Hiring a domestic maid

Hi everyone!

I will be relocating to Jakarta in a few months time with my family.

As we will need to get a domestic maid like everyone else living there, I need tips or advise on getting a good domestic maid. Would also appreciate any particular things to look out for when the maid starts working.

We have hired a few Indonesian maids in Singapore and had terrible experiences. Everyone of them steal - from small items like toiletries, children toys to mobile phones and money! They also have hygiene issues especially when it comes to cooking. I have a maid that used to put the cooked fish back onto the plate that was used to put the raw fish with blood! And when I told her off, she gave a sulky face for days... :(

Our bad experiences are making me worried. It will be crazy if I need to manage the maid issues while settling in a new environment with 2 young toddlers.

Please share!

Hi Lolaz,

Looking for good maid can be difficult at times, here are some of my personal tips that might help :-)

- You must interview them, this helps to see the characteristic of the person. I have a lot of experiences looking for maids, a person said she was good at cooking but when we I did hire her, she had no clue abt how to cook this and that. Another person said she's willing to learn, but at the end, she just wanted to clean but not cooking and there's a lot more.

- Give them a three months trial. If you're not happy with her, then you wont be feeling guilty letting her go. Also tell her that you'll raise her salary once every three months for a year. Then once a year after that, they would be happy and feel motivated. Therefor, they will try their best making your family happy.

- Most of Indonesians are known for being too friendly to others, this means, some if not most Indonesian employers are too nice to the maids. If they did something wrong, the employers dont have the heart to say anything about it and just let it go (which would only spoil the maids). Though some would get angry and scold them / get mad. This is where they are wrong! You just have to be firm, tell them that its wrong and give a reason/ more like a lesson for them so that they know. Yelling dont solve anything.

- Write down a list and tell them exactly the chores they need to do. Tell them that its OK to ask if they dont understand.

- Provide them with food and other essentials. They often have to pay everything with their own money, maids in Indonesia dont get enough salary for all of that, I know a lot of Indonesians pay them only around 400- one mio/ month and they need to buy food, toiletries and medicine on their own. I dont think the employers ever think about think about their needs, sending money to their family in their village etc.

- Lastly, here is a link that you can check out, I came across it ond time and thought its not bad http://household-staff.blogspot.com  and here's an interview with the founder of the blog http://sharehouse.wordpress.com/2010/11 … old-staff/
I know that some agencies are bad. They ask you money for everything, not to mention they  cut the salary of your maid each month etc etc.  Make sure you get all the important papers before hiring someone, such as ID card.

The best of luck :-)

Annie

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Annie!

I hope I have luck in getting a good maid when I arrive in Jakarta.

Hi Lolaz,

I'm Bart, from the Netherlands and living in Jakarta myself. Yesterday I saw a add somewhere about expats who were looking for a new location for their maid/nanny because there were going back to Europe. If you want I will send you the phonenumber.

Regards,
Bart.

Hi Mr/Mrs Lolaz
My name is Santi am from Indonesia and i living in Jakarta 42years old i looking for job as maid and i interesting with your need a maid when you was in Jakarta.and i ever work at Singapore as maid for 2 years
am senior high school,hard work i know hygiene and i was read your bad story with your maid but i a good person if you want to interview me and know me more you can mail me and i will tell you more .
Regard
Santi
Santi

Ask around the locals.
Never use an agent.
Always get a police check.
Make sure you copy their KTP (ID card)

Hi Mdm


I have good sister she can't she can Speak bahasa n Arab, she has experience as  maid in saudi. Expected salary IDR 4.500.000


Thank you mdm


Regards
Ulfah

Wow... The expected salary that Ulfah quoted doesn't sound reasonable at all.

I have heard from many expats that IDR 2M can get you an English speaking maid.

Correct me if I am wrong...

U are not wrong mdm but she is good one. Tell me how much u wanna over salary so i can offer 2 her. my sister has planing to go taiwan as maid n the standar salary is IDR 4.500.000, but if she can get salary in same condition she will cancel 2 go 2 taiwan.

