Difficulty in hiring transfer maids in Singapore

In our previous crib, it was a lot smaller, so upkeep was a lot easier. When we moved into our new crib, a shophouse, things got complicated. Not to mention, COVID-19 hit.

Admittedly, I don’t do the household chores. I can do it, but I choose not to. Fortunately for me, I have my hubby.

During the lockdown, it was fine. But later days, hubby was getting a bit more tied up, and age is catching up. He still does the chores like washing the laundry and dishes; but not making the bed, mopping the floors, etc.

I grew up with my maids; my mum works, so the maid cleans the house and takes care of us, somewhat, alongside my grandma. So when hubby needed help cleaning the house, the first thought was to get a maid.

The thing about adulthood is that my mum isn’t the one that plans the chores anymore; or rather, she isn’t the one that hires the maid that cleans.

As mentioned, not long after we moved in, COVID-19 hit, and things were different. It wasn’t that easy to get a maid.

Google is my best friend, so obviously, I asked for her advice.

This leads me to a couple of options:

1. Importing a maid
2. Hiring a transfer maid
3. Using an app

I was more familiar with option one since my mum hired them before. But what were “transfer maids”?

According to Google (and sites I landed on), transfer maids are currently working in Singapore, but their contract finishing soon, or their current employer doesn’t require their services anymore.

Another common reason is their current employer is leaving the country for good; hence, the maid will be out of employment soon and wishes to transfer to a replacement employer.

What are the advantages of hiring a transfer maid versus a maid not currently in Singapore?

Two main benefits, cost savings – a minimum of SGD 1,800 for quarantine of SGD 1,500 and COVID-19 tests of SGD 300 paid to the government; and conduct a face-to-face interview because the transfer maid is already in Singapore. I don’t have an issue with video calls, but I guess the maid would have more difficulty expressing herself.

There are more reasons than just cost and chemistry for hiring a transfer maid during this pandemic. Are you aware that if your overseas maid arrives in Singapore with the COVID-19 virus, she has to seek medical treatment before joining your family? (Duh, I know.)

The process could take a week, two weeks or more, counting on how briskly she recovers. Furthermore, a “recovered” maid may have a relapse, etc.; people like me tend to be more cautious so, I’d likely let her go and reselect another one. In other words, the process would repeat itself.

A transfer maid would quicken the entire process; she (definitely not going to get a “he”) would be more attuned to the local culture having lived here.

If you need more details, you can read it here (or their Facebook Page).

There aren’t that many maid agencies in Singapore that have transfer maids; Universal Employment Agency Pte Ltd happens to be one of them. They have quite a selection of transfer maids because they have a good reputation among the maids and employers, so they get many word-of-mouth referrals.

While option two is probably top on the list, as of now, I’m on option three. Why? The hubby prefers to be my handmaiden for now, and Toothless is self-sustaining. We’ll wait till we adopt kids.

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