Singapore Expats Forum

Help with setting up house rules for a helper

Discuss everything about domestic helper and babysitter issues here
User avatar
Posts: 9325
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: Help with setting up house rules for a helper

Postby x9200 » Thu, 14 Apr 2016 8:46 am

Nothing wrong with cctv providing everybody in the house knows about it. It is still about being a good employer and a good maid. If the employer will watch her every step and use whatever she does against her, this is an AH employer. Cctv is not going to change that. If the maid does something wrong, she will find the way to do it regardless the cctv, but cctv may help to detect and diagnose the problem faster. Main role of cctv at home is for a peace of mind.

We have cctv installed after after our son was born. 1 part time maid was fired based on the cctv records and a few potentially dangerous situations were prevented thanks to it.
Our nanny was diagnosed with severe hyperglycemia from completely out of control diabetes and the major part in it played the cctv, so don't be such smart a**es, it's just a tool and the rest depend on the owner of the tool.

Posts: 14
Joined: Tue, 19 Apr 2016

Re: Help with setting up house rules for a helper

Postby Azshec » Wed, 20 Apr 2016 3:53 am

anycer wrote:Hey guys, my wife and I are expecting a child and we're planning on hiring a live-in helper. I've been reading a lot about helpers in Singapore (here and elsewhere) and have a very good understanding of all the legal stuff and process. What I'm having trouble with is the more nuanced parts of living with a helper.

I'm worried that a lot of stuff that people post about online over index towards people who are, culturally, in a very different place from us. I understand that this person will be an employee, but they're also a person and we want to give them a certain level of freedom and respect. So, question is, how strict do the rules really need to be?

Below is the draft I wrote for "house rules" - my wife strongly disagrees with some of the rules I came up with. Those of you that have been through this, please help us find a reasonable middle ground!

Specific questions:
1. We want to give our helper two days off - I know that's not expected, but that's what we want to do. I think the helper should work for a few hours in the morning to feed the baby, etc. Wife thinks the helper should have the full day off, like they do on Sundays. We've had friends that give helpers both days off, but they always seem to be working anyway on Saturday morning, so I'm just trying to be pragmatic about it. What have you more experienced folks seen?

2. Wife doesn't want to dictate things like curfews, dress, phone use, visitors, etc. Her thinking is... this is an adult - they can do whatever they want as long as they're doing their job.

3. Am I missing anything? Or, am I overthinking things and is this too much nonsense for an experienced transfer helper? I plan on reviewing performance on every payday (good and bad) for the first few months and hope to use this as a framework.

Working Hours:

- Monday - Friday, 7am - 7pm
- Saturdays 7am-10am, except with advanced notice
- Sundays always off

General House Rules:

- You must follow Singapore laws, including not doing any part-time work during your off-days.
- No visitors to the house without permission.
- Ask permission if you need to use the house phone. Do not give out the house phone number to friends. It’s okay to provide the house phone number to family for emergency use.
- Always be honest with us. Don’t be afraid to tell us if something is broken. It’s okay if you make a mistake, just be honest about it.
- If you misunderstand anything, are confused about anything or are not sure how to do something, it’s okay to ask.
- Be home by 11 pm on your off-days. No overnight stays out of the house.
- Only use your mobile phone after baby is asleep at night. Remember to keep the phone on silent mode.
- If you feel like there is more work than you can handle, talk to us and we will work it out together.
- Tell us if you are not feeling well and we’ll help you see a doctor.
- Tell us if you need anything for yourself or your room and tell us if there are any classes or training that you want to take.
- We have no uniform, but always dress appropriately.
- You should retire to your room after dinner.

Housework Related Rules

- Always be careful when working. Your safety is important!
- Do not clean the exterior of windows.
- Try to remember our preferences. If you aren’t sure, it’s okay to ask.
- Do not leave sharp objects, detergent, washing power or other cleaning products where baby can get them.
- General clutter and baby toys should be organized daily. The home should always appear neat and organized.
- Bathrooms, floors and the kitchen should be kept clean as needed.
- Dishes and food should always be cleaned up before retiring for the night.
- You should keep your own room and bathroom clean and tidy.

Laundry & Cooking Related Rules

- Separate light and dark clothing before washing so that light clothing isn’t dyed and iron shirts and pants after drying.
- Check clothes pockets before items go in the wash.
- Keep the kitchen well stocked and complete grocery shopping as needed. You should keep all receipts.
- When cooking, wash your hands frequently, ensure that raw meat is kept separate from cooked food.
- Always ensure that food is clean and fresh. Throw out expired food.
- Always make sure you cook enough food for yourself to eat three healthy meals per day.

Baby Related Rules

- If you think baby needs to be disciplined, tell us.
- Never spank, hit or yell at baby.
- Watch baby closely when playing.
- Talk to baby often. It’s okay to talk to baby in your native language.
- Spend time outside with baby, but always cross the road carefully and ensure the way is safe. Don’t try to rush across.
- Always tell us if baby gets hurt or is not feeling well, even if it’s very minor.

You're definitely a good employer.. All in all ..

A few suggestions and i hope you dont mind.. Maybe you can consider to your list also: Avoid taking a photograph inside your place and post it on social media. I had a few friends that their helper do that, specially if theyr not around. Im not saying taking a photo is forbidden,I just think its not appropriate to post it in social media as it is like invading of privacy of the employer too..

2 days off day is but i dont think its necessary. On the other hand giving off during PH can use as a reward too..

And yes the hair must always tied up specially in the kitchen and while looking after the baby.. Its a hygiene purpose..

All the best to you..

  • Similar Topics
    Last post

Return to “Domestic Helper & Babysitter Issues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests