Sponsored a live-in maid? Here's tips on how to make her feel welcome.
Are you sponsoring home help? We've compiled a list on how you can help your new maid adjust to life in your house.
If you’ve sponsored a live in maid there are some things you can do to settle her in to your home and ensure a long lasting working relationship.
For some it may be strange to have another person, not from the family, living in your home and you are experiencing this for the first time. For your maid this also may be her first time away from her home country and family. You maid may suffer from home sickness in her first few weeks and feel quite lost.
Here’s some top tips to help your maid settle in...
1. Kit out her room
Make sure her room is fully kitted out with everything she could need. See our forum for ideas on setting up a maid’s room, here.
2. Conduct an orientation
Have an orientation of your home with her so she knows where everything is… different rooms, storage spaces, kitchen equipment, gardens, garage etc.
3. Get her connected
Make sure you have a mobile phone with a SIM card ready for her. Most people find the pay as you go kind of contracts are better and easier to manage… this prevents huge phone bills being racked up.
4. Draw up a task list
Have a clear task list drawn up for her so she knows exactly what her duties are… see our guide to sample task lists.
5. Clarify working hours and holidays
Talk to her about her working hours and days off and holidays, so she is really clear when she will be working.
6. The laws of Dubai and UAE
Have a chat with her about the laws in Dubai so she knows how not to get in trouble.
For more info about the laws of the UAE, read our Finance & Legal section.
7. Introduction to your children
Introduce her properly to your children, if you have them, she may or may not have had child care experience and you may have to provide training in this area too. Don’t just dump your baby on her or leave her alone with the children, until you are both comfortable with that.
8. Eating arrangements
Talk to her about what your eating arrangements will be- does she eat with the family, can she cook her own meals etc. Some nationalities of maid really like to eat or prepare their own familiar food.
9. Cooking for your family
If you want her to cook for your family, she may not have a knowledge of the dishes you would like her to cook, so you need to arrange some cooking lesson time with her.
10. Train her on your standards
Some nationalities do things different to how you would, so you may have to spend time training your maid to do things a certain way like cleaning, ironing, washing etc. Take the time to train your maid and you may learn a top cleaning tip you didn’t know either.
11. Introduction to your pets
If you have pets make sure you introduce her properly to them as some people can be scared of dogs and cats until they get to know them.
12. Help/let her connect with family abroad
Try and let her have access to a computer or laptop regularly so she can email or Skype/Zoom her family. This will help her feel in contact with her family still and help any feelings of home sickness.
13. Her entertainment
If you have provided a TV set for her you could try and get her channels in her mother tongue for her to feel at home.
If your family uses a streaming service such as Netflix, consider giving her a profile of her own in the family account. This helps avoid mixing up her TV shows/movies with the ones the family is watching.
14. Meeting friends and new people
You can help her to make some friends with other maids in your neighbourhood. If you know your neighbours or have a friend nearby with the same nationality maid, see if you can arrange for them to spend some time together to help your maid get settled.
15. Going out and about
Your maid may wish to go to worship with her fellow compatriates and they quite often organise buses together to achieve this or trips to supermarkets that sell their specialised food.
16. Be approachable
Let her know that she can come to you about any issues or problems and that you will talk to her and try and help her as much as you can.
You have invested a lot of money in sponsoring a maid and she is your responsibility in the country. Think how she must feel and that if you spend the time right at the beginning to settle her in, you will both be clear about her position. At the end of the day she is your employee but she is living in or near your home so there is some blurring of boundaries.
It is how you deal with her induction that will set the tone for her employment period. Open and clear communication is the key and a lot of patience and understanding. You will both reap the benefits if you take the time to manage this period properly.