Benefits of Having Domestic Worker Maintain Your Home for Your Mental Health

Benefits of Having Domestic Worker Maintain Your Home for Your Mental Health

There’s nothing like entering into a clean house free of clutter, grime, and dust to make you feel at ease. Fresh air, clean floors, windows, mirrors, clothes, utensils, and clean surfaces will provide you with a level of peace of mind you have never experienced before. But, let’s face it, how many individuals have time to clean thoroughly every day? There are only a handful if we count.

This can have a significant impact on your mental health. This piece will cover everything there is to know about mental health and maintaining a clean environment. As a result, if you live in Singapore, hiring a Migrant Domestic Worker from a Filipino maid agency in Singapore assists with cleaning helps, especially if your schedule does not allow it.

Why Is a Clean House Important for Mental Health?

The way the space around you looks determines a lot when it comes to your mental health, especially your moods.

Clutter in a person’s home is one example. When this happens, people get annoyed because they can’t get around the house or get what they need quickly. Imagine you’re looking for the remote among a pile of books, clothes, and other things. The mere thought of it raises cortisol levels. But to mitigate this, hiring a migrant domestic work maid from a Singapore agency may help.

Having a clean and organized space with the help of a Filipino domestic worker offers you the following luxury:

  • Easier and shorter time retrieving items to use.
  • More order in the household where things are categorized.
  • Get rid of things that clutter your space and distract you.

How Does a Dirty House Affect Your Mental Health?

As aforementioned, stress is the predominant emotion that floods in when you have a dirty home. But that is not all. The following and other negative effects you face with a messy house.

Mental Clutter

With a dirty home, you’ll likely be disorganized in all aspects of your life, including your work life. Because part of your life gets blocked up when you work or live in a dirty atmosphere, you will lack the energy and inspiration to perform outstanding work. Additionally, you will rarely finish your tasks. A part of your brain will always have a long list of things you need to accomplish, including cleaning.

Thoughts like “I need to clear that sofa,” “I need to find my charger,” and “where is my notebook?” will remain in your thoughts indefinitely. And the results of this are reflected in your work, which is chaotic and half-finished.

Overstimulation 

Our brains are designed to concentrate on only one object or task at a time. However, you will be constantly stimulated by the mess while working if your house is not properly cleaned. 

This will manifest itself in the following way: 

You may be working on a project, but you realize that yesterday’s meal dish is still on the table on the same work desk. As a result, you pick it up and proceed to the sink, where there are additional filthy dishes. Hence, you’re undecided about whether you should clean them or finish your homework. This constant jumble will overstimulate you.

Does Having a Clean House Make You Feel Better?

Yes, it does. 

Your entire thinking train is simplified because you can find things in their proper places, and everything is in order. You will be able to complete easy chores in a short time and the best possible manner when you are in this mood. Thus, you will feel better about yourself as a result of this.

Yet another way that a clean home makes you feel better is through the sense of smell. Pure and fresh fragrances have a positive impact on your cognition. Scents convey signals to our limbic system, the part of the brain that regulates memory and emotion. Certain scents have been shown to reduce stress and improve general mental health.

How Often Should a Domestic Worker Clean Your House?

Cleaning should ideally be done daily. Assuming you can handle minor jobs such as cleaning the dishes after every meal and cleaning a space after use, hiring a domestic worker from a Filipino maid agency in Singapore help to ensure your house is in order.

Filipino Maid Agency in Singapore

A tidy home is soothing. You get stuff done and protect your mental health. Reach out to us if you are looking for a Filipino migrant domestic worker at

Tel: 6468-5220 

WhatsApp: 8515 5527

Email: contactus@homekeeper.sg

How did the Pandemic Affect Migrant Domestic Worker Agencies?

How did the Pandemic Affect Migrant Domestic Worker Agencies?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our shores in March 2020, the past two years have been a hectic one, especially for migrant domestic worker agencies here in Singapore. With frequent updates to border restrictions and safe management measures at the workplace, it’s easy for such agencies to be overwhelmed with changes that seem to have no end.

