talents to be brought to Singapore for training.

What most people do is to source online or through personal contacts or social media presence.

However, aspiring or new maids will tend to take the safer and more familiar route of joining a maid agency that someone they knew have found jobs in.

Hiring a helper directly can help you save costs from paying maid agency fees. However, as an employer, you are expected to prepare the necessary documentation for your helper in order for her to come and leave the country according to government standards.

A maid agency might provide maid training (but it is not guaranteed at every agency). If you are doing this on your own, you must be prepared to take more time and patience to train your helper and allow her to adapt to her new tasks and living arrangements.

2. Employing your domestic helper

It’s possible to apply for a work pass via a guideline shared on the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) website online.

You will only need to have all the necessary documents ready in order to finalise the process on your own.

Alternatively, you can skip the readings and leave it to the professionals (re: maid agencies) to handle all these admin work efficiently and correctly.

3. Issue resolution

When trouble arises, that is when hiring the help of a maid agency might be the better choice.

Sometimes after successfully hiring and bringing a maid over, your expectations might not meet reality, the maid might get homesick or behave in an inappropriate manner.

The biggest benefit of a maid employment agency is handling the replacement process for you in a reasonably short period of time.

If you hired a maid directly, your only choice is sending her back or encouraging her to look for new employers, before restarting the process all over again. Until then, she will still be your responsibility to look after.

Hire a maid agency to handle all the trouble

As such, it is better to hire domestic helper services through a reputable maid agency so that you can skip the hassle of preparing the documents and working your way through the complex process.

With the money that you spend, you should be able to choose the best maid that matches your needs and expectations.

Leave it to the professionals at Homekeeper, and let us get you started on hiring a suitable domestic helper for your unique needs today.

Stay-Home Notice for All New and Returning Foreign Domestic Workers

Stay-Home Notice for All New and Returning Foreign Domestic Workers

Stay-Home Notice (“SHN”)

1. With effect from 16 March 2020, 2359 hours, all new and returning Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW) will be subjected to 14-days Stay-Home Notice (SHN). Her arrival date is considered Day 0, making the total number of days as 15.

2. All new and returning Foreign Domestic Workers will be able to enter Singapore only if an Entry Approval issued by Ministry of Manpower is issued successfully

3. Upon arrival @ SHN Facility, each FDW will be briefed and issued on the following:

  • Her responsibilities during SHN
  • MOM rules and regulations on SHN compliance
  • Location of SHN Facility
  • SHN Person-in-charge Duty Mobile number
  • WhatsApp installation (if not done)
  • Personal wellness kit
  • Personal utensils
  • Personal disposable bedsheet cover and pillow case

4. Employers are eligible for the $60 daily Assistance Scheme and enjoy levy waiver during the SHN period. Employers will be eligible if:

  • The FDW’s work pass application is submitted to MOM on or before 15 March 2020; or
  • The FDW has a valid work pass, and left Singapore on or before 15 March 2020.
  • If the FDW does not serve her SHN at the Employer’s registered residential address (i.e. if they serve their SHN at an alternative accommodation such as dormitories, hostels or hotels),

Note: All new Foreign Domestic Workers are not allowed to serve their SHN at Employer’s residence.  All SHN accommodation has to be declared and approved by Ministry of Manpower at point of application for the Entry Approval.  All Employers who are eligible will be advised on the submission procedures once information is available.

5. FDW under SHN will be given a working mobile phone (if she does not own one) fitted with a “live” Singapore number. She will be given access to the facility’s enhanced Wi-Fi so that she can be contactable at all times by Ministry of Manpower during the SHN period.

Welfare of Foreign Domestic Workers During the Stay-Home Notice (“SHN”)

1. SHN Facility has been designed to provide maximum comfort for the FDWs. It has been fitted with new furniture and appliances such as:

  • Bed frame, mattress and pillow
  • Wide windows with proper ventilation per room
  • Wall and standing fans
  • Television
  • Wi-Fi
  • Spacious Bathroom & Washroom

2. Homekeeper’s primary concern is the health and mental state of the FDWs during SHN. We constantly monitor their health by:

  • Temperature taking thrice a day
  • Meals and snacks provided throughout the day
  • Person-in-charge stationed in the facility at all times
  • Immediate response when FDW is in distress
  • Emergency number provided

Travel Advisory and Entry to Singapore

1. Effective 27 March 0900hrs, all travellers including Foreign Domestic Workers with valid work pass will need to submit a health declaration before proceeding with immigration clearance. They will have to do so via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service.

2. The health declaration will be made available before 27 March 2020 as part of the SGAC e-Service, so that travellers who are due to arrive in Singapore after 27 March, 0900 hours, can complete it in advance of their arrival.

3. Any Long Term Pass holder who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020, in disregard of the prevailing travel advisories, will be charged at unsubsidised rates for their inpatient stay at public hospitals, if they are admitted for suspected COVID-19 and have onset of symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore.

4. Any work pass holder or his/her dependant who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020 will be deprioritised for entry approval and could see significant delays before they are allowed to return to Singapore if they persist in travelling abroad and return infected.

