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What's with the live-in maids?!

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 26 Jul 2015 5:09 pm

x9200, it's the same in the US as well as Europe. I've never really been able to figure it out either. As I pointed out, I was gone for two months at a time back then so to enable her to work at night it was pretty essential (had she worked a day job then it would have been much easier).

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Re: RE: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Sun, 26 Jul 2015 5:11 pm

ecureilx wrote:
marc.favroo wrote:Does anyone else feel like this is strange (it has such a slave-y vibe to it)? Is it just me being European and not used to the Singaporean ways?


Feels strange, because, minus the strict laws, if Singapore allowed freelance maids or didn't enforce strict monitoring, just from Malaysia alone, a 100,000 + will bus in to do part time work and run back by evening, sans paperwork or legal obligations, never mind the millions who come here as tourist, from poorer ASEAN countries ... will find visiting Singapore as a tourist is very profitable.....

Singapore has rules in place to prevent abuse. Though some laws may seem drastic like using a sledge hammer to kill an ant....

Feels strange because the social architecture of Singapore makes people to compromise on their privacy by placing in their house, a private and intimate space a stranger from another word with the regulations and the level of wages making this person de facto a slave.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Sun, 26 Jul 2015 5:34 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:x9200, it's the same in the US as well as Europe. I've never really been able to figure it out either. As I pointed out, I was gone for two months at a time back then so to enable her to work at night it was pretty essential (had she worked a day job then it would have been much easier).

There are obviously cases when a help is needed but these are not just based on the simple fact that two parents are working. Must be something more than this and while in many other countries the whole school and service infrastructure supports the working parents in Singapore the same type of infrastructure happily relies on the fact that majority of working people have maids.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby msteengaard » Sun, 26 Jul 2015 7:41 pm

Try homegenie which I believe has changed to singtask.com. $30 for 2 hours, service has been fine, need to provide cleaning product

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby martincymru » Sun, 26 Jul 2015 10:21 pm

For eample: I want to set up a cleaning agency or let's say any other Company. Cannot, 'cos I am on an EP (employment pass).

Until the govt here loosen the Rules then we will continue to see service "gaps" . The demand is there but the supply match is not.

You are right, trying to find reliable cleaners/maids (part time) is very difficult.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 26 Jul 2015 10:47 pm

The widespread existence of full time live-in maids are made possible due to the availability of an underclass willing to work in that profession. The govt being the enabler as they wanted to size up the economy by encouraging women in the work force. After having a taste of the freedom from domestic and parental chores, there are women who prefers to work, rather being a stay home mom. Compared to one generation ago, where there were more stay home moms. The trend changed quite quickly on that one.

In the US, the foreign underclass works in varied jobs e.g. gardeners, bust boys , farming, construction ...... Having a full time live-in is cost prohibitive and there is also cultural issue. Privacy.

I had a discussion about this with hubby. Replacement of pets companionship with human companionship since the previous has less drama and takes less effort. Cultural differences such as preferences for being with other people or a group vs being independent and enjoying your own personal space, peace and privacy. Away from the glaring eyes of another human.

After having been thru the experiments of having lived-ins, many nowadays have concluded the headaches involved are not worth the trouble. After you come home from a hard days work, do you want to spend your time managing your maid? More are opting out and there is a market for part time housekeepers in SG. However, the housekeeping service industry is going thru developmental stage and is fine-tuning itself.
Last edited by earthfriendly on Sun, 26 Jul 2015 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 26 Jul 2015 11:00 pm

Lifestyles and social trends are constantly changing, evolving and devolving.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby marc.favroo » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 2:50 am

Yeah, I am not buying the necessity argument to be honest - I think the preponderence of live-in maids is driven by low price - I think having a live-in maid in London (for example) is around 4-5 times more expensive in relative terms (e.g. as a percentage of average salary)...I think another huge chunk of the explanation is entirely cultural...people are more used to having a live-in maid...in the UK at least, it is a symbol of poshness (even being spoiled...)...

