How to help your new maid settle into your household

5 Tips to Settle Your New Maid In

Congratulations on hiring a new maid! Now that you’ve chosen a helper for your home, you now enter into a time of ‘firsts’ — even if it’s not her first time working in Singapore, she’s never worked in your home before, so she probably knows little about your neighbourhood and next to nothing about your household. Things will take a little getting used to.

Prospective domestic helpers receive training at agencies or in their home countries, but these training centres often leave many skills to be learnt on the job. A little effort on your part as an employer can get her settled into life here. Let’s explore!

#1 Show her how you would normally carry out domestic chores

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Just as you would look for direction when helping to cook in someone else’s kitchen, your domestic helper now looks to you. If she is expected to cook for the household, show her how you would prepare a meal and where she can find essential items like pots, dishes and spices. Show her how you segregate your fridge and how you would dry and store your dishes and utensils. Beyond the kitchen, show her the standards to which your home should be kept clean, and how often she should clean.

Some of these things may seem obvious to you, but your maid may appreciate the extra guidance. On her part, these demonstrations can save her a good amount of confusion. Meanwhile, they can help you get to know your maid and her learning style better.

#2 Show her how to get around

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If your maid has never lived in Singapore, she may need some help getting acquainted with the public transportation system here. Let her know how to find the nearest bus stop and MRT station from your home.

A gracious gesture on your part would be getting her an EZ Link card if she doesn’t already have one. If you are not already paying for her transportation, you should pay minimally for the trips she takes to get groceries or complete other responsibilities for your home.

#3 Get her started with the shopping

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If you entrust grocery shopping to your maid, then it’s important to show her where she can get groceries around your neighbourhood. Particularly if your maid is not comfortable in English, you may need to show her what you mean when referring to particular products, and which you usually get. Accompanying her on several shopping trips in the beginning can help familiarise her with your typical shopping list.

If she is expected to shop far from your home, your responsibility lies in ensuring she has a comfortable means of getting home that does not involve carrying heavy or bulky items over long distances.

#4 Introduce her to other domestic helpers in your area

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We being social creatures, friends are an important aspect of life. For your maid, having friends could make all the difference to her adjustment, not to mention feel more welcome in her new surroundings. That said, exercise care when reaching out to other domestic helpers in your area. Some employers are stricter than others, with some preferring that their maids not interact with others when they should be working. Seek the permission of your neighbours before taking your maid to meet theirs.

#5 Introduce her to your household

This may sound like a natural step, but familiarising your maid with the members of your household and their lifestyles will help her get used to living with them. This prevents surprises, such as if for example, any member of your family works late shifts and comes home very late at night.

Especially where caring for children and the elderly are concerned, make sure to provide clear directions on how to attend to them.

#TiqOurWord Beyond making your maid feel welcome in your home, let her know she is safe as she works with a comprehensive maid insurance plan. With coverage on medical and repatriation expenses, your new relationship is secure in the knowledge that you are both prepared to face all possibilities. Learn more here.

A good working relationship

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Adapting to a new environment can be challenging, especially given the overwhelming amount of information she will need to remember for her daily tasks. Above all, be patient if your maid doesn’t remember everything right away, and offer the guidance you’d hope to receive in her position. Establishing a good working relationship with your maid takes effort on both sides, so here’s off to a good start!

Information is accurate as at 26 July 2019. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

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