Domestic help guide for expats
Domestic help in Bangkok is both affordable and widely available. Most expat households have cleaners or maids of some description to help with the running of the home. It may seem very strange at first to have someone in your home a number of times a week, or even living there, but they will soon become an invaluable part of your household and the really good ones will even be like one of the family. Regardless of whether you are looking for a live-in maid or a part time cleaner there are a number of agencies providing loyal, dedicated staff for every sized home and family.
If you want a live-in maid, you will need to provide furnished accommodation (which is usually built into a home and can consist of a bedroom and bathroom), food and a salary. A typical salary for a live-in maid who will work full-time hours, six days a week is between 7,000 and 11,000 baht. The salary will depend on how much extra work she does such as cooking, baby-sitting and gardening. A part time maid will earn between 4,000 and 6,000 baht per month, which depends on her hours and how much extra work she does.
So where do you find a maid or housekeeper that is trustworthy and reliable?
The condo or apartment management may already have their own maid and cleaning service that you can hire. The service may not be up to par as the women often have to pay commission and are less motivated to do a good job with their relative job security.
Another good source is neighbours and friends, if they themselves have a maid. Their maid will just about always have a friend or family member who is searching for a job. It’s a good idea to get an idea of her experience before hiring.
Another choice is to use an agency. There are many agencies in Bangkok who specialize in finding experienced maids for customers. The maid will demand a higher salary but her experience and language ability will usually be worth it. Maids employed by reputable agencies are usually a better fit for expats as they have had training in the ‘strange ways of foreigners’!
A good place to start looking for a maid is through the agencies such as:
- LEOW Maid Service, http://www.leowmaid.com
- Active Manpower Company – 220-224 Moo 4 Phetkasem Road Laksong Bangkhae, Phone: +662 809-2400
Other ways to find domestic help is by looking in the classified of The Bangkok Post and The Nation as well as Internet forums such as http://www.thaivisa.com/forum. Once you have made a social circle, you will also be able to get recommendations through word of mouth.
You should always take a few precautions for security, no matter where you found your maid. Get a photograph of your maid, when she first starts work. Also get a good copy of her ID and make sure the ID is really hers by looking at the photograph. Do not tempt by leaving money or valuables lying around. It’s generally very uncommon for Thais to steal, though.
If you are lucky to find a good maid who is honest, reliable and hard working, then treat her with respect and don’t be over-demanding. Make her feel welcome in your home by treating her with a pleasant and adequate room and enough freedom. There is always the chance that could leave someday without notice, but this is much less likely to happen if you treat her fairly and with kindness!