She can't speak english is because her 5 years experience is in Arab,


If my self is has job as secretary in jakarta but NOw i get resign because i'm pregnent... i'm in looking freeline or partime job now. If u have an information, please call me


Regards

Ulfah

Ulfah,

If your sister is really that good, she doesn't need you to be promoting her here. If she can get higher pay in taiwan, she should go and work there! I won't even want to talk about how someone who can't speak English can pass the Taiwan maid entry test. Furthermore, it is a mandarin speaking country! So please stop recommending her!

This is not a forum for you to look for jobs. And you shouldn't be here to extort the expats with your ridiculous expected salary! Although we are new to Jakarta, we are not stupid! We can always ask our kind local friends who are sincere in helping.

Please stop posting about your "good sister" asking for IDR 4.5M as a maid's salary! You are trying to con the expats here!

Ulfah,

You have to remember, your sister will be working in Indonesia, not Taiwan. The average cost of living is different, so does the average income. Even though she is THAT good, she's competing with thousands even millions of other Indonesian maids -- some of them are probably better - can communicate in English, and are more willing to take much lower salary.

thank you 4 your attention,

best regard

4,5 juta/month is not a salary for a maid in Indonesia. A lot of people who work at offices gets paid around 4-7 milion and some get less. Most expats in Jakarta would pay maximum 2 milion for very good, English speaking maids.

Sorry Ulfah, but you have to be logical.

If your sister is that good as you say I'm offering her 2.4M.
If you or her like it send me scan copy of her passport.
Note: working place is ABUDHABI, UAE.

This subject is a bit touchy…a double edged sword so to speak.

In Bali a monthly wage for a housekeeper (often called a pembantu) is around 1 million regardless if she lives with her employer, or goes home when her day is done. 

Savvy expats here in Bali will normally only hire their domestic help from within the village where they are located.  Two prime reasons for this…no need for them to live in…and more importantly, their behavior is within their ancestral village, and thus the incentive to not embarrass or otherwise shame their family. 

This second element is also to the advantage of the girl in that any abuse, cheating, mistreatment, etc. of the domestic help can surely be expected to be effectively dealt with by the village adat and/or, her family members.  Call this a security blanket, or whatever, the point is, it works well for both the employer and the employee. 

As for Indonesian women going off to work in the Middle East…NO WAY!  There is just way, way too much abuse of Indonesian women in those countries, and in fact, just a few years ago the Indonesian government prohibited Indonesian women from taking domestic jobs in that area because of their frequent abuse there. 

In just the past four months I talked two village girls out of taking a domestic job in the UAE.  I did this by inviting her Balinese parents over to our compound to show them on our computers what is so well documented on the internet. 

I’m not suggesting that ALL employers of Indonesian domestic help in the Middle East are animals, but, the incidences of abuse, both sexual and by cheating out of wages, is just way too high IMHO.

Well said Roy!

I cant even begin to imagine those girls who have experience the abuse while they are working as TKI overseas. Not to mention the ones who came home "breathless".
Or the ones who have been held and used there without any salary. Its very tragic.

Yes Annie, it is sadly tragic indeed.  Not intending to appear pollyannaish, over my long years of living in Indonesia I have come to appreciate and admire the women of Indonesia as being truly remarkable, of great inner and outer strength, and with a defined grace and confidence that seems to be almost absent to me with so many other women the world over.

That any of these women could be subjected to the “slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune” by the hands of crude, vulgar, and dark of heart people that abound in many other places in this world is an injustice. 

I might also suggest that in many respects it is this naiveté amongst many Indonesian women that is also very appealing in that they remain, by and large, free from the damage to their hearts and souls that is so prevalent in the world that we share.

Hi Santi shue im very interested in hiring right now .

Regards Michael

[Moderated: please post an advert in the Jobs section]

I also agree that Rp4.5 mill is a bit ridiculous. I mean seriously, is that the salary that your sister was earning in the Middle East? She cannot expect to get the same salary back in Indonesia. My mum in-law found her pembantu in the hilly area surrounding Bandung and pays her Rp500,000 per month inclusive of food and lodgings. However, she doesn't speak English much and they live in Bandung. I think Rp1 - 1.5 mill is enough for a maid inclusive of food and lodging. More than that and they are approaching the lower end salary of office staff.

