It may be easy nowadays for families to find foreign domestic workers in Singapore with the help of agencies and government departments, but the real struggle happens once you’ve hired someone and lived under the same roof as them.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve hired migrant domestic workers or foreign domestic helpers before or it is your first time. Problems are bound to happen once you let a stranger live with the rest of the family members. It’s human nature to clash for various reasons.
Your role as an employer is to soften the blow each time problems arise between any family member and the domestic worker.
To do this, you have to anticipate the problems early on. This way, you would have better ideas about what to do regarding maids in Singapore problems.
The Top 12 Domestic Helpers or Maids in Singapore Problems
Here’s a look at the common problems that employers encounter with their domestic workers and recommendations on how to prevent and deal with them:
Dishonesty from domestic helpers or maids
This is a common problem committed by all the people living in the same household. But somehow, you already have an idea whether or not a family member is telling the truth.
More often than not, people lie because they’re embarrassed, protecting someone, or you only assume they were lying when they have only said or done what they believed is right. It can start from petty things like food but can lead to bigger issues if you tolerate the behaviour.
Many factors may bring about dishonesty in a person. One, it may be an honest mistake due to cultural differences. They may be used to doing things differently in their home country and may also be quite confused why they are not done in the same manner in Singapore.
It pays to be patient as an employer. This is part of the process of helping the helper get settled.
Avoid accusatory statements before finding out the truth. If you have to give instructions repeatedly, do it. And encourage your helper to ask anything unclear. Ensure the maid understands what she’s told according to your intention or how you want to be understood.
You can also write everything you want to be done to avoid repeating yourself. Additionally, you can add instructions on how you want things done at home. And you can also print out guides on how to use appliances your maid is having a hard time with.
However, no matter how kind or patient you are as an employer, it cannot be helped that you may sometimes get a bad apple. Regardless of how strict an employment agency is in interviewing potential domestic helpers, their character judgment will not always be right.
If you think you have a maid in Singapore who constantly lies despite being caught red-handed, talk to the helper first and say what you know. Give them a chance to avoid making similar mistakes. If the bad behaviour persists, you can seek help from the maid agency to see what you can do in this case.
Foreign domestic workers having difficulty settling due to culture shock
When you have a foreign domestic helper who has never been away from their family or home country, expect it to take time before they can settle in and feel comfortable. They need time to get accustomed to a new culture, their employers, and the employer’s family.
You’re lucky if you’ve got a helper who immediately clicks with everyone at home without going through phases of homesickness, shyness, and confusion.
However, this culture shock also happens to experienced domestic workers who transferred from one house to another. They might have trouble assimilating into the characters and behaviours of everyone living in their new household.
Since you’re the house owner, you must ensure the maid feels safe in your company. Talk to them one to one, and ensure you can be their listening ear while they are still trying to get settled.
You need to calmly explain the daily routine in the household, the members of the family, including the elderly and children, and what they are like. Encourage them to ask questions and talk to you about anything uncertain, like directions or how to use some home appliances.
Likewise, tell them about your expectations of the new helper as the boss. Make any rule clear to avoid misunderstanding.
You may need to make an effort in the beginning, but it will all be worth it once a maid feels connected and at ease with everyone.
You’re bothered by their bad habits
It’s part of the training of domestic helpers to learn proper ways of respecting their employers, fixing bad table manners, and ensuring their future employers won’t have difficulty dealing with them. But this training cannot change the personal manners of these domestic helpers.
Certain traits that they might have been used to or didn’t know are turning off others, including their employers. They include being picky with food and poor personal hygiene. These problems may also be rooted in their upbringing or culture.
But as their employer, you can talk to the helper about it, especially if the hygiene problem is bothering most members of the household. You can nicely talk to them, so they won’t feel offended.
The domestic helper using a phone even while working
As their employer, you have to set home rules regarding the use of gadgets, especially while your domestic helper is doing household chores. Explain that you only want to ensure they’ll do their work properly and avoid mishaps caused by not paying attention.
