In Thai, the maids are called “Mae Baan”, meaning “Mother of the house”. They come from many places around Thailand and now days you can easily find Burmese and Nepalese helpers. As for the foreign helpers, you will need to check if they have working permits/visas for working in Thailand. If they do not have a visa, they might negotiate to include in the employee’s agreement. Some ask for you to sponsor and pay for their visa, this will cost about 2,000Baht. Or they will ask you to pay for the visa but they hire an agent to handle all the work. In this case, you are not their sponsor and the price is about 4,000Baht. No hassle to you in this case.
For all cases being Thai or Foreign help, you should ask to have their health checked, this usually is paid by the employer. Major hospitals can do this for them.
Things you should be ready to supply for the Live-ins maids are the following: Maid’s room, bed, pillow, mattress, linen, closet, dressing table, mirror AND fan and perhaps a TV?, Plates, bowls etc. for their food. It is uncommon to provide them with an Air condition or cable TV. Some people provide these 2 items for their maids but I don’t suggest to rock the market, if you know what I mean?
Be clear on what is required of them to do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis as they have their way of doing things And each of their previous employers have their way of doing things too. So, please make sure if you have any specific request or ways of doing things, tell them from the beginning. Sometimes you might have to show them how it’s done. If you are not sure they know how to work the appliances, show them. A lot of times they say yes they understand but don’t really J Once they know what you eat and use, they can then go shopping for you.
Working hours are usually from 8-5PM. BUT they are usually up and at it by 7AM and there later than 5PM. Sunday is a day off. Thai (bank) holidays, Song Kran (Thai New Year) and the New Year holiday are expected days off for them.
A lot of times during these long holidays the maids go home for the holidays and they might not come back on time. This is very common as they will say, there aren’t enough buses, trains etc. You will most likely say to them this is unacceptable, you should plan it before time blah…blah…blah… BUT they will say we will never do it again BUT they most likely will! You just have to deduct their pay if it happens again… And it will.
Even though you ask your maid to let you know in advance a few days if they are going to take leave so you can plan your days. They don’t usually tell you. Most people find they tell you a day before OR on the day they’ve got to go that they are going. They might say, someone in their family is really sick or died – a common quick excuse so you don’t ask many questions. Sometime the same person dies within the year. Don’t take it personally, they do this to their families too. It’s a Thai thing, so they don’t have to confront and spend time explaining. Again, you just have to keep repeating yourself or just deduct their salary for the days off.
What I find is the nicer and the more you treat them as part of your family, most don’t appreciate it. They take it for granted and you end up hurt because you’ve been so nice and kind blah…blah…blah… I find if you treat time with kindness and fairness but at a distance, it is best for all parties. They respect you and don’t expect to get away with everything. You will have more control. But again, look a the person’s personality, they might be a responsible person and have discipline you can trust them and treat them as family.
Best of luck to you in finding the right help the first time around!!