Agree with the 3 month trial period which is basically training them up to do everything the way you want. If your budget allows you could also get a cook.

Neroz, I sincerely hope that no Indonesian women give a second thought to your posts.

You only need to read post #15 above.  The idea of an Indonesian woman going off to Iraq to take a job as a maid sends chills down my spine.

Honor killings, female genital cutting, that's about all I'd need to convince any Indonesian woman to give your neck of the woods a resounding NO THANK YOU to any job offers.

Trust me, I'd make a really ugly maid, not to mention my very hairy chest, so I think I'd have to say no, but many thanks for your kind thoughts!   :D

You've probably noticed how beautiful our women are.  If you don't mind, we'd like to keep them for ourselves.  :top:

Cheers, from Bali, Roy

great advice to bear in mind when I move to Jakarta.

Thanks

What advice you mean now??  :/

hi dear friend,

you are correct.

i am from India and we knew the plight of Indian maids going to Arab countries for work. they came back pregnant, weeping eyes, and trauma that is beyond description. You are correct by writing the correct things and saving your women from the miserable life in Arab world.

Ubudian :

Trust me, I'd make a really ugly maid, not to mention my very hairy chest, so I think I'd have to say no, but many thanks for your kind thoughts!   :D

You've probably noticed how beautiful our women are.  If you don't mind, we'd like to keep them for ourselves.  :top:

Cheers, from Bali, Roy

I have some serious advice for all expat men with really cute, beautiful maids.

NEVER SLEEP WITH THE MAID.

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Do your stuff and kick her out of bed, just in case your wife comes home early.

Too true Fred. Have seen the consequences of this firsthand with a couple of friends, one in Indonesia and another in  Laos.
Thee is an expression "never sh#t in your own nest"  The consequence is you have a mess to clean up.

Buy a discount maid at Singapore's malls

I spotted this article, which is salient to this discussion.  I had always been of the mind that domestic work jobs in Singapore werent too bad for those women who had a real economic need to leave their homes and families for employment.

Of course this article is nothing compared to what awaits many Indonesian women going off to the Middle East for work, but it is rather demeaning in the least to Indonesian women

"I watched all those things", recounts Istiana, an Indonesian domestic worker who has recently come to work in Singapore. "Those signs that say 'cheap price' and 'discount maid'. But these are people," she added.


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/featur … 40207.html

Ubudian :

Honor killings, female genital cutting, that's about all I'd need to convince any Indonesian woman to give your neck of the woods a resounding NO THANK YOU to any job offers.

I love a challenge, even when it isn't formally given.
I also dislike not knowing about something, and I know way too little about this area.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/kurdistan-the-other-iraq/

That tells you a lot, even if it is out of date. Note schools are mixed sex, and they're using English. The shopping centres have unescorted female shoppers, suggesting a lack of extreme male control we are aware of in some countries.
However, the political situation is dependent on extremist groups deciding not to attack the region - and extremists display little compassion, preferring to destroy peace and prosperity, rather than chose to live a good life.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news … i-baghdad/

With a history like this, I can see why they want peace.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-15467672
However, /!\ I AM A STUPID SPAMMER /!\ may mess that up.

The distinguished gentleman from Ubud suggested there may be problems for Indonesian ladies who travel there for work. He may have a point.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast … ref=nextin

As for abuse against women, authorities must "redouble their efforts to overcome discrimination and violence against women," he said, "and end the vicious cycle of so-called honor killings and other attacks on women by men who wish to subordinate them."

According to official records, the report said, at least 102 women and girls were killed between the beginning of July 2007 and the end of June 2008 in the region.

"These include an unknown number of 'honor killings' -- women who were killed by male relatives because their behavior was considered to have infringed traditional codes of 'honor.' Victims of 'honor crimes' include women who have objected to being forcibly married as well as women who were found having telephone contact with a man without approval of their family," the report said.

The report said 262 women and children "died or were severely injured in the same period due to intentional burning, including suicides. Some women were reported to have been burned to disguise a killing."

The report cites one woman who was strangled to death apparently by her brother "because of her suspected relationship with another man." A 17-year-old female "was shot dead after she sought a divorce from her husband." A 13-year-old girl burned herself to death "to escape forcible marriage to an adult man."