Training and Other Activities

1. We will adopt online and video training for FDWs under SHN. Training will include:

  • Briefing and reinforcement of SHN compliance.
  • Introduction to Singapore
  • Personal Hygiene (including handwashing procedures)
  • Domestic Household
  • Basic Infant Care
  • Basic Conversational English
  • Cooking

For more information on Stay-Home Notice, please refer to: https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/advisory-to-fdws-and-employers.

For more information on Travel Advisory, please refer to: https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/tighter-measures-to-minimise-further-spread-of-covid-19

NOTE:
The information in the Circular is with reference to Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website and/or Ministry of Health (MOH) where relevant and applicable.

How To Renew A Maid Work Permit In Singapore

How To Renew A Maid Work Permit In Singapore

Majority of the domestic helpers in Singapore are from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Philippines and Myanmar. In order for them to work in Singapore, they will need a valid work permit.

As their employer, you are responsible for helping them renew their work permit when it expires every two years.

Normally, this administrative process is handled by the maid agency where you have hired your domestic helper from.

However, there have been several online sources claiming that by avoiding the cost of agency fees you can save costs for yourself by handling the renewal process yourself.

To get a better idea of what you’re signing yourself up for, read on to understand a breakdown of how tedious this process can really be without the assistance of an experienced and reliable maid agency.

How to renew your domestic helper’s Work Permit by yourself?

Before you renew your helper’s work permit, you will need to have these documents ready beforehand:

  • Your helper’s latest passport
  • The new insurance policy that meets MOM’s minimum requirements (Personal accident insurance of at least S$60,000)
  • Medical expense insurance of at least S$15,000 per year
  • MOM Security bond from the Insurance Company of S$5,000
  • A valid credit card to make the online payment fee of S$35 for the actual renewal

Followed by the following steps.

1. Purchase new domestic helper insurance

It all begins with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) sending you a work permit renewal letter around eight weeks before the expiry of your domestic helper’s work permit. After receiving the letter, you may renew the permit online as long as you have already purchased new domestic helper insurance for the new period of employment.

There are many types of insurance plans with varying levels of insurance coverage. Ensure that the date of the new domestic helper insurance matches the start date of the new work permit. It is important to take note of inputting the right names, dates and numbers so as to ensure a smooth issuance and transmission of the necessary security bond information to the MOM.

Make sure you have a copy of the Security Bond Transmission Number of “SB Transmission No” to guarantee your Security Bond before renewing the work permit.

2. Renew your helper’s work permit well ahead of its expiry

This helps to ensure a smooth re-entry to Singapore if your helper plans to return to her country on home leave before her work permit expires. If you renew the work permit late, you’re still liable for levy after it expires. Levy penalties or overstaying fine, if applicable, may also be imposed.

3. Draft a new employment contract

It is good practice to go through the contract again to update any details that have been agreed between both yourself and the domestic helper. The contract helps to set clear rights and obligations to ensure clear communication and prevent any misunderstandings from occurring.

4. Ensure that all necessary documents are valid

Check if your helper’s passport is expiring, if it expires within the next six months, they will have to go down to the embassy to renew her passport. It is recommended to renew her passport with the embassy as early as you can.

5. Purchase an Embassy Bond for your helper

You will need to purchase an Embassy Bond if your helper is Filipino before the Embassy will process the paperwork necessary to renew the contract. There are various options for you to choose from so you will have to check thoroughly and see if its offers match what you need.

6. Prepare other documents for Indonesian domestic helpers

The Indonesian Embassy will organise an interview before the process of home leave documents. They will question you about your helper’s revised salary, days off etc. After the interview, you and your helper will be asked to sign the Work Agreement. You will also need to apply for your helper’s Kartu Pekerja Indonesia Singapura (KPIS) if your helper does not already own one.

While it may seem simple to follow these steps, for someone who is unfamiliar with this industry, it could be a challenge to evaluate the difference between the various insurance plans and embassy bonds.

Moreover, your helper is entitled to home leaves. Therefore, to ensure a smooth re-entry to Singapore, it is especially important to properly handle all the legal administrative matters for them to continue working in Singapore safely.

Engage a dependable and experienced maid services agency in Singapore

As you can already tell, the process of renewing your domestic helper’s work permit can be very tedious, confusing and time-consuming if you do it yourself. Save yourself the trouble of second-guessing yourself and potential double work if the documents fail to meet stringent standards on the first try.

Leave it to a dependable and experienced maid agency to help you clear all routine paperwork, which includes

  • applying and renewing work permits
  • renewing passports
  • obtaining embassy endorsement of documents
  • handling home leaves processing

Save time and money in the long-run and contact Homekeeper for all your maid employment needs.

3 Effective Tips On Finding A Maid Through A Domestic Helper Agency In Singapore

3 Effective Tips On Finding A Maid Through A Domestic Helper Agency In Singapore

24 hours is not enough time to juggle our careers, run a household, care and play with our children and keep up with the rest of our social lives.

This is one of the primary reasons why most people hire a domestic helper through a domestic helper agency, so that they are able to give you an extra pair of hands, quite literally, to complete the daily necessary duties while you focus on completing more fulfilling tasks.

