“Woman who beat maid jailed 25 months”, “10 weeks’ jail for a maid who bit six-month-old boy”. We Singaporeans are all too familiar with this kind of news headlines as we observe an increasing trend of such incidents taking place in the past few years.
Due to our busy lifestyles and the increase in ageing population, Singapore’s need for domestic helper is still ever-growing. However, the increase in such awful incidents occurring between helpers and employers would deter many away from hiring a helper when they need one. Many of these incidents would have been prevented if there were better communication efforts and a mutually respectful relationship between these helpers and their employers. Therefore, we should learn to take the necessary steps and actions to improve communication efforts and relationship with our helpers to keep the household environment safe for our family members and helpers too. There are many elements to improving the relationship and below are some recommendations by us.
Many of these helpers travelled a long way being away from home to work in Singapore so that they could provide a livelihood for their families back at home. Therefore, they too deserve to be treated fairly and most importantly, with respect. Some employers take their helper for granted by assuming that they can ‘command’ them to do anything they want at any given time because they pay them wages, and this is not the way we want to treat our helpers. Simple gestures of showing them the appreciation for what they do such as by saying ‘thank you’, goes a long way in building a mutually proper relationship between you and your helper. Especially if we have children at home, we would be setting a good example for them how we should be treating anyone; with respect. Little gestures like this would also improve the helpers’ work attitude, a win-win situation indeed.
Privacy is a fundamental human right recognised in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and anyone including our helpers deserves privacy just like we do. Employers should try to give helpers enough personal space and not pry into their private affairs during their own time. Also, there is no need to check on their personal belongings unless you have reasonable doubt or proof that they are committing acts of theft and so on. Unreasonable and constant ‘spot checks’ will only create anxiety for both you and your helper and indicates that you have minimal trust for your helper. This will affect your helper’s work performance and attitude, after all, no one likes being doubted for his or her integrity or be called a thief for no reason at all.
Communication is one of the essential elements to sustaining a healthy relationship between employers and helpers. Employers should always engage in conversations with helpers on expectations, access to the current situation and advising on how to further improve their performance at home. Employers should also give their helpers chances to raise their concerns or thoughts as well, to address their issues that they may be facing. Only through constant communication will then create a good relationship between employers and helpers as both parties understand each other’s need and concerns and how to go about solving them.
4.Physical & Mental Well-being
Only with good physical and mental health, will then enable helpers to finish her task effectively and be more productive. Employers should as much as possible, allow helpers to get enough rest every night (at least 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep) and occasional short breaks in the day for them to be able to work effectively. Also, encourage your helper to take off days once in a while if they do not take them often. Working and living in the same household environment for a long extended period can be mentally strenuous on the mind, and the best way to mitigate it is to take some occasional holidays. Don’t be afraid to offer your helper some paid holidays (when possible) out of goodwill for them to go out of the house and get some fresh air and have some free time of their own. You will be surprised how such a small gesture will go a long way in their attitude towards you and their work.
With the aim to provide you with a sincere After Sales service, Best Housekeeper Singapore can help your feelings of unease and nervousness with regards to your new maid. The agency offers a free replacement for one year after your new hire: if you are not satisfied with your helper, let the agency know, and they will strive to arrange for a better replacement. Best Housekeeper promises to only deliver the best service possible to you and your family, through understanding your needs and seeking for a helper whom best matches your requirements. As a reputable domestic helper agency in Singapore, rest assured that you will be given a reliable and trusted service, with hassle-free procedures. For more information, take a look at Best Housekeeper Singapore’s services at www.besthousekeeper.sg