Should You Direct Hire A Maid Or Engage A Maid Agency In Singapore

Today, most families depend on a maid agency in Singapore to hire a helper for their household, while some would prefer directly hiring a maid themselves.

In a fast-paced society with increasingly demanding work conditions, dual-income parents and rapidly ageing population, it is no surprise that Singaporean families are set to depend on domestic helpers even more. For most, hiring a domestic helper is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

However, some would argue otherwise. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of having a maid to help put things into perspective.

Advantages of having a maid

  1. You can spend more time with family
  2. More supervision over your children
  3. Have a helping hand
  4. Well-kept house
  5. More personal time

1. You can spend more time with family

After a long day at work, it is a relief to come back for dinner. It is also good to know that there is someone to take care of the dishes and the cleaning up while you spend some quality time with your family.

Having someone responsible for the housework or cooking, means you have more time to spare and this time can be spent more meaningfully with family whom you have not seen for the whole day.

2. More supervision over your children

If you have children, a lived-in maid will be able to pick them up from the gates when they return from school and supervise them when the parents are busy at work.

There is also no need to bring them out with you whenever you need to run some errands out of home or look for a babysitter when you have urgent appointments.

Having a helper around helps you save time on travelling to and fro places and lessens your worries whenever you have to leave your children alone as they are always accompanied by another adult.

3. Have a helping hand

This is one of the main reasons why people hire a maid, as having a helping hand to help with almost anything around the house helps to save time completing housework and complete chores more efficiently.

For example, if the fridge is empty, your helper can leave the home in the middle of the day to stock up on any ingredients and she can also prepare the food in advance to save you the trouble of cooking and cleaning afterwards.

4. A well-kept house

A maid can clean your house daily, keeping your house cleaner than it has ever been.

Sometimes, there is not enough time to mop and wait for the floor to dry before leaving for work, having a helper complete these chores for you early in the morning lets you bask in the cleanliness of your house without worrying about it collecting dust or bacteria.

5. More personal time

Other than granting you more time with your family, you are also given more time to spend on yourself to do the things you want and like. This could mean going on a date night with your spouse or visiting the salon for a hair dyeing session.

Disadvantages of having a maid

  1. Responsible for an additional person
  2. Take time to build trust
  3. Over reliant on helper
  4. Extra cost

1. You are responsible for an additional person

As an employer, you will need to address any issues in a respectable manner, such as if she is slacking in her household chores or has an attitude problem.

Some employers are not good at managing maid, leading to more stressful and tense environments at home.

2. Take time to build trust

Having a stay-in maid means inviting a stranger into your home. It is important to check the helper’s background and ensure that she can be trusted when you are not around.

It will be very challenging in the beginning to entrust your children and valuables at home with her and it will take some time for you to build trust between you and your helper.

3. Over reliant on helper

As the helpers are the ones who spend the most time with your children, it is not surprising that the children can be more attached to the helpers. It is something that can’t be helped sometimes.

4. Cost

It is not cheap to hire a helper. Other than her minimum salary, there are other costs incurred such as licenses and processing fees that need to be paid to the maid when the application is approved.

Medical insurance will also need to be bought in order to help the maid in the case of any medical emergencies.

Engaging a maid agency in Singapore vs direct hire

If it’s your first time hiring a maid, you may be confused about the differences between hiring a helper directly or through a maid agency. Allow us to break it down for you.

  1. Finding your domestic helper
  2. Employing your domestic helper
  3. Issue resolution

1. Finding your domestic helper

The easiest way to find a maid is to look for transfer maids that are already in Singapore. As they are very limited, you might have to compromise on your list of requirements in order to find one as soon as possible. If you are unable to find one then the helper needs to first be recruited in her home country.

Maid agencies will tend to have offices in those countries in order to recruit potential talents to be brought to Singapore for training.

What most people do is to source online or through personal contacts or social media presence.

However, aspiring or new maids will tend to take the safer and more familiar route of joining a maid agency that someone they knew have found jobs in.

Hiring a helper directly can help you save costs from paying maid agency fees. However, as an employer, you are expected to prepare the necessary documentation for your helper in order for her to come and leave the country according to government standards.

A maid agency might provide maid training (but it is not guaranteed at every agency). If you are doing this on your own, you must be prepared to take more time and patience to train your helper and allow her to adapt to her new tasks and living arrangements.

2. Employing your domestic helper

It’s possible to apply for a work pass via a guideline shared on the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) website online.

You will only need to have all the necessary documents ready in order to finalise the process on your own.

Alternatively, you can skip the readings and leave it to the professionals (re: maid agencies) to handle all these admin work efficiently and correctly.

3. Issue resolution

When trouble arises, that is when hiring the help of a maid agency might be the better choice.

Sometimes after successfully hiring and bringing a maid over, your expectations might not meet reality, the maid might get homesick or behave in an inappropriate manner.

The biggest benefit of a maid employment agency is handling the replacement process for you in a reasonably short period of time.

If you hired a maid directly, your only choice is sending her back or encouraging her to look for new employers, before restarting the process all over again. Until then, she will still be your responsibility to look after.

Hire a maid agency to handle all the trouble

As such, it is better to hire domestic helper services through a reputable maid agency so that you can skip the hassle of preparing the documents and working your way through the complex process.

With the money that you spend, you should be able to choose the best maid that matches your needs and expectations.

Leave it to the professionals at Homekeeper, and let us get you started on hiring a suitable domestic helper for your unique needs today.

About the Author

Linda Seh has over 20 years of experience in the Employment industry. She takes the time to thoroughly interview each family and helper to understand their requirements, personalities, and preferences. Her intuition and insight has helped her make placements that result in lasting, harmonious working relationships. Linda now leverages this expertise and experience to simplify your search and ensure you find the ideal and qualified helper to become a valued member of your family.