When selecting a maid, think of the reasons why do you need one (e.g. for infant care, childcare, eldercare or general household chores). Once you have a clear mindset on that, look for a suitable maid who fits your needs. But be realistic – you may never be able to find a maid who can do everything you ask of her.
Tell your EA what are your priorities. You should ask to personally speak to and, if possible, meet up with the maid whom your EA recommends. If she is overseas, ask your EA to set up a web or telephone interview.
Read her biodata thoroughly. Ask the EA on the steps they have taken to make sure the biodata is accurate. Remember to ask your EA for any employment history she has in Singapore.
Caring for Infant and Children
- Can communicate with you in a language of your choice, able to understand your instructions and communicate with your children.
- Preferably has experience in taking care of an infant or young child.
Caring for Elderly or Physically Challenged
- Able to speak the same language as the person who needs care.
- Physically strong if the family member needs help to move around.
- Has experience in taking care of someone in a similar condition. For example, if you have a wheelchair-bound family member, the maid with such caregiving experience will be more familiar in helping them to move around.
- Can communicate with you in a language of your choice, in order to understand your instructions.
Keeping Your Maid Safe
All first-time maids must attend a one-day Settling-In Programme (SIP). The course covers her work permit conditions, her rights and responsibilities and the risks of working at heights. Every maid is also required to practice cleaning windows and hanging laundry safely and assessed by the trainer via a ‘Trainer’s Observation Checklist’, which highlights areas where the maid may require closer supervision and additional training from her employer. The Checklist is given to the maid to hand it to her employer.
Although training is set up to stimulate a typical Singaporean home as far as possible, employers should know that every home environment is different. You have to do your part to coach and make sure that your maid continues to practice the workplace safety tips that they have learnt from this course. Employers must supervise her and make sure that she does not put herself in any situation that may endanger her life.
If you hired a maid through an employment agency, your agency should have prepared a safety agreement to be signed by you and your maid, as required by law. It serves as a check that you and your maid understand the safety measures to be taken if you need your maid to clean the window exterior and that you have received safely-related materials issued by MOM through the SIP.