Even if you are the sort who manages your life perfectly down to a T, there are bound to be certain days of the month where you are just tired to the bone from work and could use a little help at times to get the household chores done. Especially in a day and age where we prioritise our careers over the other things in life, it might leave a few things hanging in the balance when we dedicate all our mental energy and physical strength to our work situation. If you are in need of some help, an advantage to making Singapore your home is the fact that domestic help here is much more affordable as compared to other countries like Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
From fixing up meals, tending to the kids or even doing the laundry, most expat families and singles turn to domestic help and it is no longer an uncommon occurrence due to the cost and ease of getting a domestic helper. There are two options, the full-time helper and part-time helper. Between the two, the most common option would be to apply for a live-in domestic helper who would tend to your household and ensure everything is in order around the clock. For those who feel like they do not need full-time help, part-time helpers are available as well and can be hired from anywhere between two hours to a whole day (eight hours), either independently or through a company. Read on to discover more about hiring a helper in Singapore.
How Much Do They Cost?
A huge deciding factor is its cost and depending on the frequency of your helpers, it could vary greatly. For part-time helpers, you can expect to pay anywhere between $10 to $20 an hour. While full-time helpers can be hired for around $450 to $650 a month, depending on their past experience. In addition to the monthly salary, the hiring of a full-time helper would require employers to also foot a monthly levy of $265 to the government and a security bond. What employers also have to be mindful of is that they are responsible for other costs like the providing of accommodation, insurance, food and medical care for the helpers. During the hiring process, there is also a hiring fee that could range from $400 for the maid agency to procure a suitable helper for your needs.
The Hiring Process
How the hiring process goes in the maid agency is similar to how a job interview or application works. You list down a few qualities that you would like in your helper like the ability to cook well, friendly with children and capable of taking care of pets, and the maid agency would search for a few candidates that best meet your requirements. Most of the time, the maid agencies would set up an opportunity for you to speak to the helpers and determine if their personality, skills and past experience are right for you. On the other hand, if you wish to source for a helper yourself, you can do so by logging onto the Ministry of Manpower website for more details. This might be a more complex process so take due notice unless you know of someone who has done so previously. A way that you can source for a helper yourself would be to look at your neighbourhood notice boards or through word of mouth from expats who are about to leave Singapore.
Because of how you are going to be in close proximity with your live-in helper, you have to be certain that your potential helper would be the right fit or be prepared to encounter many problems in the future. When you are ready to hire a maid, be sure to take note of these few things when interviewing potential candidates.
Proficiency in English
For some employers, it is important that their helpers are able to understand and communicate in the English language. While some of them are able to converse excellently during the interview, they might not fare as well in day-to-day scenarios like understanding a recipe from a cookbook and cooking up a delish meal. This is where you can ask them to read a recipe out loud to determine their proficiency in English to ensure that misunderstandings do not happen often in the household.
Understanding Their Strengths
It is important to be clear with what you expect from your potential helper. For instance, if you are an early riser, you have to communicate this to your helper that you would want your breakfast prepared at an earlier time and not every candidate would be able to accommodate to the different timing. This would also help the potential candidates determine if they are a good fit to your family as well for them to make a clear decision. Similarly, you can also ask them on their cooking skills or whether they are able to handle electronic appliances that you frequently use. For families with children, an important question that you need to ask is if they have a family back home for you to determine their experience in caring for children.
A helper can be a saving grace especially for those who struggle to find time to keep the house tidy and in order. Something that doesn’t get talked about often is how we have to show our appreciation for our helpers (regardless if they are part-time or live-in helpers). For them to come from their home country alone to work and support their family back home is a commendable act and nothing would put a smile on their face better than your appreciation.