As for agencies that are already struggling with a shortage of migrant domestic workers, the latest restrictions on entry for work pass holders is making the situation even more challenging than before. This is because since the pandemic, some migrant domestic workers have gone home and very few managed to return to work in Singapore.

For this reason, many migrant domestic worker agencies have had to adapt to the limitations and seek out ways to go around the changes and ensure that both the employers and migrant domestic workers benefit. Let’s take a look at how some of the agencies go around the changes.

How did migrant domestic worker agencies adapt to the changes?

Shrinking agencies’ workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many white-collar workers into seclusion and some into unemployment as employers try to deal with financial strains. Similarly, migrant domestic worker agencies here in Singapore have had to do the same as there were little to no revenue to sustain the operations.

In some cases, staff members were asked to go on unpaid leave as the agency couldn’t afford to pay them their salaries. This calls for some financial support from the government for the agencies to continue operating.

Deploying migrant domestic workers who are already in Singapore

Due to travel restrictions, employers who have difficulties in sending home their migrant domestic workers can transfer the latter to a new employer directly or through an employment agency.

While this may not be profitable for employers and migrant domestic worker agencies, it helps to ensure certain households in Singapore receive the help they require. If the transfer is unsuccessful, the employer or employment agency will be responsible for sending her home.

What are the steps taken to ensure the safety of both migrant domestic workers and employers?

General precautionary measures

Under the MOM’s advisory to migrant domestic workers, employers and employment agencies on COVID-19, both employers and migrant domestic workers are advised to adopt general precautionary measures to protect themselves and their households.

This includes practising good personal hygiene by doing the following:

  • Washing hands frequently with soap, especially before handling food or eating, or after going to the washroom.
  • Covering one’s mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and disposing of the soiled tissue immediately. 
  • Avoid sharing food/drinks, utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others.
  • Visiting the doctors if anyone in the household feels unwell or develops symptoms.

With such measures in place, it can help to curb the spread within a household while ensuring that everyone is healthy and doesn’t become a potential spreader at home.

Additional precautionary measures

Migrant domestic workers who are required to care for young children, the elderly or those with illnesses or special needs are encouraged to take additional measures to protect the vulnerable.

This includes monitoring the health of those under the migrant domestic worker’s care, conducting regular temperature screening, and reaching a mutual agreement on rest day arrangements between the employers and migrant domestic workers.

Under the same advisory as above, migrant domestic worker agencies and employers are advised to encourage their migrant domestic workers to not gather in public areas when they’re out running errands. This is to prevent community spread.

Home leave arrangements

For agencies in charge of migrant domestic workers who plan to travel back home, they should discuss and come to a mutual agreement to postpone home leave until the situation stabilises. Employers of the said migrant domestic workers should also inform them that they may be subject to Stay-Home Notice upon returning to Singapore.

Maintaining open communication with each other (migrant domestic worker agency, employer, and migrant domestic worker) during this period will help to ensure the safety of all involved.

In conclusion, migrant domestic worker agencies here in Singapore can and will continue to adapt to the changes during this pandemic to ensure that every household need is met.

Homekeeper can help with your household needs

If you’re looking to hire a migrant domestic worker with the help of a migrant domestic worker agency here in Singapore, Homekeeper is here to help with the tedious and time-consuming process. You only need to reach out to us and we will take care of the paperwork and training.

We can also help to process the necessary documents for you and your migrant domestic worker. On top of that, we provide maid pre-employment training to ensure that your migrant domestic worker meets your household needs. Reach out to us by calling (65) 6468 5220, WhatsApp (65) 8515 5527, or email contactus@homekeeper.sg.

