Yayas in our sense

Yayas in our sense

So why Pinoys do makes a good nanny or “yaya”?  Maybe because of Filipino traits and culture we had. In our country, sometimes it’s already a necessity to have a Yaya in our own house because of work and school loads.

Have you experienced having a Yaya when you were younger? How do you feel about it? Do you feel easy and relaxed? How about treatment? Did you treat them well? Or did they treat you well?

Most of our countrymen, even people abroad loves to hire Yayas, Nannies or Maid came from Philippines. Maybe the traits of Filipinos captured the hearts of other countries because we are global – global in a sense that the most significant traits are being hard-working and family oriented.

We have to know that our yaya and maids, some of them have families already – to help them and to send their children to school.  Just like any other parents, they want better education and future for their kids. Most yayas and maids are family oriented to their clients it’s because they have families as well. Sacrificing their time just to have a better life of their own.

Below are some traits of Yaya or maids that you possibly think of:

  1. Hardworking – we will not hire who isn’t, right?
  2. Helpful – we are also talking about personal approach
  3. Respectful – this starts at our home
  4.  Well-mannered – this starts with home on how we treat others
  5. Trust-worthy – the number on trait when thinking of getting a yaya or maid

Now, it is in your hands to choose what makes a perfect yaya or maid for your family.

Maid in the Philippines

Maid in the Philippines

People nowadays are so busy with work or in making a living that they don’t have time for themselves nor their family. It’s a sad reality. For some, they are unable to give attention to their offspring because they give more attention to their gadgets.

Modern families resort to having a yaya or helper for their sons or daughters. Some families go to malls together but they no longer carry their own child around. Instead, their yaya does all the duties that a typical mom does. I am not the person to say that their child may grow up differently or unplanned which may result to being rebel or who will always keep distance from their parents. This is due to the lack of attention and care given by the parents.

Hence, a maid or yaya is a necessity especially for middle and higher class families that doesn’t have enough time on their hands to handle their kids and household chores on their own. Hiring a maid isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as at the end of the day, you can spend an ample amount of time for your loved ones. Getting one just lightens up the load of responsibilities that you are tasked to do. Maids are really a big help when it comes to household chores. Just make sure that you are hiring a suitable one for your household needs. Always make sure to check their clearances such as NBI Clearance, Police Clearance, and Medical Certificates.

Maids are usually picky nowadays. They want to work at homes that will give less stress and avoid being overworked. And of course, with a hefty pay in cash. You should also be cautious in choosing them. If they are picky when it comes to their employers, you should be twice as picky because your family’s well-being is on the line. The people close to you will be vulnerable as well as your properties. Well, we’re not generalizing the maid career here because there are others who are honest when it comes to their work. As the old saying goes: “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

During the first days of work, your maid may show dedication and honesty, but for some it may decline overtime especially if they are starting to hate the work environment there. You should observe their movements from time to time, though that may be hard to do since the reason why you hired a maid is that you need someone to be around the house and look after your children. Installing some CCTV may be of help too. Since it would be the eagle eye in your house that when something is missing, you can easily rely on the CCTV and check how it went missing.

When you hire a maid, make sure that you also treat them right. They’re still human beings after all who are also only making a living. Be sure to give them a proper place to rest and enough meals to give them energy. Because I’m sure you don’t want an unhealthy and sickly maid to take care of you and your family. Be sure to give them their rightful day offs too since they will also be longing for their family. Do not be too harsh on them especially if they are the ones who are cooking your food.

Maids who came from the provinces are more known to be dedicated and helpful when it comes to taking care of the household. Since they grow up taking care of their families and being close to everyone they love and care about. Most of the maids from the province are young. It may be perhaps they want to work in the City to earn enough to continue or start their studies or give to their family back in the provinces. These maids are hardworking since they leave their family behind to serve another family that is not their own.

When Your Maid Doesn't Want to Go on a Day Off

When Your Maid Doesn't Want to Go on a Day Off

There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.
— Alan Cohen

We've already discussed the proper way to schedule the housemaid's day off. The question now is – what if the maid doesn't want a day off? What if she wants to stay at home and do her work as usual? 

