Tips For Selecting A Maid (FDW)

Just to share the measures you can take to protect yourself if you employ a FDW.

Look for an agency that accepts post-dated cheques.  Reason: When there is a dispute, you do not have to worry that your whole loan repayment for current maid will be forfeited. Although the agency fee will be slightly higher, it beats having the whole loan amount forfeited. You are in control of the money as the cheques are post-dated and you can cancel them if need arises.

Never believe an agency that you CANNOT cancel your maid work permit. YOU CAN.  Reason: When the maid has outstanding loan, they don’t want you to cancel the permit as it will be difficult for them to sell your maid to another employer. They will want to re-market the maid to another employer till the maid settles her loan with the agency.  Just bear in mind that if you cancel her permit, you have to bear the repatriation cost.

Always read the entire agreement. Always take the effort to read through the entire agreement. Never sign blindly as there are clauses that are tricky and will not benefit the employer. Once you ink the agreement, you are contractually binded.
Look out for clauses that state your stand if the maid runs away, commits an offence or pregnant. Find out what can the agency do to help you.

Free replacement of maids.  Always ask in details. Be very careful if the replacement is unlimited as it will be too good to be true. Always ask the terms and conditions for replacement. Some agencies will not replace you with another maid if you repatriate your current maid even if she has committed an offence.

Go to big and reputable companies.  As in buying, always go to reputable companies that had been around for many years. Small agency may charge you $1 agency fee and who knows few months down the road, they will just fold up.

Always ask for a timeline.  For new maids, it may take 1 month for her to arrive.  Ask the agency for a timeline, if they cannot deliver a maid, are you entitled to a refund if you cannot choose a suitable maid from their biodatas? This is very important or else you may just lose all the money and time waiting.

For transfer maids, ask to speak to the previous employer. Do not just believe what the agent and the maid says as the story might have been fabricated.

When the maid is here, make sure that it is the same maid that you have chosen. Always ask if they have friends, relatives or boyfriend in Singapore.

Always check the belongings. Do not leave things to chance.

If your maid has no off days, make sure she signs on the agreement letter that she is aware and agreeable to that. You won’t know what will happen in future.

Draft out a timetable for the maid. Orientate her and ask her to follow the timetable for the first month.

Tell her about the rules and regulations on the first day. Do not wait till she does something wrong then you tell her off. She will feel unjustified.

Tell her if you will like her hair to be short or she can keep it long. Be very clear about it.

Hope the above helps and may prospective employers find a good maid soon

P.S. Always find a maid that can understand and speak your language especially if you are a FTWM or FTWF.

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Thanks for the great tip. I am experiencing 1 difficult maid now.  She told me she wanted her transfer after 1 week because house too big (despite the fact that she was briefed on the work scope before she came).  This is my fifth maid also and could see the attitude of maid gets worse over the years.  I was told by my agent Jack Focus… that I need to pay another $700+ for a replacement on top of the $1,830 agent fee I paid.  I got a rude shock that there is no free replacment for the 1st 6 mths, and not to mention that it is not I who want to change maid.  Now I recall why the agent is so pushy to recommend certain maid, they stand to gain if it is not suitable.  Also, this current maid starts to request for handphone already

Kindness do not begets kindness

 Having hired more than 5 maids in the last decade, I can only say that kindness do not begets kindness when it comes to maids. Most maids know that they are in demand now especially those with min 1 year’s experience. Whenever I reject their requests for more off days or handphones, they will threaten with wanting to transfer or going back to the agent. With my first 2 maids, I was stupid enough to do just that. Now whenever I meet such threats from my maids and if they still owe me their loan, I will tell them to pay me the balance in cash and that I will repatriate them myself rather than send them back to the agent. By sendng them back to the agent or allowing for a transfer, I am liable to pay levy for up to 2 weeks after they leave my home but by repatriating them, my liability is absolved the moment they leave Singapore and with budget airlines, air tickets are so cheap anyway. 