Domestic helpers can complete household chores such as, doing the laundry, preparing meals or keeping the house neat and tidy. This frees up time for you to spend more quality time with your family or on personal interests or hobbies.

If you’ve never hired a domestic helper before, it can be a daunting task to invite a stranger into the intimacy of your home. Here are some things you can do to ensure that hiring a domestic helper through an agency will be easy and smooth-sailing.

1. Identify your needs and reason for hiring

identify needs for hiring

It is important to prioritise your requirements when looking for a domestic helper. This enables the domestic helper agency to find a better match for your needs and shortlist compatible helpers for you.

Do you need a domestic helper to take care of your children? Handle household chores? Or take care of your pets?

Having a clear grasp of your expectations and requirements allow you to find the most suitable domestic helper for your home.

2. Assess the credibility of domestic helper agencies

assess credibility domestic helper agency

Enlisting the help of a reliable and trustworthy domestic helper agency in Singapore to manage all the tedious paperwork ensures you a worry-free experience with your newly-employed domestic helper.

Be wary of cheap paperwork processing and agencies that sound too good to be true. Cheap employment agencies may help you save money in the short term but may create issues in the long term.

3. Investigate the background and history of the domestic helper

investigate history & background domestic helper

Conduct a thorough check on your helper’s transfer and employment history. You can also assess her compatibility with your household based on the profiles of her former employers such as, if she had experience in caring for the elderly or young children.

If she switched employers within a short time span, investigate reasons for the moves and if possible, gather feedback from previous employers to verify her work performance.

You may also wish to check her personality, language or cultural background to see if they’re compatible with yours and the overall environment of your family. You may get to know her personality through interviews and keep a lookout for her strengths or weaknesses.

Hiring a domestic helper who can speak the language(s) your family is comfortable with is important – sometimes English alone might not be good enough. Some domestic helpers can speak Chinese dialects such as Hakka, Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese.

Check on your domestic helper’s cultural background and dietary requirements as contradicting diets may be inconvenient during meal preparations.

Once you have chosen your right domestic helper, you should maintain a proper employer-employee relationship and follow the regulations set by MOM such as providing adequate medical coverage, adequate rest or maid insurance.

Need help finding a domestic helper? Engage a domestic helper agency in Singapore

If you’re lost on where to start, approach an experienced domestic helper agency to help guide you through the process.

Homekeeper not only matches you with the most suitable candidate for your household needs, we also take care of the tedious paperwork, provide maid insurance and offer maid training to ensure you have a smooth and good experience in hiring a domestic helper.

Ultimately, saving you the time and effort during the search process so that you can hire a helper that gives you peace at home, peace of mind.

Helping Your Maid To Adjust In Your Household

Helping Your Maid To Adjust In Your Household

So you just hired a Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) and have no idea what to do next or how to set a schedule? If this is the case with you (which we know it is), we are here to offer our best services in this regard.

We know that people who are new to hiring helpers have a lot of questions in their minds. From assigning daily tasks to laying down some explicit instruction, people are always confused. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you in this regard.

So grab yourself a hot cup of coffee and keep reading. I’m sure you’ll know everything related to how to help your maid to adjust in your household after reading this article.

Let’s get started!

  1. Write up a schedule for your maid to follow
    After hiring a FDW, the first thing that comes to our minds is listing down daily and weekly chores management schedules for our maids. Listing down a work schedule for your maid could be of great help and will make your lives much more comfortable. Everything your helper needs to do during the whole week will be known to her in advance. Therefore, setting up a weekly schedule for your maid is essential. You can include when to do laundry, ironing, cleaning, vacuuming, cooking, etc.
  2. Give clear instruction
    Maids are from different countries, backgrounds, and cultures. The ways she would be carrying out tasks might be different from Singapore. For example, some Indonesia FDWs are from the poor countryside; they do not even know how to use the washing machine, vacuum cleaner, and oven.

    Her ways to do cleaning and cooking are also very different from Singapore, especially for helpers who are fresh to work in Singapore. Therefore, instead of assuming her know your way to do things, you must give her very clear instructions to avoid any misunderstanding.

  3. Assure your maid that she can approach you for help
    It might be quite challenging for your new maid to work in a totally new environment, oversea country which is far away from their family and country. It is quite possible she feels stress and depression. Give her some encouragement and support. Spend little time to listen to her.  Let her communicate with her family in her hometown.  Assure your maid that she can approach you for help.
  4. Lay down your house rules
    Furthermore, tell her clearly that to adjust to the house, she must have to obey some rules too. The first and foremost thing is privacy. Anything that violates the privacy of the house is strictly prohibited, E.g., inviting your friends and other fellow maids to the house without permission. Next, tell her the restriction for her mobile phone usage, rest day curfew, food consumption, etc.

    Make every rule clear and make sure she understands it.  In this way, it helps her to adjust according to the expectations, thus making it easier for both you and your maid.

 

Understanding all these methods and helping your maid to adjust in your household is crucial. Thankfully, Homekeeper has experienced staff who can teach you how to do it! Nevertheless, our maids are trained on how to do household cleaning, infant care, elderly care before the deployment.

Don’t hesitate to WhatsApp us for more details now!

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