On one hand, it could be an advantage for you since she'll be able to do the chores that you'll be doing instead if she's not home. On the other hand, there are consequences to working non-stop everyday, performance-wise.

Your staffers may have their own reasons they don't want to use their days off. But, here's why you should encourage them to rest and go somewhere else during their rest days.

1) Efficiency at work

Come to think of it – even you require a “break” from your work from time to time. All you need is a change of environment to recharge, right? The same is applicable to the househelpers. 

Physical exhaustion will only lead to stress, depression, burnout or fatigue. There are no real benefits that the household and its members will realize if any of these is present. 

Further, it is always a way to 'miss' her work. She would feel recharged. She'll be excited to go back. And, she would feel ready to do what she needed to do.

2) Balance is key

Resting is equally important as working hard. Thus, when they insist on doing their tasks on their supposed rest day, remind them of the need to have some R&R (rest and recreation). This is critical for the person's physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. 

Suggest some ideas on they can spend their days off if you want. In time, she'll learn to appreciate that you value her and her contributions, knowing that her welfare and wellbeing are one of your concerns, too.

A word of caution

It can be extra challenging if the maid has no relatives or friends near your place. Hence, she would not be as eager to leave your place as other maids would be. This shouldn't be an excuse, though.

As her employer, it is your responsibility to encourage her to go out, see her relatives or friends and enjoy her day off. If she wants to go home at night because she has no place to stay for the night, then so be it. 

With that said, it is important to be flexible. If she wants to work during this week's day off and spend two days off the following week, consider the request. Reasonably, it is her way of maximizing her rest days more so when she needs to travel far.

During her rest days, all you can do is to suggest. However, you should let her decide whatever she wants to do on these days. After all, it is her rest day. 

Just remind her that she's still under your care hence, her activities must not endanger her and the entire household. Discipline and safety must not be compromised. 

If she said, she'll go home by 10pm, she should be at your place by 10pm, that is if she's going home. Even if she's not staying for the night, she should be at your place at the time she said she would be.

All in all, never let her work two weeks straight without taking at least one day off. Rest is very important. Hence, when a maid insists on skipping her day off, don't let her. Instead, remind her of the value of resting and why she actually needs it.

Maid Preferences

Maid Preferences

If you’re looking for some maid to help you out at home, be sure to know the following so that you will not have any problems when employing one.

1. Age · Before anything else, think of what you need. Do you need a young maid who is jolly and energetic so that you are sure that they clean the house daily? Or an older maid who slowly but surely checks that everything is A-okay. Age doesn’t really matter, it’s the experience that you must know. Usually older maids have more experience when it comes to household chores. But don’t cut out younger maids just yet. Being older doesn’t really mean better or will do a better job. Older maids usually have less energy. With that, they get tired faster. Younger maids are sometimes moody or lazy. So try to think and balance out your preferred age.

2. Location · I hear that maids from the provinces are more responsible and hardworking than those in the city. But those in the city are more familiar with the modernized way of living and handling various machines when doing the household chores. Maids who came from the province are also said to be good in cooking since they are usually taught by their parents the authentic Filipino cuisines.

3. Appearance · This doesn’t really matter to a majority of employers. But if you care for this then sure, make it a factor in choosing a maid.

4. Hygiene · This is one important factor. Of course if you expect them to clean your house and take care of your family, they should be clean themselves. Make sure they don’t have any excessive body odor, they always brush their teeth and take a bath.

5. Body Build · If you think that this is also important, then add it on your list. Be sure to ask if you can get the body build of the maid that you want. May it be thin, bulky, or something else.

6. Civil Status · Some people think that this should be considered too. Other people wants a maid who is single or doesn’t have any children. Probably so that they won’t be worrying about their family when they are at work.

7. Clearance Papers · Make sure to have the new and/or updated clearance papers of the maid. Some of which are NBI Clearance, Medical Certificate, Police Clearance, and Birth Certificate. This is to make sure that the maid that you are employing doesn’t have any illness which might burden you in the long run or lawsuits or legal cases that will give you more problem that you may already have.

So there you have it, when you are looking for some help with regards to your household or children, these may be the things that you need to know.  