House rules

Always insists on original rules in contract. I reminded mine in her 2nd, 3rd and some mths later-kept reminding her no hp, gossiping, day off-trust all of us here-when she got the chance to go out wif my toddler-problems arose-all connected to learning from other maids who had hp, so she had one, followed by guys’ issue. I really am angry with others who allow their maids to hang around void decks with their hps, influencing the new maids. With hps, gossips, chats, guys’ problems will come about. I am in anguish now coz i just found my little child doing the sexuality act with a toy!!! Wherever did my toddler learn that from! To those madams who still allow their maids to leave the house much earlier to chat when they pick up the little ones from school, please think twice when i tell you that a K2 kid crossed the road as it was the usual routine after kindergarten was over, not knowing that the maid was still talking to another at the edge of the roadside, who did not see the little girl crossing the road on her own!! And another was talking happily on the hp while the K2 kid was crossing the road without his hands being held at the traffic junction! Please disallow all maids from hps..unless they are very good and loyal and can be trusted to take care of the little ones sincerely from their hearts.

mum in anguish

After reading  a fair

After reading  a fair number of your experiences, I really emphathised what are going on, as some of the incidents happened to myself n many of my friends and loved ones. I wished I do not need to engage their services sooner as my patience n kindness are being tested n taken for granted.

Has anyone employed a Myanmar maid and how do they fair? I hv one for about 18 mths n recently she asked if she does not want to go back after the 2 yr contract for a holiday, what would I give her? (Airfare equavilent $? What else??)

Anyone could advice what is the MOM advice or the market practice pls? Thanks lots.

I don't allow my maid to

I don’t allow my maid to have handphone. You never know who she
is keeping contacts with.
My previous maid of two years did have a HP and this HP is always
beside her. She will keep looking at her phone.
Was pretty uncomfortable with her keep looking for new
messages and missed calls.
From then onwards, all maids of mine are not allowed HP.

Maid demand for handphone

My maid also demand for handphone. Actually before we have told her that no handphone is allowed and she has agreed on it. I always allow her to use my housephone everytime she asked for it.

But who knows that when she took leave, she complaint to the agent that we did not allow her to buy handphone. She even threatening me if I do not allow her to buy handphone, she don’t want to work for me anymore. Finally I forced to allow her to have handphone.

Any suggestion on handphone rules?

I have all the house rules

I have all the house rules for my maids when they first arrived.After when they are more exp, they will break the rules.For instance, starts to keep long nails,long hair, demand for off days, hp even in contract, everything is NO.If you dont allow them, they will tell you I WANT TO TRANSFER…

I have all the house rules

I have all the house rules for my maids when they first arrived.After when they are more exp, they will break the rules.For instance, starts to keep long nails,long hair, demand for off days, hp even in contract, everything is NO.If you dont allow them, they will tell you I WANT TO TRANSFER…

Hi inspiration.   I had

Hi inspiration.


I had the same experience with my previous maid.

When I first employed her, it was mutually agreed that there will be no off days. But after her second year, in order to reward her, I offered her a off day.

And guess what, she came back later than the previous time each time she came back.

When I reminded her that she should come back as agreed, you know what was her reply:

" Mom, you agree to let me go on off, I am not the one asking for it!"

I was pissed by her reply. All that for my kindness.

So, please do not offer off days to your maid if she doesn’t have it in the first place.

She is compensated for her off day and she agreed.

As kind as we don’t stretch her and let her rest in between, I believe that my maid can still have enough rest.


My Maid

I have a maid whom has been with us for 5yrs+, I do not denied that she loves both my child whom is 5yrs & 2yrs old; and has taken care of my house very well thu ever since my 2nd child been born and with the montly off now she slags in her work.

Initailly when we employed her we have stated clearly "no off days"+allow to eat whatever we are having+have afternoon nap, when my second child was born she asked for an off day which I agreed as I understand she is stressed.  Even though I have told her that this will not be a monthly thing but every month she will ask for my permission to allow her to have a off day, which I always agreed but now I am regretting the decision.  Thought of rejecting her request when she asked again, but is worried should I have rejected what will happen.


Thanks for the post. Very

Thanks for the post. Very detailed and useful for those with new to employment of maid.

For transfer maids, ask to speak to the previous employer. Usually, this is rarely happended. The agent or transfer maid will always said quote one of below :

previous employer abuses the maid or beat the maid, ask maid to work >2 houses, cannot get along wth MIL, employer’s husband molest her, give her 1 meal a day, children beat her, 4hrs of sleep allowed.

