In any relationship, there are the inevitable rough edges that need to be ironed out regularly. If not handled well, they can balloon into unnecessary problems and disruption to your family life. These are extreme cases but nevertheless it is good to know what to do if they ever happened to you.
1) What happens when your maid’s work starts to falter?
Identify the root causes of the performance discrepancy. Is it because of the lack of skills, or lack of motivation? Is it physical fatigue or the family situation back home? Once the cause of the problem is correctly identified, you are better placed to take appropriate action.
2) What to do when your maid’s attitude takes a turn for the worse
Identify the root causes of the attitude change. Objectively, let her communicate with you so that you can understand her situation. Has she been comparing with other maids? Has her family situation changed? If the attitude becomes intolerable, do consult the agency. We will provide pastoral counselling and recommend to you the best course of action, including possible dismissal. The agency is able to provide a interpreter if needed.
3) What to do when your maid wants to borrow money
Refrain from lending on impulse, but listen and understand her situation. If wish to lend her the money, do let the agency know and allow us to facilitate the lending, with written records. Our counterparts in Myanmar would be able to verify the facts for you. For example, if the maid says that her mother is very sick in hospital, our counterparts would be able to verify that.
4) What to do when your maid runs away
You must inform the agency immediately. Make every effort to track her down and persuade her to return home. If the maid runs to the embassy or an NGO for refuge, this will result in a prolonged investigation. During this time you will be without a maid, resulting in great inconvenience to the family. It is best that such a situation be not allowed to develop. Keep an open communication with the maid and be sensitive to what might be troubling her. If you sense that things are coming to a boil, contact the agency immediately.
5) What to do during medical emergencies
Inform the agency immediately. Send the maid to hospital or call an ambulance. Her hospitalization fees are covered under the medical insurance plan that you subscribed to at the beginning of the contract.
6) What to do if the maid has a serious (terminal) illness
You are legally responsible for all her medical fees, even in excess of the medical insurance that you purchased for her. If you have reason to believe that your maid has a long-term illness, inform the agency immediately. The agency will advise you on the appropriate course of action.
7) What to do if you need to repatriate the maid
If for any reason you need to send the maid home before her contract ends, you must inform the agency at least two weeks beforehand (or based on your contract). Failing which, you would not be entitled to any refunds from the agency (where applicable). Please note that MOM continues to hold you responsible for the maid if you fail to cancel the helper’s work permit before repatriation. That means that if something happens to her enroute home, you are still responsible.
8) What to do if you need to terminate the maid’s contract prematurely
In the unfortunate event that you need to terminate the contract of the maid, discuss the situation with the agency. If termination is still needful after counselling and mediation, make arrangements to send the maid to the agency. You will receive a free replacement where applicable as per contract. You must sign a Letter of Consent to transfer the maid to another employer. Many terminations are due to poor job fit. Maids who are unsuitable for one employer may perform well with another household.
9) What to do if your maid is dishonest or caught stealing from you?
If you have established the house rules, the consequence of this offence would be clear. It is well within your right to dismiss and repatriate her, or report her to the police. However, you must note that after you have filed a police report and the maid is held for investigation, you may not be able to hire another maid pending the outcome of the police and MOM investigation.