MOM’s Guidelines for Maid Agencies on COVID-19

MOM’s Guidelines for Maid Agencies on COVID-19

For the past two years, COVID-19 has been affecting a majority of our lives – the way we interact with others, how we work, etc. It even changed our perception about travelling during the pandemic which has affected all walks of life, including maid agency services here in Singapore.

In fact, the COVID-19 travel restrictions have led to a limited number of migrant domestic workers coming into Singapore. As a result, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) set out new rules to address the shortage of migrant domestic workers in Singapore while ensuring the safety and welfare of every migrant domestic worker on the island is met.

In this article, we will discuss the MOM’s set of guidelines that cover all of the COVID-19 safety details for maid agency services in Singapore.

Entry application

In MOM’s earliest advisory on COVID-19 to migrant domestic workers, employers and employment agencies, helpers and confinement nannies must obtain an entry approval to enter Singapore. This entry application must be made by the employers and maid agency services using the SafeTravel portal under the Work Pass Holder General Lane.

As a condition to enter Singapore, pass holders who have obtained their entry approval are required to comply with the prevailing travel health control measures such as serving the Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and undergoing necessary COVID-19 tests.

This is to ensure that your potential helper is free of the virus and fit enough to work for your household. At the same time, this entry measure is set in place to control the spread of the virus from inbound travels.

General precautionary measures

The ministry continues to emphasise safety measures that employers and helpers can adopt to protect themselves and their households. This includes practising good personal hygiene such as the frequent washing of hands with soap, especially before handling food or eating, or after going to the washroom.

Not only that, but also covering one’s mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and disposing of the soiled tissue immediately. If anyone in the household feels unwell or develops symptoms, a visit to the doctor is highly recommended.

By doing so, you’re curbing the spread within your household while ensuring that everyone is healthy and doesn’t become a potential spreader at home.

Additional precautionary measures

As migrant domestic workers are required to care for young children, the elderly or those with illnesses or special needs, the MOM encourages employers and helpers to come up with additional precautionary measures to protect the vulnerable.

For instance, if you hire a helper to take care of your young children and elderly parents, you will need to discuss with your helper the additional precautionary measures. This includes encouraging your helper to spend their rest day at home and avoid gathering in public areas should they be out.

If your helper agrees to spend their rest day at home, you shouldn’t assign them to work. Meanwhile, if your helper decides to forgo their rest days, you must provide compensation in place of the rest day. Should your helper have errands to attend to on their rest day, encourage her to take their rest day on a weekday to avoid the crowd.

Transfer of helper’s employment

Due to the shortage of migrant domestic workers coming into the country, MOM has allowed employers and maid agency services to transfer their helpers to another employer. If the helper doesn’t have a new employer, the agency will then be responsible for providing accommodation, food, and medical insurance.

If the agency is not willing to take on the responsibilities, they are advised not to cancel the helper’s work permit until the agency has found a new employer. At the same time, the agency can advise employers to cancel the work permit and send their helpers home under the agency’s repatriation aid.

Should you cancel your helper’s work permit, you will remain responsible for your helper until she leaves Singapore. This includes the cost of her accommodation, food, and medical treatment. You should also pay for the cost of your helper’s flight home.

These guidelines set by the MOM doesn’t just ensure the welfare of migrant domestic workers but also help to guide employers in managing their helper’s employment. By maintaining open communication with your helper during this pandemic, you can avoid misunderstandings and legal confrontations.

Homekeeper can help with your household needs

If you’re looking to hire a helper with the help of a maid agency here in Singapore, Homekeeper is here to help with the process.

We can also help to process the necessary documents for you and your helper. On top of that, we provide maid pre-employment training to ensure that your helper meets your household needs. Reach out to us by calling (65) 6468 5220 or email contactus@homekeeper.sg.

Maid Employment Laws in Singapore

Maid Employment Laws in Singapore

Did you know that when it comes to hiring a maid in Singapore, employers will need to familiarise themselves with maid employment laws? This is because foreign domestic workers are covered by the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act instead of the Employment Act.