Now very fedup as got a black-faced maid facing me from aft to night. Shown her the way to bring my kid to tuition place and she cannot remember, still claim that it is 1st time she see the way despite that today is the 3rd time. Gave me black face after I remember her that today is the 3rd time 🙁

Don’t understand abt maid. They always give us black face and what’s happening to respect.  We have never give black face to our boss, not for me. If angry with boss, I just complains to hubby or friend but will never give black face to boss.


Wow, you all are

I don’t have maid yet. Wow, you all are experienced. Good. good.
Thanks for great tips.

They are very creative! I

They are very creative!

I was viewing the CCTV footage 1 night when I realised that she liked to dig in the flowerpots outside our front gate. Found $$ inside when my hubby went to check.

When I was on maternity leave, I saw so many men passing notes with their tel no to the maids waiting for the schbus to drop their charges off. These are local men and worse, some of them live in the same block as me so I know they are married.

My aunt's maid stole and

My aunt’s maid stole and kept the jewellery inside big shampoo bottles.
When she left, she cried in airport. She said left out one bottle of her favourite shampoo at home. They wanted to buy her new one in airport but she refused and kept crying. Finally she on board.
Then my aunt found out that shampoo bottle was extreme heavy. Poured out shampoo and found their missing jewellery inside the bottle!
So beware of your maid if she loves to keep shampoo bottles.

Hmmmm. My maid does not

Hmmmm. My maid does not have off days.

But I will check out those places that you mentioned and hopefully I won’t find anything.

Maid's hiding place for stolen goods-how it was discovered

hi kiasimom,

we do not let the maid know we are checking on them. what you can do is, on her day off, just check out these places once in a while.  who knows, you may be lucky to get an honest maid . i have  at least 10 maids in the past but only  2  completed  their contracts. the rest were sacked after we found them stealing , had boyfriend, use black magic or really bad working attitude. don’t worry so much, there are some good ones too…. just a matter of luck.

the hiding places were uncovered over a few years…by chance   when i train the subsequent  new maids . it is like the archaeologist discovering the hidden treasures from the buried ground. some of my son’s toys and clothings were all wrapped up with gift tags to her relatives in Philippines. I guess she was waiting to send them home.

we had never suspected the maid would steal anything from us, esp. when we paid for her medical  treatment for suspected tuberculosis for almost a year, i took leave to accompany her on each visit until she got discharged by TTS Hospital. we kept her ‘cos she was very polite, pleasant and hardworking. But a few months before her contract ended, her attitude started to change and my MIL (mother in law) suspected her as she had been losing a lot of things.

As she was taken away by surprise , she had no time to recover those things.  she got locked-up for 2 months  ‘cos she stole my MIL new chooper too and police considered  that a weapon. we were unable to recover other jewellery and money as she refused to admit those thefts  and  there were no evidence of pawn receipts etc…

Aiyoh... these maids are

Aiyoh… these maids are professional smugglers….

Scare scare

just to add... window

just to add…

window ledges – esp the small window ledges in the toilets.  My aunt’s maid who has worked for them for almost 6 years store the money there.  all $50 notes, tightly rolled up – look like cigarettes – and lined up on the window ledge pushed back.  so one cannot see the rolls if you are standing on the floor. 

cakes – my friend’s maid, very creative i must say.  The day the maid is to go home, she asked for permission to bake a cake to bring home for her parents.  After she bake the cake, she expertly dug out the middle part and put in all the old jewellary stolen into it and then covered it up with hard icing and cream.  took the cake all the way to the airport only to drop the cake and discovered the jewellary.  didn’t report to police, just let the maid go back.

Wow tracy,   You are good!

Wow tracy,


You are good! How did you find out the hiding places?

Now I am worried. Should I ransack all the hiding places that you have mention.

Maid's hiding place for stolen goods

hi , just want to share some of the favourite hiding place for things they had stolen.

(1)buried in the garden.(that’s where the police found the stolen jewellery after interrogation).

(2)Old bags and luggages put away in the store room,esp. those left high up on the shelf. Look under the base of the bags, track  shoes,etc…

(3) a favourite is the cupboard beneath the kitchen stove  and places where you keep your rags, detergent , acids, stain remover liquids , As you don’t do the cleaning, you will hardly open these cupboards.