Changing Conditions for Maids

Changing Conditions for Maids

People – mostly employers – would always ask whether changing the conditions for the household help is necessary. Or, can they work with the same working conditions since day one? This can be very confusing specifically for the first-time employers. Below is the answer.

As a reference, 'working conditions' refers to the person's working environment including all existing circumstances affecting that particular individual's labor. These conditions include physical aspects, job hours, responsibilities and legal rights.

Yes, the maid's working conditions must be changed

A household is a dynamic environment, and this should be taken into account when outlining the working conditions. Primarily, this forms part of the responsibility of the employers. 

She should list down the duties of the maid and the boundaries within which rendering work must be performed. The same goes with her pre-conditions, if there are any. For instance, the employer may require the maid to wake up at 5am to prepare the needs of the kids going to school. Then, she can rest by 10am and start working again at 2pm. An example of the pre-condition is to raise the salary by Php500 once the maid hit the sixth month mark.

Further, the employer should review the working conditions of the maid and other helpers on a regular basis. It could be every six months or every year or whenever you – the employer – feel necessary. In this way, new emergent needs will be addressed.

One example of this is when the family adds a new member like an elderly who decided to live with the family. Unless the family plans on hiring a caregiver, this will entail additional tasks for the current helpers. Even when a new caregiver is indeed hired, there will surely be additional works for the maid more so when she is the only one there.

Speaking of which, working conditions must be also changed when there are significant changes in the rank and file. Like when a second helper is hired recently, the distribution of tasks and the new arrangements must be reviewed and discussed with the helpers.

The same goes with when the maid herself experience certain changes. For instance, she got pregnant and need to get married. Staying-in would no longer be suitable, but a live-out arrangement is being considered.

Put simply, any new changes introduced within the household will require some changes in the working conditions of the house staffers. These changes may be big or small or may directly or indirectly affect them. Bottom-line, you should consider your people when making decisions about the overall employer-employee relationship.

Better yet, when reviewing working conditions, ask for their opinions and suggestions. After all, it is their conditions we are talking about. If they are hesitant to voice out their concerns, you can always observe. Take note of what work-related things that make them slack or efficient.

In conclusion...

Yes, reviewing the working conditions of the maids is a must. Changes to the conditions should be made if deemed necessary. In essence, there are at least three scenarios when you really have to perform that review – individual, household staff-related, and family-related changes.

A No Non-Sense Guide in Hiring a Maid for Hire in Manila

A No Non-Sense Guide in Hiring a Maid for Hire in Manila

When hiring a maid from any maid agency in Manila or any agency for that matter, what is your most important consideration? Is it the monthly salary of the maid or the background check? Perhaps, the fast deployment because you are in a hurry to finding a maid to take care of the household chores? Regardless of your goals in hiring a household helper, there is always one aspect that a would-be employer tends to overlook. And, that's the legal ramifications of hiring a staffer.

Here's what you must be doing.

1) Learn the Kasambahay Law

Republic Act No. 10361 is also known as the Domestic Workers Act or the Batas Kasambahay. The Act outlines the processes from hiring down to issuing a certificate of employment (COE) to the maids. It acts as a guide for inexperienced or less-informed employers about what they can and cannot do when hiring a house helper. The provisions are very basic so you'd easily understand what can get you penalized as an employer. It would be better to keep a copy of the Act as a reference.

2) Learn the inclusions of a contract

An employment contract is required. But, it should be in a language that both parties (you and the maid) can understand. Good thing, the Act includes forms that you can use such as the contract (Kontrata sa Paglilingkod sa Tahanan), the pay slip and the COE. The contract includes information about the agreeing parties and rules and conditions. It should be signed by the employer, maid, and witnesses.

3) Learn your obligations as an employer

Not all employers are aware of this, but they have reportorial duties under the Batas Kasambahay. The barangay where the residence of the employer is located maintains a Registry of Domestic Workers. Once you hire a maid, you should go to  your barangay hall and register your staffers. This is to ensure that your maids are subject to good working conditions and for identification purposes. In this way also, the interest of the maids will be protected.

