Guidelines for a successful work schedule for your foreign domestic helper (maid)

Published on 21 Nov 2023, last updated on 2 Feb 2024

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.


Meals and Breaks

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)


Sleeping Times

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

TimeTask Activity
6:00amWake up
6:30amPersonal hygiene & breakfast
7:00amMorning tasks
10:30amLunch prep
12:30pmAssisting lunch arrangements
1:30pmLunch break
2:30pmAfternoon tasks
3:30pmAfternoon break
4:30pmDinner prep
6:00pmAssisting dinner arrangements
7:00pmEvening tasks
8:00pmWind-down time
10:00pmSleep until next morning

Sample Nanny with minor housekeeping schedule

TimeTask Activity
5:00amWake up
5:30amPersonal hygiene and breakfast
6:00amPreparing kids for school
7:00amHousekeeping tasks
8:00amLunch and afternoon break
2:30pmReceiving kids back from school
3:30pmAttending to kids for their afternoon nap
4:00pmAttending to children
6:00pmAttending to children with dinner
7:00pmDinner break
8:00pmWind down time
9:00pmSleep until next morning

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