4 Essential House Rules to Set with Your Maid for a Harmonious Home

Life in modern Singapore has only grown busier and more fast-paced over time, and as such, it’s now not uncommon for people to find themselves with barely any free time for housework. As a result, more and more Singaporean households have begun employing domestic helpers to assist with cooking, cleaning, laundry, supervising pets or children, and other essential housekeeping tasks.

If you’re looking for a fail-safe way to find a quality housekeeper, inquiring at a reputable maid Singapore agency is a good place to start. You can also help a new maid integrate better into your household by setting clear, compassionate, and practical ground rules from the outset. Having a candid conversation with a potential helper about what actions and behaviours you expect from her will prime her to practice them from day one.

4 Essential House Rules to Set with Your Maid for a Harmonious Home
4 Essential House Rules to Set with Your Maid for a Harmonious Home

Your living situation, your family’s day-to-day routines, and other factors will ultimately dictate what house rules it makes the most sense to set with your maid. However, you’ll probably find these four rules a good place to start:

Maintain Good Personal Hygiene

Your home should be your sanctuary, which means that it must be kept clean and free of germs, pollutants and other pathogens that can cause serious illness. Thus, it’s imperative for all members of the household to practice good personal hygiene. Doing so will help protect all members of the family, especially elders and small children. 

For your collective safety, it’s best to hold your domestic helper to the same standards of hygiene and cleanliness that you and your family members observe. Some more specific hygiene-related rules you can prescribe can include the following, among others:
  • Wash hands before and after cooking, eating, and using the toilet. If you have a baby in the house, your helper should also wash her hands before interacting with the baby. Brief your helper on proper handwashing techniques if she’s unfamiliar with them.
  • Bathe at least once daily, and brush teeth at least twice daily.
  • Observe proper grooming. Keep nails short and clean. Tie hair back neatly. 
  • No sharing of utensils, food or personal towels. Towels should be changed at least once each week.
  • No smoking in the house, especially if children are around.

Abide by Set Working Hours

Domestic helpers spend the entire day on their feet performing various kinds of manual labour around the house. Giving them adequate time to rest and recover helps them maintain their health and personal well-being, which in turn enables them to keep doing their best work.

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has laws in place to protect the rights of workers, including domestic helpers. According to the MOM, maids must work no more than eight hours a day if they work five days a week. Maids that work less than five days a week may work nine hours a day at most. Employers are also legally required to give maids one rest day a week. 

Before hiring your maid, discuss what hours of the day you expect her to work. You should also discuss which day of the week will serve as her rest day and write it out in her contract for clarity. In the event that you need your maid to work on her rest day, you should give her a substitute rest day at some point in the same month. 

It’s likewise humane to let your maid take short breaks from her tasks throughout the day. As long as she’s alert and responsive whenever you need her to do something, there’s nothing wrong with her taking time to rest every few hours or so.

Observe Proper and Respectful Behaviour

Ideally, you want a warm, trusting, and open relationship with your domestic helper. Setting a clear standard for proper behaviour is one fail-safe way to achieve this. For instance, you can have your maid abide by some or all of the following guidelines:
  • Greet other members of the household.
  • Keep personal information about the house and family to themselves.
  • Immediately own up to any mistakes or misunderstandings and avoid white lies.
  • Treat all guests, especially elders, with courtesy and kindness. 
  • No raised voices, physical abuse or verbal abuse, especially towards children. Prohibit your housekeeper from punishing your children for misbehaviours without informing you or securing your consent first.

Respect goes both ways, and it’s important to remember that your domestic helper is a person just as you and your family members are. Treat them with the same kindness and respect that you expect from them, and encourage the other members of your household to do the same. This will also give your domestic helper a positive example to follow. 

Take Regular Measures to Keep the House Secure

Your domestic helper also has a duty to protect your privacy and safeguard your home. Provide her with detailed instructions about which doors in the house must remain locked, what parts of the house are off-limits, and when to switch the lights on and off. Do also leave her clear instructions about receiving unexpected guests so that she knows what to say to someone who shows up unannounced and whether it’s safe to let them in.

Helpers provide much-needed support for busy households, and clear guidelines are often just what they need to do their jobs well. Take the time and effort to lay out house rules and expectations clearly with your maid and you can look forward to a warm, harmonious relationship.


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