#1 Job Restrictions
No doubt these maids are here to alleviate your workloads, employers should be aware that they are only allowed to perform certain duties. Generally, the duties of maids often include the following: general housework, cleaning, laundry, ironing, grocery shopping, cooking, taking care of children/elderly/pets.
Other job scopes such as washing cars, gardening, massages and repair work are not labelled as ‘domestic’ housework chores, and thus are not approved by the Ministry of Manpower. Although, if both parties are agreeable to the terms of the the mentioned extra work, it needs to be stated clearly in the contract before it is signed.
The employer is also not allowed to have the maid to assist in businesses such as working in a shop or even as simple as preparing ingredients for a food stall. Furthermore, the maid is not allowed to work part-time for anyone else other than the employer who employed her. Aside from the employer restrictions, the maids themselves are not allowed to earn extra income during their spare time.
In the event that the maid is caught working part-time or doing non-domestic work, the employer may be blacklisted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), preventing the employer from hiring any maids in the future. To avoid any mishap, it is important for the employer to be aware on what are the duties the maid can and cannot do. These maids are an additional pair of helping hands, they may be able to help you out with a lot of things, but do expect to also share some of the workload.
#2 Maid ‘s Accommodation
Just like anyone of us, without proper sleep and rest, we will not be able to function at our best. Since the maid’s job is often physically demanding, it is important to ensure that your maid has sufficient rest to last a days worth of work. MOM has a set of guidelines/checklist for employers to adhere to.
The accommodation should protect the maid from environmental elements such as heat, rain, or strong winds.
- It is unacceptable to have the maid sleep in the balcony.
You must at least provide the maid with a mattress, pillow, blanket, bathroom amenities and toiletries. Examples of toiletries include soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
- Some employers provide additional money on top of the maid’s salary to purchase their own personal toiletries. Whereas other employers tag along with the maid to purchase the toiletries that the maid needs.
Your maid’s living space must be sufficiently ventilated. Mechanical ventilation (e.g. electrical fan) must be provided if natural ventilation is inadequate.
- Some maids may not be used to or comfortable with using the air-conditioner. It is common for employers to purchase an electric fan for ventilation.
Your maid must not sleep near any dangerous equipment or structure that could potentially cause harm or hurt to her.
Your maid must not sleep in the same room as a male adult or teenager. If you install video recording devices at home, you must inform your maid of the devices and where they are placed. You must not install them in areas that will compromise her privacy or modesty, e.g. where she sleeps, change clothes, or the bathroom area.
- Placing a camera in the maids’ designated room is a breach of privacy.
- Maids can sleep in the same room as a male elderly, but has to be on a separate bed.
- Maids can also sleep in the same room as young children or babies.
Space and Privacy
You should provide your maid with a separate room. If that is not possible, you must ensure that her accommodation has adequate space and privacy.
- Some employers do not have an extra room for the maids to sleep in, therefore provide partition walls in the living room to create a makeshift private area for the maid to sleep in.
#3: Maid’s Off-days
Currently, employers are only encouraged to provide 1 off day per week (4 off days a month – commonly on a Sunday) to allow for your maid to rest and recuperate.
Mentioned on 22 July 2021, MOM stated that in order to boost the support for maids and their well-being, all maids will be entitled to a minimum of 1 off day a month, with effect from end-2022. This decision was based on creating more opportunities for maids to form their own support systems outside the household.
Generally, employers allow for their maids to leave as early as 6am and come back by 8pm, just about the time when the sun sets. As much as it is the maids’ off-day, as an employer you need to practice the due diligence of ensuring that the maid returns back home safely. Do note that the maid is not allowed to sleep else where aside from your house during their off-day.
Maids often use their off-days to head out to socialise or in some cases, choose to spend their off days resting at home. During such occurrences, the maid should not be asked to work. In the case that you and your maid reach an agreement for her to work on her days off, she must be compensated for those worked off days. The amount to be compensated for each off day can be calculated by dividing her monthly salary by 26. For instance: Monthly salary $700 / 26 days = $27/off-day (Rounded up)
Hiring a full-time maid for your household does come with its own set of benefits, but it has its own set of responsibilities and costs that need to be carefully considered before making the decision. If you put in the time and effort to build a positive relationship and manage your maid effectively, you will find that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.