Foreign domestic helpers are an integral part of many Singapore households. They help cook, clean and look after the kids and elderly while their employers are busy at work or enjoying these free moments to spend quality time with their family.
If you’ve decided to employ a foreign domestic helper, here are some steps you should take.
Visit a maid agency
As a first-timer, your first port of call is likely to be a maid agency. Many maid agencies specialize in foreign domestic workers from a particular country, so you should first decide on the nationality you prefer.
Make sure the agency you are using is accredited by the Ministry of Manpower. It is also a good idea to go with a reputable agency that has not been penalized with high demerit points by the Ministry of Manpower.
Interview and select a helper
The agency will let you browse their available foreign domestic workers and interview those that interest you.
If you are looking for a helper with certain types of skills or experience, such as looking after babies or the elderly, let the agency know and they will try to find helpers who fit your criteria.
Then, take the time to interview your prospective helpers one-to-one, not forgetting to assess their language abilities and experience. You’ll also want to consider whether you wish to hire a new helper who doesn’t have experience before or someone who had already worked in Singapore before.
Arrange for maid insurance
Maid insurance with at least $15,000 of medical coverage as well as personal accident coverage of at least $60,000 is compulsory for all employers of foreign domestic helpers in Singapore.
Take the time to look for a good maid insurance policy, as not all policies are created equal. It is also a good idea to get a maid insurance policy that guarantees to pay the security bond if you break the rules. This will also save you from having to fork out the $5,000 security bond upfront.
It is worthwhile getting a good maid insurance policy not only for peace of mind should your helper get sick or injured, but also for benefits like alternative help compensation should your helper be unable to work.
Pay the security bond
Before your non-Malaysian helper arrives at your home, you will need to place a security bond with the Ministry of Manpower amounting to $5,000. If your insurance company is not taking care of this, you can purchase a bond from a bank. If your helper is from the Philippines, you will also have to pay a Philippine bond of up to $7,000.
This bond will be returned to you a week after your maid leaves Singapore at the end or termination of her contract, provided none of the conditions of the bond have been violated, such as by not paying her salary on time.
Make preparations for the arrival of your helper
You are now ready to welcome your helper!
Make preparations for her arrival by preparing a room or private space for her to sleep, and make plans to give her a tour of the home and adequate training.
Even if your helper is an experienced hire, don’t assume she will know how things are done in your home. It’s always a good idea to show her the ropes step by step, such as by teaching her how the various household appliances work, and making your expectations clear as to her duties.
Protect your helper with a good maid insurance policy from HL Assurance so she can do her best work for your family.