There comes a time in the lives of many Singapore households when the question of whether or not to hire a foreign domestic helper is raised.
Some households swear by their helpers, without whom they would not be able to cope with the demands of childrearing or eldercare while juggling stressful careers at the same time.
But for others, a live-in foreign domestic worker is a luxury that makes life more convenient and frees up time for other pursuits. In fact, some families in Singapore even employ more than one helper so each one can specialise in a particular set of tasks such as housework or looking after pets. Others employ maids just to look after the house so they don’t have to.
So is a helper an essential or a luxury for your household?
Essential: Bed-ridden or elderly family members that need constant care
For households with elderly or bedridden family members that need round-the-clock care, hiring a domestic helper is often the only solution. Even in single-income families, looking after an elderly or disabled person is often too much, physically and mentally, for one person.
A helper can offer constant care that family members cannot. In the case of a single-income household with one family member who is able to stay home most of the time, a helper can offer some relief as well as physical assistance where two are needed.
Essential: Young children in dual-income families
More and more families in Singapore are now dual income. When it comes to childcare for infants or young children, a domestic helper is often a more economical choice than enrollment in childcare or infant-care, with the added perk of help with household chores and cooking.
A domestic helper also offers greater flexibility compared to childcare, as the parents do not have to rush to pick the kids up at a fixed time. What is more, a helper can offer the constant supervision young children need when the parents are occupied or not at home.
For families with more than one child, the cost-savings enjoyed by employing a domestic helper rather than enrolling the kids in childcare are even more pronounced.
Luxury: Only needed for the housework and cooking
For households with neither young children nor elderly or disabled people, helpers are a luxury rather than a necessity.
That being said, many households in this situation do employ domestic helpers nonetheless as it frees them from having to do their own housework or cooking.
Luxury: More than one helper
Some affluent households in Singapore hire more than one domestic helper in order to enjoy more specialised help. For instance, one helper could be tasked with preparing meals, and another with cleaning.
Given the costs in terms of both money and space, this option tends to be enjoyed only by wealthier households with large properties that require a lot of time to maintain.
Before welcoming your helper, protect her with maid insurance from HL Assurance so she can carry out her tasks with peace of mind.