Why some maids are unhappy

SINGAPORE - Maid agencies The New Paper on Sunday spoke to explain why some domestic helpers feel troubled working here and what employers can do to help.

1. No days off

Mr Thomas Tan, director of Essential Maids, says it can be quite tough for maids to commit for two years without any visits back home or days off.

2. Homesickness

All maids think of their homes and loved ones, says Mrs Winnie Wang, senior overseas recruitment adviser of Advance Link International.

Employers should let them make calls back home to tell their family that they are safe and that all is well, says Mr Gabriel Ee, director of Island Maids.

Don't let them get bored of the job. Switch up the routine, says Mr Ee, who has five years of experience in the industry.

Include them in family gatherings and let them feel that Singapore can be home too, he adds.

But if their heart is not here, you have to let them go. If you push them to continue working, you might have more problems in the future, Mr Ee warns.

3. Incompatible with job

If there is no one at home during the day, employers should consider choosing an experienced maid, says Mr Tan.

New maids need more guidance and may not adjust well to their new environment if left alone, he says.

Those with school-age children should consider hiring experienced maids as a new maid might strain the relationship between the two because the maid and child will not be able to communicate.

4. Better opportunities elsewhere

Mrs Wang, who has been in the industry for more than 30 years, says that one maid returned home last year because her salary was not good enough to make her stay.

The maid felt she could earn a similar amount selling shoes at a roadside market in her home country, and if she did that, she would be the boss of her own business.

Get The New Paper for more stories.