Notes to employers

Methods of Selection for Foreign Domestic Helper (FDH)

Philippines vs Indonesia

When selecting a domestic helpers, the employer could also have considerations on many aspects based on the characters of domestic helpers from different countries in addition to the individual need of each family.

  Philippines Indonesia
Education University/Junior college High school
Language Skill English High level Bahasa Malaysia/Simple English
Religion Catholic Muslim
training Period Around 15 days 1-3 months
Submissive Low High
Overseas experience of housework Possess work experience in all countries Possess work experience in Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong
Number of Maid in Malaysia Around 100 thousand Around 200 thousand

Philippine maids education are normally at high school level or above and with higher skill in English as English and Tagalog are their official languages. As Philippine is once governed by western countries for a long time, their living style and level is relative modern and advance, and are easy to adapt and learn the living style in Malaysia. Philippine maids are welcomed by most of Malaysia employers mainly because they have strong adaptability and are able to help a little on children’s English.

Recently, high numbers of domestic helpers in Malaysia are maids from Philippine due to shortage of supply from Indonesia. Following the increasing number in Malaysia as well as the influence of partners from the same town, they are focusing too much on the contract terms with reduced submissive. It is also often to have ‘pick on employer’, ‘job-hopping’ and ‘goldbrick’ occurred as they have rich employment experiences in Singapore, Hong Kong and U.A.E.

Majority of domestic helpers in Malaysia are maids from Indonesia. Indonesia domestic helpers are so pungent, suffering, integrity and submissive. The Government of Indonesia is actively encouraging employment agency in providing more professional training and stricter examination on the work ability of household domestic helpers, which greatly improved the quality of Indonesia domestic helpers.

That is also many Indonesia domestic helpers have once worked in Singapore and Malaysia where living condition is similar to Hong Kong and Taiwan, therefore Indonesia domestic helpers are increasingly demanded by employers in countries other then Malaysia, example: Hong Kong & Taiwan.

Indonesian domestic helpers usually believes that those Indonesia domestic helpers worked in countries other then Malaysia are getting better pay.

Overseas Fresh New Maids vs Locally Employed Maids

Direct employing a domestic helper from abroad is normally pure, industrious and highly submissive. As the domestic helper from abroad is the first time to work in Malaysia without the impact from the habit of previous employer, the employer could instruct the domestic helper and create rules according to his own way, and the domestic helper will respect the employer more. By contrast, Finished Contract domestic helpers or Locally Employed Maids have rich employment experience in Malaysia, easy to adapt to outsider and learn the many tricks from their friends. Therefore, it is also often to have ‘pick on employer’, ‘job-hopping’ and ‘runaway’ occurred.

  Overseas Maids Local Maids
Application time 2-3 months (subject to the visa approval) About immediately
No. of maids for selection More Less (As maids have to runaway and search for a new employer only)
Application Fee More expensive cheaper
Reference Maid information and video Face-to-face interview
Submissive Relatively high Relatively low
Adaptability Relatively long Short (As they have rich employment experience or history in Malaysia)
Contract employment 2 years 0 years
Going back to homeland for holiday After the 2-year contract After the 2-year contract

How to deal with Foreign Domestic Helper (FDH)?

Due to differences in lifestyle and religious and cultural backgrounds, it is prone to appear misunderstanding between maids and employers and this will lead to breakdown of employment relationship. Therefore, for maids who first arrived in Malaysia, employers need to patiently co-ordinate with maids and agency to reach a state of mutual respect, which will them lead to get along harmoniously and happily.

Give adaptation period
Just as the so-called “every village has its own unique traditions”, it is no easy task for maids with different living habits and cultural backgrounds from us to soon adapt to the new environment. Therefore, it would be better for employers to give the maids a adaptation period of 1-3 months, allowing the maids to learn step by step and to gradually meet your requirements or expectation.

Supply sufficient basic treatment
Employers, just by providing sufficient basic treatments, can order the maid to work as they expect.

  1. Adequate meal
  2. Enough sleeping
  3. Praise first and teach second

For example: after cooking, maids will let employers eat first and will not take the initiative to start a dish. Employers can take the initiative to do so and give it to the maids, which indicates employers’ respect to maids and makes the maid feel that she is not to eat food left over and further adds a sense of belonging on the maids!

Make work guidelines
Employers may according to their personal habits make work schedule for the maids, listing the work items and requirements; explain for one time when maids work so that the maids can understand their work and reduce mistakes in work. Maids with clear guidelines and understanding your requirements will work more smoothly.