4) Know whether you are hiring an eligible person

Hiring underage maids is rampant in the Philippines especially in the outskirts. This is actually punishable by law (as child abuse) even more after the RA 10361 was enacted and implemented. Thus, when you are planning to hire a maid, educate yourself about who you should hire as stipulated in the Act. For instance, you should never hire a helper who is 15 years and below. You may only hire maids who are between 15 and 17 years old and 18 years old and older.

5) Know your rights as an employer

Basically, the Act outlines your duties, but you also have rights. This is true whether you are hiring directly or through a maid agency in Manila. For the latter, the agency is responsible for providing you a pre-employment orientation briefing. In here, you will learn about your rights and responsibilities so you may also protect your interest as the employer. As such, the agency should be the one to guide you throughout the entire process. With this, it is critical to choose the right agency to obtain your maid from.
Importantly, hiring a maid also have legal implications. It would be better to consider this aspect even before you start scouting for the agency or maid. Whether you are a first-time employer or not, the law can protect you, your chosen agency, and the maid(s) you've hired. Remember, it's always better to be safe than sorry. After all, the laws in the Philippines governing hiring a maid are pretty basic and straightforward.
Good luck!

Hiring a Filipina Maid – Is It For You?

Hiring a Filipina Maid – Is It For You?

The Filipinos are hardworking people. That's why local and foreign employers often prefer a Filipina maid over maids from other countries. Not only that, the maids are also generally respectful and they present themselves well especially in the public. Nonetheless, some households are still skeptical whether hiring a maid is all worth it or not. This is more so in this time and age when every peso you spend is as important as earning it.

The need to hire a Filipina maid

… Because maids can do better than us

Definitely, the majority of us is capable of doing basic home cleaning. We can tackle just any minor or major cleanup task. However, maids are professionals. This means they can normally produce the results that you may not necessarily achieve doing home cleaning on your own, for instance. People resort to hiring helpers around the house not because it is the convenient route. They do so because there is value in commissioning the help of other people may she be a Filipina or not.

… Because maids offer us a different perspective

Since our homes are our sanctuary, there are instances when we fail to notice those little things that should be noticed in the first place. When someone visits our house, the very first thing they'll see are the cobwebs in the corner or the dingy curtains. That's when you realized that you haven't really cleaned the house in about two months ago. A downright embarrassing encounter! Maids are there to give us an extra hand as well as a fresh pair of eyes to see which needs cleaning now and how.

… Because maids can do what we can't

Definitely, those households that earn higher incomes would have no qualms in hiring a maid. The fact is, nowadays, maid agencies are deploying maids to middle-income earners. These are the people who work several hours a week and who may benefit from having an in-house or live-out maid. And, yes, these are the people who would want to keep their houses as squeaky clean and organized as possible but do not have the spare energy and time to devote to dusting.

… Because maids are our best ally to protect our investments

It's not just all about dusting, but also extending the lifespan of everything that can be found inside our houses. This could be the biggest benefit of hiring maids. Thus, all the dusting, sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming go a long way. Eventually, it also means saving money in the future. The need to refinish the floor, reupholster furniture, replace carpet, and repaint walls can be minimized, and so does the money needed to pay for these services.

… Because maids allow us to enjoy simple life pleasures

Some skeptics would say having a maid is just a luxury more than a necessity. If this is the case then, this luxury has a practical side into it. For the working people, free time is becoming more of a commodity. Free time, as our grandparents and parents know it, becomes scarcer by the day. While you may have to pay for the maid's hours of work, this reasonable fee would result in more free time for you. Thus, these employers are more than willing to play ball.

In sum, if you don't have the energy and time but you have to money to spare for someone who can help you do some cleaning, you might as well hire a Filipina maid. Maids are so valuable they shouldn't be perceived as a luxury, but as a necessity that allows you – the employer – to do the things you like during your free time. So, yes, hiring a maid is all worth it!

How Expats Should Hire Their Maid

How Expats Should Hire Their Maid

Indeed, the Philippines is one of the expat-friendly countries worldwide, if not the friendliest. We cannot blame these expatriates; the Philippines is a gem with its beautiful beaches, warm people, vivid nightlife, great food, etc. Nonetheless, the majority of the expats go here for work and, of course, the fun of it all. Any expat will surely appreciate and need a helping hand. In fact, one of the reasons they love staying here is the affordability of services including housekeeping services.

