How to get home help in Singapore

How to get home help in Singapore

How to get home help in Singapore

Expat life nowadays isn’t as straightforward as it used to be, especially if you’re working yourself or a mum with children and working husband to look after.

Juggling the needs of a job, family life and social commitments hasn’t ever been easy, and being an expat in an unfamiliar land can add extra stress to the experience, especially if you’re female and an obsessive housewife. Living in Singapore has one huge advantage in that it’s not difficult or unaffordable to hire a home help to take the strain off those everyday housekeeping tasks.

As always, no matter where in the world expat professionals hang their hats, home help becomes more and more necessary, especially if your social life is linked to your job. Domestic workers in Singapore are usually expats as well, with Indonesia and the Philippines the main source. They’re invariably incredibly hard-working, have some knowledge of the English language and are often supporting families of their own back at home. Best of all, they’re usually affordable.

Part-time home help can cost from S$10 to SD$20 pr hour, and a full-time live-in helper will cost from S$450 to S$700 per month. The latter may sound expensive, but families with children won’t need to pay for professional childcare and your helper will be far better at shopping on a budget than you’ll ever be. The real benefit is the reduction in your stress levels when you realise you don’t have to work 24/7 to keep your home nice and your job functioning well.

Hours worked will depend solely on your personal requirements, with some needing just a twice-weekly cleaning service and others desperately in need of full-time help. You should remember that your ‘treasure’ needs at least one full day off every week, and must be compensated on occasions when this isn’t possible. Most expats give Sundays off, plus public holidays and a two-week holiday every year.

Finding your home help is easiest through an agency, although fees will amount to around S$400. If you prefer to find a home help yourself, take care to use reputable sources after researching the subject on local expat forums. Reviews on agency sites can help, as can the Ministry of Manpower’s website. You should always insist on a personal interview in order to access individual skills and the applicant’s level of English.

Written references and even a chat with a former employer are more than helpful, especially as regards reasons for leaving former employers. Many home helps and their employers become trusted friends and stay in touch long after their professional association has finished.

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