Typical Maid Issues in Singapore: How to Avoid and Handle Them?

This article will focus on the typical issues faced by maids and how can employers avoid and handle them.

Curated by vivien

November 15, 2022


While your reliable Singapore maid agency assisted you and your maid to settle in, you are typically in charge of how you wish to handle your working relationship with her at home. Whether this is your first maid or not, you should still prepare for some issues that can arise while she is living with your family. Here are 12 typical issues you could have with your maid and how to easily avoid and resolve them.

They are not a good fit for your family.

When maids  move from one household to another, they frequently experience culture shock. She will find it difficult to fit into your family’s culture, therefore there’s a possibility she won’t get along with them. You may try sitting down with her and getting her opinion on the matter. You can next propose ways for her to change her attitude. Talk with the family member to come up with a compromise that will allow them to meet halfway at the same time! Getting a maid at home is similar to welcome a new family member in the end.

They are being dishonest.

When we say a maid is being dishonest, many elements are at play, including cultural differences. It’s important to keep in mind that you hired a foreign maid  in Singapore because this fact alone indicates that their home cultures are different. Be patient while repeating where specific items in the house should go because her dishonesty can have cultural roots. Encourage her to ask questions, and you could even provide her a printed manual that outlines how to arrange your home in your preferred way.

They are constantly on their phone.

It is advisable to establish house rules before your maid starts working. Make it obvious to her what you don’t want, such as using her phone too frequent. Let her know that she may only use her phone in an emergency, during her break, and her off days or hours. Additionally, inform her the risks involved with using a phone while performing her duties. Once she is aware of these guidelines, keep an eye on her behavior to ensure compliance.

They practice bad habits that affect you and your family.

Foreign maids typically complete training before being placed in a family through agencies. They learn table manners and other practices in this program that respect-showing employers like you would value. The habits of a maid, which can be annoying, are not changed by these training. For example, if she has lousy hygiene and it smells. When you ask them to take a shower twice daily, or especially after they completed some outdoor duties, be direct with her while remaining nice. Avoid coming off as accusing as doing so could irritate them and make them feel stressed.

They don’t know what boundaries are.

Your maid should treat your grandparents with the appropriate respect if you entrust them with their care. You should remind her to adjust her behavior and be more patient with the elderly if you ever catch her behaving angrily to the elderly. Explain to her in calm manner the idea of boundaries in Singaporean society, such as how elders are always taken seriously and with respect.

They take too long on one household task.

It should only take a decent amount of time to get to the grocery store. Therefore, if your maid needs a half-day, there must be a problem with her productivity! The language barrier can be an issue in this case. It can take a long time for her to cross everything off your list because she doesn’t comprehend what she needs to get. It won’t be a problem if you have a Chinese-speaking maid in Singapore. If you don’t, suggest some language classes she can take on her days off to sharpen her Chinese! Who knows? Your connection with your maid might even improve after that!

They feel exhausted emotionally.

During her stay with you, your maid may experience hardships as well. It could be a marital issue or a money one. Try to be understanding during this period and imagine yourself in her position. Any unpleasant news from her home can affect her career and health, lending her a sympathetic ear can be helpful. Ask her if she needs any kind of help, if not, express your sincere concern while allowing her to take some time off to recover or grieve. Her emotions must also be monitored because they have a big impact on the quality of her work.

They do not show initiative.

Some agencies may have taught the maids to be independent and take the lead on the work. There may be an issue of misalignment between the employer and maid. So let her know that whenever a basic chore needs to be completed, she always gets the go-ahead. She may feel more empowered because she is aware of your confidence in their ability to complete the responsibilities. Don’t forget to give her praise as well!

They refuse to take a day off.

Your maid must have a justification if she won’t take her planned day off. She may be trying to impress you or she may be just need the extra cash. If so, let her know that you are worried because if she doesn’t take her day off, she can become agitated from being overworked and perform poorly. Additionally, you can rearrange her work load so that you can teach her time management skills and prevent her from becoming overburdened with work. Introduce her to outdoor pursuits that she can take part in during her free time. It could also help her to chill if you invite her to join your weekend activities!

They made a mistake but failed to inform you about it.

Even when you are certain that your maid has taken great care, accidents might still occur. She should notify you right away if they damage property or if a member of the family falls ill while she is watching them. Assuring her that you won’t send her back after one of these mishaps or file a complaint with the maid agency would hopefully deter her from hiding things from you or lying to you in the future. Instead, clearly explain on the importance of informing you what occurred in order for them to speak up when things go wrong.

They are hesitant to communicate.

Foreign maids who travel to Singapore to work frequently have the most fascinating tales to share! You might enjoy talking to folks who have intriguing stories, but your maid might not be the same as you. She might be afraid to lose your authority and you may think that she is being disrespectful. You can assure her that you still value her respect and that your request for her to share some of her tales with you does not go beyond what is appropriate.

They could become pregnant.

The possibility that your maid might become pregnant while working for you is not implausible. You should first speak with the maid agency to learn more about how to handle this situation. The next step is to have a conversation with her and express your feeling to her about what has happened while she has been staying with your family. Employers must inform your maids  that pregnancy and childbirth are not allowed under a maid’s work pass in order to prevent this from happening.

According to Singapore law, employers are technically compelled to notify the Ministry of Manpower of helper’s pregnancies, which could result in the loss of the worker’s work permit and their deportation which may complicate their life and causing issues for their families. They should steer clear of such events by being fully informed of their obligations and motivations for working in Singapore.


Now that many families in Singapore, including your own, depend on foreign maids, it’s important to diffuse any conflicts that can arise while they’re staying with you. These suggestions would enable you to go beyond any obstacles in your relationship with your potential maid.


Every family deserves the best help and we’re here to help find you the perfect maid!

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