What To Expect When You Hire A MDW

Singaporeans work very long hours in a fast-paced environment with more demanding job conditions, and when they get home, they don't have time to cook, clean, or care for their families. It's no surprise that hiring a migrant domestic worker (MDW) has become a necessity, not only for care services but also to ensure that someone cooks for the entire family.

Though it becomes necessary, employing a migrant domestic worker (MDW) is a serious commitment. You may have to expect some challenges when hiring a domestic helper. Your domestic helper may have never done housework before. It could be her first time working abroad. The household work you expect her to do may differ from what she did in her previous job/household. During her first few months on the job, you will need to keep a close eye on her.


Be prepared to face the challenges of an MDW who:

Might not have previously worked as a domestic helper or a maid in Singapore.

  • In the early stages of her employment, she may require coaching and close supervision.

  • She may be unfamiliar with modern household appliances.

  • She is unlikely to be accustomed to working in high-rise buildings and may be unaware of the risks when cleaning windows or hanging out laundry.

  • She may or may not be able to care for your children or the elderly in accordance with your expectations, and time will be needed to communicate expectations.

May not know how to do all the jobs you ask her to do

Even if she had previously worked as a migrant domestic worker (MDW) in Singapore, each household's expectations and practices are different. She may have difficulty adjusting to living and working in a new environment

Not be able to speak or understand your language easily.

Her spoken English may not meet your expectations .If you are hiring someone with whom you share no common language, you are likely to have to spend even more time helping her settle in.

Will need regular medical examinations

Medical examinations are mandatory upon her entry to Singapore and then for every six months that she works here.The pre- employment medical examination screens the FDW for four types of infectious diseases (tuberculosis, HIV, syphilis and malaria) and checks if she is fit to work. She will also need a regular pregnancy test. You may want to send her for more tests if you have specific concerns about her health.


It takes time & effort to keep a good working relationship with your MDW

It can be stressful for you and your MDW in the first few months, especially if she is working in Singapore for the first time. It takes commitment to build a long-term relationship based on trust and openness. She may have a different way of life, beliefs and customs. As in any employer-employee relationship, it is important that both parties work towards establishing a harmonious working relationship.

As an employer, you play an important role in assisting your helper in adjusting to life and work in Singapore. Be prepared to provide for, manage, and supervise the MDW. Make sure you and your family members are ready for the MDW to live in your home. Have reasonable expectations of your MDW, and select your MDW carefully.


If you've decided to hire an MDW but aren't sure where to start or how to choose, get in touch with Swift Maids Agency, Singapore's MOM-licensed maid agency. With our 30 years of experience, we will always do our best to assist you. We are here to provide you with excellent customer service by matching you with the right domestic helper.

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