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 3:58 am

marc.favroo wrote:Yeah, I am not buying the necessity argument to be honest - I think the preponderence of live-in maids is driven by low price - I think having a live-in maid in London (for example) is around 4-5 times more expensive in relative terms (e.g. as a percentage of average salary)...I think another huge chunk of the explanation is entirely cultural...people are more used to having a live-in maid...in the UK at least, it is a symbol of poshness (even being spoiled...)...


Live in maids are a lot more expensive than renting a part time maid. You must carry medical and accident insurance. You must pay for one flight home per year. You must offer one day off, provide proper food, drink, and housing. You pay a maid levy of $265 per month plus a maid salary of $500 minimum (and you will have to pay substantially more for an experienced maid).

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 5:22 am

And the main reason the maids are lived-in is due to expediency. They are brought in specifically as domestic workers, what other options are available to house them?

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 5:36 am

x9200 wrote:
As of the enslaved-living-in vibe, to give you a better idea what Singapore is about, just consider this: comparing to Europe, the market for dishwashers (the machines) practically doesn't exist.


Cheap labor. I have heard this from another Singaporean. Singapore is a Ist world country with 3rd world wages.

A friend who worked for a major real estate developer had mentioned to me, over a decade ago, their company was actually looking to install dishwashers in residences. However, the configuration of the racks are not useful for Asian dishes (big bowls?) and cutlery. If dishwasher manufacturers do a bit market research, there may be a market there and they can always customized to local needs. Chicken and egg ..... Such a huge untapped markets. Japan, China, Korea, south Asia..... Ka-ching.........ka-ching

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 6:12 am

Hey Martin, if you are interested in investigating a bit more. I recently read about a German housekeeping franchise trying to set up operation in SG. However, the company's name escape me.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 7:04 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
marc.favroo wrote:Yeah, I am not buying the necessity argument to be honest - I think the preponderence of live-in maids is driven by low price - I think having a live-in maid in London (for example) is around 4-5 times more expensive in relative terms (e.g. as a percentage of average salary)...I think another huge chunk of the explanation is entirely cultural...people are more used to having a live-in maid...in the UK at least, it is a symbol of poshness (even being spoiled...)...


Live in maids are a lot more expensive than renting a part time maid. You must carry medical and accident insurance. You must pay for one flight home per year. You must offer one day off, provide proper food, drink, and housing. You pay a maid levy of $265 per month plus a maid salary of $500 minimum (and you will have to pay substantially more for an experienced maid).

Any living in maid (liM) is never used for cleaning/ironing only so you just can not compare based on the fact that the ptMs are used for a few hours a week to clean and iron. Besides, they are used only for such limited time because they are relatively expensive (hourly rate).

Now you may try to do a bit more fair comparison and assume you need somebody to replace a liM by a local workforce for a family with younger kids and only for the time both parents are away for work. You may assume an hourly rate to be anything above S$15. Duration, ~10h* a day at least, 5 days a week. How are your numbers now?

*) Most of the liMs works de facto excess of 16h a day for 6 days a week.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 7:08 am

earthfriendly wrote:However, the configuration of the racks are not useful for Asian dishes (big bowls?) and cutlery. If dishwasher manufacturers do a bit market research, there may be a market there and they can always customized to local needs. Chicken and egg ..... Such a huge untapped markets. Japan, China, Korea, south Asia..... Ka-ching.........ka-ching

I am very sure they must have done market research (they always do) and likely they found there was no sufficient demand for such products.

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Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 7:14 am

earthfriendly wrote:The widespread existence of full time live-in maids are made possible due to the availability of an underclass willing to work in that profession.

..for peanuts comparing to the work force of the local market doing similar jobs.


The govt being the enabler as they wanted to size up the economy by encouraging women in the work force. After having a taste of the freedom from domestic and parental chores, there are women who prefers to work, rather being a stay home mom. Compared to one generation ago, where there were more stay home moms. The trend changed quite quickly on that one.

Once again, in US/Europe/other countries both parents work full time and have no maids. Why it is not possible in SG?


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