Guidelines for a successful work schedule for your foreign domestic helper (maid)
Published on 21 Nov 2023, last updated on 2 Feb 2024
Table of contents
Setting up a workable and sustainable schedule for your worker is one of the most important aspects of managing your domestic worker. Domestic work is physically laborious and is energy intensive, therefore, having a schedule of work that allows for rest can have a very significant positive impact on the worker's wellbeing and ability to work for your household for the long term. Given that workers work where they stay (the lack of separation between work & personal life), additional requirements are required to ensure that your worker has effective and meaningful rest.
Your worker should have meal breaks (lunch/dinner) between 1-1.5 hours, especially if your worker is planning to cook her own food. This would provide her with a meaningful amount of time to cook and eat.
On top of meal breaks, having 1-2 break times (of about 30 - 45 minutes) during the work day is important to allow your worker time to rest.
If fixed time slots for breaks cannot be maintained, have a discussion with your worker to find out what is a break time arrangement that would allow for her to complete her tasks, while also providing her with the assurance that she can care for herself/rest. (Especially in a childcare or elderly care role)
The Philippines DMW contract states that at least 8 hours of continuous sleep is required for your worker’s well being.
If part of your worker's job scope involves sleeping in the same room as your children/infant/elderly, do anticipate that your worker may not get effective rest from time to time, as infants and very young children have sleep patterns that are disruptive to the worker’s rest. You may schedule in additional rest time during the day according to the worker’s feedback and ability to handle sleeping with a family member.
In addition to 8 hours of continuous sleep, we recommend 1-2 hours of wind down time before sleeping time for your worker to perform personal chores, connect with her family members, and perform personal wellbeing maintenance activities.
Having a rough schedule is better than no schedule at all as this would provide the worker with a general routine that they can refer to and anticipate on a daily basis.
Be prepared to tweak and adjust the schedule to your individual worker, as job scopes differ by household and each worker’s energy level is different.
Do get your worker to give feedback on the schedule as they are the executor of the tasks and would be able to provide you with an additional perspective on the work and effort required.
Sample Housekeeper with Cooking schedule
|Personal hygiene & breakfast
|Assisting lunch arrangements
|Assisting dinner arrangements
|Sleep until next morning
Sample Nanny with minor housekeeping schedule
|Personal hygiene and breakfast
|Preparing kids for school
|Lunch and afternoon break
|Receiving kids back from school
|Attending to kids for their afternoon nap
|Attending to children
|Attending to children with dinner
|Wind down time
|Sleep until next morning