Dealing With Maids Who Love to Ask for Bale (Cash Advance)

Dealing With Maids Who Love to Ask for Bale (Cash Advance)

It happens. A maid asking for a cash advance for whatever purpose she may have. One problem with this is that the tendency to abuse the process at the expense of both the employer and the maid. It'll be a lose-lose situation that none of us – employers and maids alike – wants to experience. 

How should we deal with maids who constantly ask for a bale?

Know the purpose

Probe if you must. Ask her why she is asking for a salary advance. If it's a medical emergency or for paying tuition fee, you may grant her request. But, if she's only going to buy something to support her vices, then you can say no. 

For the first reasons, you may further explore if there is indeed an emergency. In most cases, when it is true, she would willingly let someone speak to you to validate her claims. Just be wary of connivance since it is highly possible.

Give her the benefit of the doubt. This is the most important. If she's already proven her trustworthiness, there is no reason you shouldn't giver her what she is asking for. She won't ask in the first place if she doesn't need it.

Establish rules

First, if you are not going to extend any cash advance to your househelpers, you might as well tell them during the initial interview. In this way, their expectations are guided.

Second, it's very unethical to ask for advance salary if the maid had just started working in your household for less than a week. So, tell her during the pre-employment interview that you only give cash advances to maids who stayed with you for at least 6 months. There are instances when a housemaid asked for cash advances and suddenly disappeared.

Third, tell her that you can only provide one cash advance at a time. This means she needs to pay the previous cash advance first before she asks for another. And, if possible, tell you in advance so you can include it in the next month's budget.

Fourth, unless absolutely necessary, you can only give her the amount that equals half of her monthly salary. If she's earning Php3,000, she is only entitled to Php1,500 of her entire salary.

Fifth, discuss repayment options. She can repay in installments – three installments following our example above. So that's Php500 deduction every payday. You can ask her if that's okay with her, but the final decision is yours.

Establish some limitations

To continue with the above, you may also tell your maids in the Philippines that you cannot allow poorly performing maids to make a bale. It's like telling them to prove their worth – that they are worthy of what they are asking from you. 

Let us not fall into the trap of getting used to getting money that you haven't worked for yet. She might lose the motivation to work or give her best. It's basic human nature. You already get what you want so why bother? Likewise, some people have this victim behavior while some are just plain opportunistic.

While at it, it would be best to teach her the value of living within her means and saving and not overspending.

Evidently, it is important to set boundaries when it comes to asking for and giving cash advances to your househelpers. Don't feel guilty if you have to say no. It's better that way than to support your maids and unconsciously push them into living a life full of financial debts until they themselves can't get out of it. They must know the importance of the fruit of their labor and use it in a way that's beneficial to themselves and their loved ones.

Maid in the Philippines: How to Schedule Your Maid's Day Off

Maid in the Philippines: How to Schedule Your Maid's Day Off

A Filipina maid, and perhaps, all maids for that matter, is entitled to rest periods as per the Batas Kasambahay (RA 10361 or the Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers). Any pragmatic employer would wonder which of the days is the most proper day off for the maids and for how many days per week. Nonetheless, schedule weekly rest days is one of the major concerns of homeowners especially those who have a limited number of house staffers.

An Alternate Way to Hire a Maid in the Philippines

An Alternate Way to Hire a Maid in the Philippines

Whether you are hiring your house helper from the maid agency or not, there are several ways to determine if the person in front of you is the right one or not. If you cannot decide if you should hire the person or not, you may resort to face reading (although you should not base the decision to hire on this solely). 

How to Teach Your Maid How to Save

How to Teach Your Maid How to Save

While the Batas Kasambahay provisions that an employer cannot meddle with how the maid spends his or her earnings, it won't hurt if you – the employer – would teach the helpers to save. If possible, you impart such important lesson to her as soon as you pick her up from the maid agency. Saving is essential because it or the lack of it impacts the future. In fact, it is the difference between living comfortably when you retire and living miserably and depending on others for sustenance. That's not how you want your staffers to end up, right? So, here's how.