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.

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.

Internet privacy for Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW). Can they post an employer’s photo to social media?

Internet privacy for Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW). Can they post an employer’s photo to social media?

Hiring a maid to clean up your home is always a very good idea. It helps you clean up your home while also saving a lot of time too. It’s the best of both worlds and it has the potential to bring in front some really good results. With that in mind, there are some internet privacy concerns. What if the helper wants to take pictures inside your home and post them online? Or if she live streams from your home? It’s very important to include internet privacy in your house rules.

Create your own set of internet privacy rules

It’s important to educate your FDW from the beginning. You should let her know how you feel about her sharing your family photo to Facebook. Creating your own set of rules about this topic is extremely important and you have to understand the situation properly for this to work flawlessly. It’s always tricky to deal with this, because you don’t want your helper to feel restricted. On the other hand, your privacy has to be respected.

Let her know that she needs to ask for permission

Yes, asking for permission is mandatory. You can share these rules with your maid agency when you hire the maid. Or you can talk to her directly. Either way, your maid needs to know that asking for permission before sharing social pictures or sending them to friends and family is a must. You need to be frank about this and let her know that sharing images in your home is not really permitted unless you agree to it.

Explain the risks of sharing personal moments on social media

Social media can be very tricky. It seems like a great place to hang out and talk with people. But then again there are lots of scammers and thieves lurking on social media. They are tracking the interior of a home and eventually steal from it. Which is why it’s important for the maid to understand why sharing personal moments like that is not a good idea.

Facebook Privacy Settings education

Another thing that any maid agency in Singapore needs to know is that to educate FDWs about Facebook privacy settings. She can easily alter the privacy settings on mobile app. A potential employer will be okay with her sharing images only with her friends, but if the pictures are public, that can be a privacy problem. Which is why educating her regarding these privacy settings is a must.

Understanding all these challenges and protecting yourself against internet privacy problems is a must. Thankfully, educating a FDW about Facebook privacy settings is not very difficult. Homekeeper gives you access to a professional maid service in Singapore that has helpers already educated in the art of internet privacy. Don’t hesitate to WhatsApp us for more details now!

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