(4) sometimes, they sew the money onto their pants: by rolling the notes and inserting into the waist / bottom of the pants seams.

they may also  exchange the stolen goods with their friends or safekeep with them,so it will never be recovered.

i had maid who had stolen  food and throwing party at the void decks for her neighbouring friends while we were away. hence,do not  stock up too many bottles of pasta sauces, can foods,etc.

goodluck !




I do understand your

I do understand your concerns.

Anyway, I have said my piece and the ultimate decision is yours.

But if she will to commit a serious mistake again, you do need to think carefully.

All the best to you and your family.



WIll think again


Will surely think again.

I actually thought of giving her one chance bcoz last time she had completed 2 years with her employer and they were happy with her. They had to replace her only bcoz she went home for a month and they couldnt wait so long.

Second thing is who knows even if i get a new one she wont be doing all this????

atleast this on has cheerful face and is very patient with my children.

Khadija,   I read your



I read your post again and will still encourage you to send her back to the agency.

She is with you for only 4 months and she already knows how to keep things from you.

Since she is not entitled to off days, you should tell her you are not going to let her go on off as it is not her entitlement.

Trust me, she will be very unhappy and will sulk her face the whole day.

And slowly, she will start to do things to provoke you.

At the end of the day, you either have to admit defeat and grant her her wishes or you replace her.

Based on my rich experience as an employer, no maid can draw a clear line and will not let her relationship affect her work.

Eventually she will bring her boyfriend home when no one is around. Not forgetting your baby is only 6 months old and is at the total mercy of her.

I am not trying to frighten you but this is usually what happen.

HI Khadija, I will still

HI Khadija,

I will still advice you to think carefully.

Yes, you can install camera in your house but that is restricted within your house only.

I will not accept a maid with boyfriend and handphone.

Once she steps out of the house, you have no control. Don’t forget if she gets pregnant, you are going to get busy.

I will not accept a maid who has deceived me before. 

A maid can promise you anything under the sky but when things happen, she will forget especially now she has a boyfriend.


Do discuss with your husband again.


she came clean - good for all


Before I take any action on Hari raya Haji day she came to me and my husband and confessed that she has a phone and a boyfriend and she hide it as she was afraid. She also promised her personal life will not affect work and agreed that we will install camera in the house.

This time I gave her last chance and worned her not to break my trust next time ever.

Lets see.. Thanks for all your inputs .


Tips For Selecting A Maid (FDW)

I like to add one small tip:

check fingernails and tell her what is allowed and not.  I don’t like my maid to have long fingernails – she has to prepare food and i don’t know if the underneath of her fingernails is clean or not…  ;P

Seriously I think you are

Seriously I think you are being very nice to her and might have overdone it.

I do give my maid hongbao on her birthday but I give her $10 only. It is the gesture not the amount.

From my understanding of maids, if next time you give her lesser than $50 for Hari Raya and $25 for birthday, she will definitely show you a strange look.

By the way, you don’t have to give money to her mother.

I will say you are too good to her.

As long as you don’t ill-treat her, give her her due, that is enough.

As mentioned before, when they turn heartless, they won’t remember how kind and nice you have been to her.

But please note that since all along you have been so nice to her, and suddenly you stopped giving her the perks, she will definitely be sour.

And when you wonder how she can pass her hp to others, you will never know how she did it. Maids are actually more intelligent than us and they will do the least expected.


So, if you really want to change her, you should do it asap and do not tell her beforehand.

If you tell her beforehand, she will either runaway, steal or begins to do things to annoy you.

When your new maid comes, please do not repeat the same.

But of course the choice is yours.

decided to handover her

I have decided to return her to her agency sorry for her but cant help.

she brought it upon herself.


It’s so nice to hear of kind souls like yourself, kash313.

Though sometimes, kindness doesn’t beget kindness

in harsh reality. Harsh but happening..


new discovery


First of all when I checked her baggage b4 bringing her home she didnt had a handphone and now she has it that too she hide it from me.

Second thing is now suddenly she does not have a handphone. Last time when she went on off day after that I disovered the phone and after that she hasnt been alone anywhere so where did the handphone go??? Did she called someone home and gave the phone??? in that case how can she call any1 home without my permission when I leave my daughter with her whenever I go out.

Actually u guys are right I had given her too much liberty.

She can eat what ever she want from the kitchen.

Sleep in afternoon

No cooking just helping me chop veggie.

twice a month eat out with us in restaurant.

I buy calling card for hher to call home. 1 card a month.