For this reason, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has to certify an employer’s foreign hire application while outlining their responsibilities and obligations for employing foreign domestic workers under the Employer’s Guide: Migrant Domestic Worker to ensure a positive working relationship.

That being said, let’s understand your maid’s rights as stipulated under the relevant employment laws along with accommodation rules, allowed duties as well as your responsibilities as an employer.

Laws related to foreign domestic workers

Much like an employee working under a contract of service with an employer, foreign domestic workers who are covered by the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act are entitled to:

∙ Salary

∙ Hours of work, overtime, and rest days

∙ Public holidays

∙ Annual leave

∙ Sick leave

 

In addition, employers have to take out security bonds and purchase medical and personal accident insurance for their helpers as they are not covered by the Work Injury Compensation Act in Singapore.

With that, you are encouraged to sign a written employment contract that outlines her responsibilities to ensure clear communication between you and your maid as well as your responsibilities as an employer.

What type of duties can my maid perform?

Before your maid can carry out her duties for your household, you must comply with the MOM’s Work Permit regulatory conditions. As such, your maid must have a valid Work Permit issued by the MOM, can only work for you at the address declared to MOM, perform only domestic chores, and cannot work with other employers.

If you employ a helper without a valid Work Permit, you may be fined between $5,000 and $30,000, imprisoned for up to 1 year, or both. Subsequent convictions may cause you mandatory imprisonment.

Meanwhile, if you illegally deploy your maid to work at another residential address or perform non-domestic chores, you may be liable to a penalty of $10,000. This means duties such as gardening, car washing, repair work and tutoring are therefore not allowed. You may also be banned from employing foreign domestic workers for repeated offences.

What are my responsibilities as an employer?

In exchange for your maid’s domestic help, you are responsible for the health and well-being of your foreign domestic worker during her employment term. This includes providing proper accommodation, adequate medical care, adequate food, and rest days.

 

Accommodation

As an employer, you will need to provide your maid with proper accommodation that protects her from environmental elements such as sun, rain or strong winds. There should also be sufficient ventilation, either natural or mechanical. The room must also be free of dangerous equipment or structure that could potentially cause harm or hurt to her.

If possible, you should provide your maid with a separate room. Otherwise, you must ensure that she’s given adequate space and privacy. Under no circumstances should your maid share a room with someone of the opposite sex, unless it is with your child.

In addition, you are also required to provide your maid with the necessary bedding items such as a mattress, pillow, and blanket as well as bathroom amenities and toiletries.

 

Medical care

As an employer, you are responsible for your maid’s medical needs. This includes hospitalisation, medication, treatment, etc. Hence why you should purchase medical and personal accident insurance for your maid.

 

Food

Never forget that your maid is another human being. To ensure sufficient productivity from your maid, you must provide her with 3 meals a day. As a basic rule, you should give your maid the same amount of food that you need every day.

If your maid has unique dietary requirements due to religion, health, or personal preference, make sure to accommodate her dietary needs or provide her with money to buy her own.

 

Rest days

Since 1 January 2013, foreign domestic workers are entitled to a weekly rest day. This means your maid should have a regular rest day to ensure sufficient mental and physical rest. Surely, you can understand how she feels while working throughout the week for your household.

To avoid disputes, both you and your maid must mutually agree on which day of the week should be her rest day. Make sure to include this agreement in writing. If you require your maid to work on her rest day, you must compensate her with another rest day or at least a day’s salary (this is an additional payment and should be excluded from your maid’s basic salary).

 

Family integration

Having to adapt to a new lifestyle will be challenging for your maid. Instead of letting your maid cope with the changes on her own, you should try to integrate your maid into your family. This will create a sense of mutual respect, tolerance, and patience between your maid and your family.

By keeping yourself updated on the latest regulations related to maid employment in Singapore and your responsibilities as an employer, you can avoid landing yourself in hot water with the authority.

