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.