I give her money on occasions like 50$ for hariraya. 25$ on her birthday.

I sent her mother 300$ in fasting month to indonesia.

the list goes on but now i think is it really foolish to treat them well???

do they really think us too be fools???


Sometimes our compassion

Sometimes our compassion doesn’t pay off.

In your maid’s case, is she allowed any off days in the first place?  If she doesn’t and you allow her to go on off, then you are indirectly spoiling her..I know maids are humans too and you are also being compassionate. However you can make it up to her by bringing her out once a month or allowing her not to cook dinner on Sundays etc.

There are many other ways that you can make it up to her.

Now that she has a boyfriend and a handphone, you won’t know what will happen next.

For me, I prefer to be open. I will tell her that I know she has a handphone and a boyfriend. I will then tell her I do not encourage her to have a handphone and a boyfriend.

Reason being simple,. She will definitely want off days as she wants to be with her boyfriend. And if she gets pregnant, you will have to lose your security bond and has to repatriate her.


That is why from my previous post, when I inerview a maid, I will first find out if she has a boyfriend , handphone and if she is willing to work without off days.

I will not want to employ a maid with off days as I won’t know what activities she is involved during the 9  hours she is out.

Based on my past experience, it will go from going out earlier to coming back later and to the extent, the maid can’t be bothered to explain. And if you question her, she will just tell you to send her back if you are dissatisfied.

Lessons learnt.

As long as I do not ill-treat her and give her what she deserves, I will not try to be extra nice to her. After all, we are outsiders to her, when she hardens her heart, she won’t remember the good that you have.

This may not apply to all maids but at least to the 95% of maid.


Oh yes. Everything has to

Oh yes.

Everything has to be spelt out clearly from day 1.

If you want your maid to got o the nearby shop or hawker centre, always show her the route to and fro. And make her bring you there to make sure she really remembers the route home.

I will prepare a card with my address, mobile phone number for my maid to carry around in case she is lost.

Also, DH makes her record down the "In/Out" record book on the balance of her EZ link card each time she accompany my children to lessons.

DH monitors the usage as EZ link card can be used to purchase items as well.

I personally discourage the use of handphone as they will keep the handphone with them, keeping a close tab on smses. Losing concentration.

I do allow my maid to call home once a month.


In short, all has to be spelt out from day one.

Did you tell her upfront no

Did you tell her upfront no handphone allowed?  if yes, then you may consider confiscating the handphone.  Return to her only on her off day. I will be more worried about her boyfriend. Is she alone with your daughter when you are at work?  Will she bring her boyfriend home when you are out?

As for off day, my agency told me the standard hour is 10-6pm (8 hours).  I allow my maid to leave after she finishes her daily chore (before 10am) and must be home by 9pm.

Again if you are happy with her work performance and think she did a decent job, you may want to pretend that you discovered nothing, to preserve the good relationship. As for off day, since she is still repaying her loan, you can suspend it till later.

To learn more about me, go to Baby Samson or SAHMs

Even if you follow all this

Even if you follow all this tips no one can garantee she will turn out to be good.

I got my Indonesian maid before 4 months.I had checked her belongings in agency only b4 bringing her home and took her signature on what she has.

 Even though the agency told us not to give us off day untill her loan is over, as human we thought she should get rest and allowed her to go out. Last month she came quiet late and i had a doubt as she couldnt explain properly what happened. I checked her bag and found Handphone and lots of messages from her boyfriend. She didnt had a handphone when she came to my place. In this case what should I do???? I havent told her yet that i know she has Handphone.

To be honest I have a 6 mths old daughter whom she treats very well.

Any suggestions??????

Some more...

Good pointers, kiasimon. Let me add a few more:

1) Always check their belongings for bedbugs(ticks). One of mine brought along bedbugs which ended up all over our beddings. Had a tough time ridding them. Boil their clothes the moment they reach your house. It may seem quite mean, but better be safe than sorry.

2) If you want your maid to wash cars, remember to say it upfront, so she’s aware and can’t claim that their embassy disallows them.

3) If you don’t allow her to use her handphone, tell her upfront as well.

4) If you’re installing monitors, let her know in advance. I think this is mutual respect for the maid’s privacy.

5) Teach them how to cross roads. This is something we take for granted, without realising them a lot of them comes from kampung.

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