In fairness, this is an old report, so things may well have changed.

FGM, whilst clearly a nasty tradition, doesn't make an extremist country.
Also, it should be noted, FGM is a very wide term, commonly abused as all types of circumcision are considered to be FGM. As many will know, circumcision in Indonesia can be a full cutting, a ritual pin prick or just a ritual cleaning of the clitoris.
The more extreme version is the one these groups try to tell is is the norm.
This, in my experience, is less and less popular in Indonesian villages, more and more going for the pin prick or wipe. However, these rights groups rarely mention that, so figures and their whole reports may be total rubbish.

http://www.stopfgmkurdistan.org/html/en … _study.htm

We need unbiased, on the ground reports to know the truth, and they're hard to find.

However, there are rumblings.
http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/08/29/iraq … -enforced.

Violence against women does appear to be a problem.
There are always going to be some rapes, nasty but true, but the burnings seem to indicate a serious problem.

http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/mi … te6381.htm

To imported labour.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/29/world … l&_r=0

But nearly all foreign workers interviewed over a two-week period here said they had been deceived by unscrupulous agents who arrange the journeys. Unable to communicate, some arrive not knowing what country they are in. Once here, their passports are seized by their employment agencies, and they are unable to go home.

Oops
http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.c … d-to-iraq/

This suggests an organised trade in young women.

I'm going to have to agree with Ubudian (again), and suggest maids don't go to that region without serious thought.

stumpy :

Too true Fred. Have seen the consequences of this firsthand with a couple of friends, one in Indonesia and another in  Laos.
Thee is an expression "never sh#t in your own nest"  The consequence is you have a mess to clean up.

One guy in Jogja ended up in serious trouble, the sort that puts you behind bars, as it did to him.
He was arrested and in prison for quite some time.

"One guy in Jogja ended up in serious trouble, the sort that puts you behind bars, as it did to him.
He was arrested and in prison for quite some time."

If we're thinking of the same guy, it so happened that his Yogya wife's uncle was the chief of police.  One definitely has to use their head in this neck of the woods, and I'm talking about that head atop the shoulders!   :D

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" was first written here (one could easily believe). 

Cheers!

One needs to think with the big head and not the little head.... :lol:

Ubudian :

"One guy in Jogja ended up in serious trouble, the sort that puts you behind bars, as it did to him.
He was arrested and in prison for quite some time."

If we're thinking of the same guy, it so happened that his Yogya wife's uncle was the chief of police.  One definitely has to use their head in this neck of the woods, and I'm talking about that head atop the shoulders!   :D

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" was first written here (one could easily believe). 

Cheers!

I'm old so I have great difficulties remembering names, dates and times; my old habits with far too much beer may also be part of the problem.
This guy was about 4 or 5 years ago when I was still in Wonosobo.
Seems he'd had an affair with his maid, and maybe a few random women he'd met, and his wife found out.
This went on for some while, seeing him locked out of the house many times, eventually ending up in prison.
I think, but am open to correction, he was English and ended up back in Blighty.

The moral, regardless of minor inaccuracies, remains the same - don't bonk the maid.

stumpy :

One needs to think with the big head and not the little head.... :lol:

As much subtle insinuation as a hammer, but very much accurate.

I'm right with you on this inconvenient reality of getting older Fred!  I don't recall the details (name, date, etc.) either, but 4 or 5 years ago sounds about right. 

Here in Bali there are a number of stories of guys married to an Indonesian and getting caught with the helper doing some "polishing and dusting" in places where the wife would object.  And I know a few situations where even Balinese guys have been arrested and put in jail for "extracurricular activities."  There was a famous police raid at a rent by the hour boarding house a couple of years back at around noon hour, and they hauled off several locals to the Gianyar jail.  A few Balinese I know were grateful to have been "bankrupt" on that particular day.    ;)

In my house Eri does all the hiring and she seems to favor ex Sumo wrestler types which she knows offer no temptation to me. 

Life in Indonesia.  You just gotta love it!   :D

And with this one sentence you now expect candidates lining up??

"Looking for Indonesian Maid to work in Baku(Azerbaijan)"

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