Do not terminate a good maid

There are times when you need to release the maid back to the Agency.  There are usually two main reasons:

a) Poor Aptitude
b) Poor Attitude

Poor Aptitude of the maid

Employers have certain expectations of their maids. Maids may not always be able to meet these expectations due to their lack of training, education or experience.  Most maids are highly motivated to work hard due to their financial situations but their abilities may fall short. Where a maid is diligent and willing to work hard, there are many things that the employer can do to help her along:

  • Provide encouragement and positive feedback
  • Provide clear instructions for the maid to follow
  • Provide a timetable or working schedule for the maid to follow
  • Teach and show her what exactly you want done
  • Make sure instructions are carried out. Don’t expect, inspect.
  • Exercise patience. Not many maids can cope with our high Singapore standards.
  • If language is an issue, the Agency can assist with a translator.
Poor Attitude of the maid
Some maids start off well but subsequently display a change in behaviour. To bring out the best in your maid, you may have to correct and discipline her. It is not pleasant but necessary. Regardless of the circumstances – a bad relationship, family troubles at home, financial crisis – the maid must know that her behavior is unacceptable.
It is best that the following is explained to the maid at the outset:
a) House rules – what is expected of her and what is unacceptable behavior in this household e.g no usage of handphone during working hours
b) Penalties for violation of house rules e.g restriction of usage hours, or withdrawal of wifi privileges
c) Steps for conflict resolution
  • Tell the maid that there is an unacceptable behavior
  • Allow the maid to tell her side of the story
  • Outline what change in behavior you expect to see in the maid
  • Tell her when you expect that change in behavior to happen
  • Ask the maid how you as the employer can help her make that change
  • Explain the penalties awaiting if the change does not happen
  • At a mutually agreed time, review if the unacceptable behavior has been resolved
  • If yes, do encourage and praise the maid,
  • If no, implement the penalties as agreed.
  • Inform the Agency
But what if the maid continues to break or ignore house rules? Repeat the process but increase the severity of the penalties. This is called progressive discipline. Typically the progression is from oral warnings to agency investigation and finally to termination. If all else fails, then you may initiate termination procedures. 
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