Homekeeper can help with your household needs

If you’re looking to hire a maid with the help of an agency in Singapore, Homekeeper is here to help with the process.

 

We can also help to process the necessary documents for you and your helper. On top of that, we provide maid pre-employment training to ensure that your helper meets your household needs. Reach out to us by calling (65) 6468 5220 or email contactus@homekeeper.sg.

What is a Maid Placement Fee?

What is a Maid Placement Fee?

As able as you are, there will be times when you need a pair of helping hands for your household. More so if you have to devote your time and attention to your job – the one thing that’s keeping your household afloat without any hardship.

Unless you have family members or friends who are willing to help you in terms of taking care of your household such as cleaning, cooking, and babysitting, you will most likely hire a foreign domestic worker because it’s so much more convenient.

In many cases, employers like you will approach a maid agency to help find a maid and deal with the paperwork that follows. This employment practice is common in Singapore because employers prefer not to deal with all the fuss of applying for a work permit.

However, this will typically incur a high agency fee by the maid agency, causing some employers to undertake direct hires – thereby saving some of the costs for themselves and their maids. Here’s what you need to know about the maid placement fee.

Why do maid agencies impose placement fees?

There are several meanings to placement fees. In this context, it means the amount charged by a private employment agency from an applicant worker for its services in the recruitment and placement of said worker.

This is basically an amount that you pay to the maid agency on behalf of your prospective maid. In layman terms, it’s the amount that your maid is paying the agency in order to work in Singapore.

Since there is no fixed price for how much maid agencies can charge for their placement fees, you should know that it usually costs around $800 to $2,000 to place a maid in your household and process the work permit and papers in Singapore.

If a maid agency charges lower than the average, you should find out how much the agency is charging the maid. High placement fees can force your potential maid into debt with the agency, rendering your maid without any funds once her employment term comes to an end.

What does a maid placement fee cover?

Should a maid agency charge you around $800 to $2,000 for the placement fee, you should find out what you are actually paying for, since it’s an exorbitant amount to pay for the help you need.

Among the things that the fee should cover are:

∙ Transportation expenses – If your maid has to be sourced by the maid agency in partnering countries.

∙ Pre-employment medical screening – To ensure that your potential maid is fit for the job.

∙ Work permit application – For the agency to deal with all the paperwork.

∙ Medical and personal insurance – For your maid before she arrives in Singapore.

∙ Settling-In Programme – For first-time maids to learn about safety precautions and living in Singapore.

∙ Agency fees – To handle the administrative work for you.

How much can agencies charge foreign maids?

Maid agencies in Singapore are only allowed to charge foreign maids a month’s salary for each year of work as per the work permit, for a maximum of two years. This includes any fees that were transferred by the agency used in the foreign maid’s home country.

If you terminate the employment contract, the agency is required to refund you part of the paid fees. In the case of visa renewal, the maid shouldn’t pay for any fee because there’s no actual placement and the maid agency should be responsible for it.

Passing agency fees onto your maid

The rules and regulations are enforced to keep matters in control but unfortunately, not all maid agencies follow the set regulations. Some tend to charge higher by asking the employer to foot the fees first and later deduct the fees from their maids’ salaries.

Some maids are even charged an exorbitant amount, leaving them to earn only a small fraction of what they should receive. When a maid agency requests you to do that, you are abetting the agency to do something illegal.

If you face such a situation, you should find other maid agencies that are more transparent with their hiring process and agency fees. At the very least, you and your potential maid can have peace of mind regarding what you both can expect from each other.

Homekeeper can help with your household needs

If you’re looking to hire a maid with the help of an agency in Singapore, Homekeeper is here to help with the process.

We can also help to process the necessary documents for you and your helper. On top of that, we provide maid pre-employment training to ensure that your helper meets your household needs. Reach out to us by calling (65) 6468 5220 or email contactus@homekeeper.sg.

