8 Warning Signs That Indicate It's Time to Let Your Helper Go
Sometimes, helpers possess certain traits that are unacceptable, or commit acts that are just unforgivable...
In Singapore, many of us are privileged to have helpers assist us with our home duties, including looking after our kids.
Some helpers are absolute gems — you are indeed fortunate if you have a helper like this.
Sometimes, unfortunately, the helper you employ may not be all that suitable for your household, or display traits that are just unacceptable, especially if she is responsible for your young baby or an elderly family member.
Of course, there are instances when you can give your helper (like any other employee really) a second or even third chance, if she has made a genuine mistake or if there has been a miscommunication between the two of you.
But there are other times when it’s just not worth the time, effort and of course, the compromise to your family’s safety to continue employing her.
What are the warning signs you should heed that indicate it is time to let your helper go? Browse this gallery to find out.
1. Repeated ignoring or abusing of house rules
Laying down some ground rules when you hire a helper for the first time is a must.
Being transparent about your house rules in this manner right from the start means she knows exactly what you will and won’t allow in your house. And this prevents unnecessary confusion and misunderstanding.
However, if your helper repeatedly ignores or abuses your house rules then it’s time to bid her farewell, as this shows a blatant disregard and disrespect for what you consider important in your house.
2. Negligence or abuse of a child under her care
There is no excuse at all for the abuse of a child by anyone, especially so by the person you trust to look after him while you are away.
If your child displays genuine distress when you need to leave him with your helper (even after allowing for a substantial ‘getting used to her’ period) or you notice obvious signs of physical abuse such as bruises, then it’s time to show your helper the door.
If she’s also repeatedly forgetting to follow basic procedures to ensure your child’s safety – such as locking doors and closing windows while you are away – this too shows that your little one’s safety is not her priority.
Some employers opt to install video cameras so they can monitor their helpers while they are away from home, but of course, this should be done at the individual’s discretion.
3. No interest in learning her duties
Like any other employee, a newly employed helper will need to learn duties set out by you, as well as understand her responsibilities and show you that you can trust her with your home and kids.
However, if after repeated attempts on your part to communicate these duties and repeated failure on her side to carry out these duties and responsibilities to your levels of expectation, then it’s time to let her go.
No explanation needed here… and no excuses can be given either for stealing from you. You will need to show her the door, pronto.
5. Repeated lying
It’s human nature to lie when you are scared of the consequences.
To prevent your helper from lying to you for fear of being reprimanded, make it very clear at the beginning that she should tell you immediately if something goes wrong, that you will not pull her up for it if it is a genuine mistake.
For example, your child falling and knocking his head while in your helper’s care is one instance when she should tell you immediately, rather than lying about it because she is scared you will scold her.
However, if you catch her lying repeatedly about things – especially with regard to your child’s safety – then you’ll probably need to let her go.
6. Outright defiance/ rebellious behaviour/ rudeness
Mutual respect is a must in any job, and this rule should apply to the working relationship between you and your helper.
But if your helper shows signs of outright defiance when you request something or a complete disregard of your house rules or other instructions, it shows that she has absolutely no regard for you as an employer or an individual.
7. Physically unable to handle her job
Whether your helper’s main duties involve looking after your kids or keeping your house clean (or both, or more), if she cannot physically keep up with the work you set out for her within reasonable working hours, then it may be time to ask her to leave.
This is because if she finds working for you a physical strain, it’s not good for her health, neither are your needs being met. And this is unfair by both parties.
8. You just have a bad feeling about her
Sometimes, your helper may not show direct signs that warrant you asking her to leave. But over time, if, for example, you suspect her stories just don’t add up, or you have a hunch that she is ill-treating your child, lying or stealing, then you should trust your gut instinct, and show her the door.
In some of the instances listed in this gallery, such as theft or the abuse of a child or an elderly family member, it’s best you inform the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) so they can take appropriate action.
In all other instances, do inform the agency through which you recruited the helper about why you are letting her go.
Are there any other warning signs we have missed? Do list them in the comment box below.