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The Ultimate Guide to Using a House Rule System for Your Maids

Nov 03, 2022

Considering modern hectic lifestyles, keeping a domestic helper is an absolute necessity for countless households in Singapore. Although many individuals today cannot survive without them, we nevertheless witness those who consider it to be routine. It takes compromises and, most importantly, respect from both parties to have a non-relative life with you around the clock.

Establishing house rules can assist in establishing expectations for both sides and foster a favorable work and home atmosphere as every household and domestic helper adheres to their own traditions and customs. By establishing rules for everyone to follow to limit misunderstandings, cultural diversity should be addressed early in order to prevent issues from arising.

What Is a Basic House Rule?

Even some of the more seasoned maids will need some time to adjust to living with employers and learning their standards and expectations.  It further makes it possible for everyone, particularly close relatives, to coexist and foster an atmosphere of harmony, respect, and integrity.

It is indeed a given for maids to easily acclimate to your way of life as an employer when you are patient and open with them. Naturally, there continue to be significant guidelines that every helper must go by and that you must be aware of, just like in any other profession. Just so your maid knows precisely what is expected of them, it is crucial to be as specific as you can when laying down the fundamental house rules.

The ground rules can be used as a guideline by both yourself and your maid, and by giving this on their first day, you might avoid possible problems with misunderstandings over their overall responsibilities. These rules, however, are aimed at making you feel more at ease while also not intending to weigh you or your household helper down.

5 Essential, Basic House Rules: Guide for Your Domestic Helpers

Maybe putting together a list of house rules before allowing your maid would be a smart idea. In addition, let them know that the rules are the healthiest way for them to grasp how your household functions. It would be challenging to establish overly detailed house rules for your maid; therefore, below are the five essentials:

1. Working Hours and Rest Days

While there is no set of rules that govern working hours, it is your responsibility as an employer to give your domestic helper enough time to recharge and take frequent breaks. It would indeed be unrealistic to expect them to handle household duties nonstop all day. However, if the domestic helper takes too many breaks, it is also unfair to the employer. 

To agree on this, talk to your domestic helper about how much adequate rest is fair, and make adjustments as you go. The day of the week during which the maid will have her rest day should be decided upon by both parties. It is also preferable to have this written confirmation in order to avoid disagreements in the future. 

2. Privacy

In essence, your domestic helper’s and your family’s safety must come first. Take considerable time discussing with your household help the ways they can contribute to making the house a safe place for everyone. Domestic workers should be carefully taught, for instance, which gates to close, as well as how to manage the house keys properly. Additionally, they must be aware of which places are restricted and which are not, as well as which lights should be turned on and which should be turned off. The domestic helper should have a rough idea of how to address unexpected visitors and whether to allow them inside if they are expected.

3. Maintain Proper Conduct

Ultimately, proper general hygiene, as we usually practice it, shields the family from severe infections. While household helpers are there to assist with the majority of those responsibilities, they are still entitled to be treated with respect. To do this, you must uphold the same hygiene standards to ensure protection. Encourage the maids to continue practicing good personal hygiene habits, such as taking showers, using the proper hand-washing techniques, or keeping their rooms tidy, especially during this pandemic. After all, how your domestic worker presents themselves speaks volumes about you as their employer.

Likewise, be respectful of your housekeeper and demand the same courtesy in exchange. Should they have any questions, tell them to come right to you. If your domestic helper respects you, feels secure, is in better mental and emotional health, and enjoys their work, they are more likely to continue working with you and devote more effort to the job at hand. It is indeed critical for them to understand how to serve other family members respectfully in addition to their employer. Provide any assertive yet respectful directions when dealing with the seniors or children in their care. There shouldn’t be any raised voices, threatening behavior, grabbing, hitting, beating, or any other physical violence, and the same goes for verbal abuse.

Above all, always tell the maids to speak with you immediately if they encounter any concerns. If they committed a mistake, they had better be honest about it and inform the employer.

4. In Times of Emergency

Having their domestic helper in fright and experiencing unrestrained emotions is the absolute worst thing anyone would like. Tell them what steps they can take to achieve a quick and effective resolution in such circumstances. Please feel free to provide them with guidance on whom they ought to contact and a complete contact list. Being the employer, you should be the very first person called in an emergency, followed by the authorities, a help desk, and other essential contacts.

5. They Too, Are Allowed to Take Some Time

Therefore, just like everyone else, our household helper leads a separate existence. Plans and ambitions, preferences and dislikes, family relationships, marriages, and even kids can all be considered. Show that they are their own person by treating them like one.

Remain sensible and fair when limiting your maid’s use of their mobile phone and the internet because she may be homesick and will feel better if you give her time to contact home every day. Most importantly, do establish firm limitations on whether they may invite someone or relatives to your household. Once more, it is entirely up to you whether you tolerate this and establish boundaries.

What Does It Take To Have That Healthy Employer–Maid Relationship?

The majority of employers make every attempt to communicate effectively with their employees and perceive them as relatives. Constant communication with the maids will undoubtedly be improved by a connection based on mutual confidence and understanding. The workers will eventually feel at ease talking about their own lives and troubles. But where should the line between being an employer and a domestic helper be drawn?

It really is true that having a positive relationship with your housekeeper is essential for maintaining your sense of security at home, especially when searching for long-term assistance. It is also crucial to understand how to supervise the process and exactly how to make it effective. Also, keep in mind that this will not be an easy task to carry out because it demands a great deal of concentration and focus. So as a head start, here are some things you, as an employer, can do:

  • Recognize and accept that your maids have weaknesses and limitations.
  • When laying out the ground rules and boundaries, be very explicit.
  • Never underestimate the power of honest, constructive communication.
  • Create a dependable employer-maid relationship that began with transparency and honesty.
  • Remember that showing respect for one another also entails appreciating one another’s time and personal space.

Every other household follows its own set of norms, but you must also take these aspects into consideration. Such an approach can significantly improve your chances of forming a lasting relationship with your maids.

It Only Takes the Right Amount of Discipline to Have a Healthy Household

Many of these guidelines sometimes seem straightforward to us. However, for domestic workers from various different cultural backgrounds, it may not obviously be fundamental information or common sense; setting some ground rules up front can help avoid mistakes and minimize safety and health risks. It is also recommended to be careful when hiring maids in Singapore, especially for the elderly. It is also best to go over this basic knowledge of rules with them during the interview to see if they are on board before employment. Regularly reviewing these rules is a great way to strengthen your working relationship with your household help. Although it won’t be simple, the outcomes could be exceptional. Or you may also seek assistance from Retire Genie as your partner in hiring maids. 

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