Tell them what’s “too much time” when using their phones. But tell them they are free to use their gadgets on their rest days, break times, or an emergency.
It takes them too long to finish household chores
When you give your helper a list of their daily task, make sure that it’s possible to finish them during their working hours. Do not feel empowered by giving them too many tasks that are impossible to finish in a day.
Monitor the rate of how your helper is doing with the tasks and check how they’re dealing with the family regularly. You can give them leeway in their first few days in your household. But if they keep doing a task longer than they should, talk to them to ask how they find the jobs.
Besides, many employers post their criteria in looking for a maid before hiring. This is because you want someone who can complete the tasks efficiently and within a justifiable amount of time. As an employer and helper, it will do you both a favour to be clear about this from the start.
You never know, but you may have differing expectations, or your maid may wrongly understand certain rules about their tasks. You can click here for more to be properly guided.
Not respecting boundaries
When hiring maid for elderly in Singapore, you must make sure they understand how to treat the senior citizens at home right. Certain problems arise when a domestic helper treats the elderly members of the family rudely or they do not give them the same respect as their employers.
Make sure they know from the start how important it is to Singapore culture that people treat elderly individuals with respect. For sure, their agency told them about this during training, but they may have forgotten.
You can let it pass in the beginning, but carefully observe the maid’s behaviour after you’ve talked to them about the matter. Ensure that they don’t subject the seniors to verbal abuse or physical abuse, and respect and treat them well all the time.
Not taking the initiative
This behaviour may arise from the feeling of your domestic helper that they don’t want to bypass what you want to get done. Hence, they don’t do household chores and other things (no matter how simple they are) unless asked.
Remind them that they can always do simple chores without asking. If they get the message, it will make them feel good knowing that you trust them. Moreso, always commend your maid for a job well done. It will mean a lot to hear good words from their employers, especially after a whole day of hard work.
Feeling quite down
This is not a bad trait but can be a problem, especially with how your helper does their job. In this case, you must reach out and understand not as an employer but as a human being.
It is natural for maids to face personal problems even while employed abroad. It’s doubly hard because they can’t immediately be with their loved ones when emergencies strike due to the boundaries set when they signed an employment act.
Being their immediate family in Singapore, be there for them. Let them talk about what they’re going through, and make it easier for them to accept the problem. You can recommend your maid take a break to breathe.
Keeping problems to themselves might contribute to poor mental health. Remind them to take care of their well-being. Even in Singapore, they must take care of themselves, eat healthy food, and learn how to deal with bad news.
It’s a big problem for employers when their helpers get pregnant under a work contract. Singapore law demands employers report these cases to the Ministry of Manpower. This can lead to the maid’s deportation and cancellation of their work permit.
If you’ve got yourself in this dilemma, you can reach out to the maid agency that processed the papers of your maid in Singapore. If you have obtained the services of RC Caregivers, they can help you find the best solutions regarding the matter. This is why partnering with a reliable maid agency from the start is crucial.
Keeping too many secrets
Maids are more exposed to what’s happening in and outside your home when you’re not around. They may know stories, which can inform you about certain things, but they are too afraid to open up.
Talk to them and make your maids feel it’s okay to tell you what they know. You must also assure them that whatever it is won’t be taken against them.
Making mistakes and hiding the truth
Maids sometimes fear speaking out and admitting their mistakes for fear that they might get in trouble. Be firm from the start that you have to know everything, including accidents or mistakes they commit.
You have to be informed so you can find solutions if needed. However, you also need to keep them informed about their responsibilities of being careful with how they do their work.
Not taking a rest day
Maids are given a scheduled day off each week for their well-being. If they refuse to use it for various reasons, such as trying to impress you or they want to finish their tasks ahead of time, ask them to prioritize their health. They have to use their rest days to recharge. It’s good for their health and overall wellness.
Through the years, many families in Singapore have hired maids to manage the house chores and take care of children or elderly members of the family. Regardless of why you need maids, it is best to prepare for the problems you may encounter along the way. It will also help if you have the services of a reliable maid agency, like RC Caregivers, that can make the process smoother and hassle-free.