Vaccination Requirements for Maids in Singapore

Vaccination Requirements for Maids in Singapore

With the resumption of entry approvals for vaccinated work pass holders and their dependents, you might think that your new maid won’t be able to enter Singapore to help you out with the household chores.

However, that’s not the case because the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has stated that the entry condition doesn’t apply to migrant domestic workers as there are ongoing industry initiatives with tightened safe management processes to bring your maid into the island safely and minimise the risk of COVID-19 importation.

In this article, we will share how the government is working with the relevant ministries to ensure that your household needs are met along with your responsibility as an employer.

How is the Singapore government managing vaccination rollout?

Since the first vaccine shipment arrived in December 2020, the government has been rolling out the vaccines to citizens and long-term residents. This initiative was then extended to foreign domestic workers on the island in May 2021 by the MOM.

Now that the republic has met its target of fully vaccinating 70 per cent of the island’s population by National Day, you may be wondering whether your new maid can get vaccinated in Singapore.

Well, you need not worry because as we mentioned earlier, your new maid will be able to get her vaccine on the island upon completion of her Stay-Home Notice (SHN). After all, the vaccine is free for all Singaporeans and long-term residents, including Singapore Permanent Residents and Employment Pass holders.

However, you will need to encourage your maid to personally register their interest in the vaccine because neither the MOM nor maid agency will help your maid to sign up for vaccination. This is unless your maid resides in a dormitory with other Employment Pass holders.

Can I have my maid vaccinated?

You can surely have your maid vaccinated but since it is voluntary, you will need to encourage her to get the vaccination as a way to protect herself as well as your family against COVID-19.

You should also arrange for your maid’s transportation to and from the vaccination centre if she wishes to be vaccinated. If you’re worried about her safety, you can choose to accompany your maid to the vaccination centre.

That said, there will be people guiding your maid through the registration, screening, and acknowledgement process before the vaccination at the vaccination centres. Only those who consent to the vaccination and have been found suitable to be inoculated will get the vaccine. Moving forward, we’ll be sharing how your maid can register for the vaccine.

 

How does my maid sign up for vaccination?

The registration process is similar to how you registered for the vaccine. Prior to registering your maid, you will need to assure your maid that the COVID-19 vaccination is safe for everyone although there will be some side effects from the vaccine after the inoculation.

Once your maid is convinced, you can assist your maid in registering for the vaccine at https://preregister.vaccine.gov.sg/. Alternatively, you can bring your maid to walk in to any of the vaccination centres offering the vaccine without a prior appointment.

After the registration, your maid will receive an SMS as soon as there are slots available for booking. Before letting your maid go for vaccination, you will need to make sure that your maid has downloaded the TraceTogether mobile app or brought along the token to facilitate contact tracing. The remaining vaccine dosage will be administered accordingly.

If your maid had received her first dose of vaccine overseas, specifically the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, you can rest assured that she will be given the same vaccine for the second dose. Otherwise, you can encourage your maid to register for the vaccine here in Singapore.

After the vaccination, remind your maid to keep their vaccination records safely and to keep a photo of their vaccination record on their phones in case they are asked for it by the local authorities.

Should your maid experience any serious side effects after taking the vaccine, you can apply for the Ministry of Health (MOH) Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP) to support your maid. This will give you and your maid greater peace of mind.

With the government’s initiative and your encouragement, your maid will be convinced that getting the vaccination in Singapore is much more convenient when compared elsewhere. And who knows? Your maid may just be able to convince her friends or other maids to get vaccinated to boost community protection.

Homekeeper can help with your household needs

If you’re looking to hire a maid with the help of an agency in Singapore, Homekeeper is here to help with the process.

Additionally, we’ll process the necessary documents for you and your helper. We also provide maid pre-employment training to ensure that your helper meets your household needs. Reach out to us by calling (65) 6468 5220 or email contactus@homekeeper.sg.

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