Hiring a Nanny, a Manny, or a Maid in Thailand

How to ethically and easily employ domestic staff in Thailand...

Hiring of good, trustworthy domestic staff anywhere in the world can be both a time-consuming and tedious affair, especially when there is a language barrier.

Honesty by both parties from the very beginning of employment is of the utmost importance. Being dishonest (even in the slightest) when it comes to employment, can only have a negative effect. On the one side you have candidates wanting to secure a new job and on the other, employers who are not always entirely honest about the remuneration, actual role duties, scope of the work – or they change/add one or more of these key factors without the consent of their staff and then wonder why their staff has become unhappy.

Fewer and fewer Thais now choose to work as Nannies and/or maids so those remaining are in very high demand, however the local market has benefited recently from an influx of workers from Myanmar. These employees have largely been found to be well educated, bi-lingual, honest, and reliable. However workers from Myanmar are not well-protected by local authorities, therefore most choose to work with an agency in order to find work that is fair (financially and with regard to working conditions).

Note: In past years, agencies would offer 'free' employment services to hiring families. In reality, this service was not free and a ten per cent commission would be deducted from the Nanny's salary. When agencies like Nitiporn PNA began charging families a fee instead, and explaining the reasons behind the changed approach, an increasing number of agencies followed suit. There are still agencies that are cost-free to hiring families but most ethical would-be employers prefer to pay the agency fee themselves rather than allowing their potential Nanny to bear the expense.

Here are four things we would suggest to maintain a strong working relationship with household staff:

1. Pay your staff well. Give them the bare minimum and it will only be a matter of time before they leave you for a better salary.

2. Treat your staff as valued employees. They aren’t your servants. They aren’t your slaves. They certainly aren’t your friends and family. As with monetary compensation, if you don’t look after them someone else may and then take them away.

3. Give them their own time and space and remember they are not available 24-7. When they are off, leave them alone. Make their work environment as comfortable as possible rather than a place they feel they have to escape from.

4. Be kind, patient and generous in your actions and you will be rewarded with their loyalty and trust.

It’s also worth remembering that domestic staff work without a contract and so are not obliged to stay if they are unhappy or feel unappreciated. They cannot depend on the law to protect them (employment rights in Thailand apply only to those who have a contract in place) and so will take their own measures to protect themselves and find a new job if an employer tries to take advantage of them or doesn’t keep to their word.

Remember, good staff are highly sought-after and can find alternative work relatively easily.

Different roles

Every family is different and has a different set of duties and expectations from their staff.

While some families hire a Nanny just to take care of their children, others ask them to also do light-housework or take care of pets and even cook on occasion. To avoid confusion between you and the person you hire and to maintain good relations with them it is vital to explain what the duties will be in advance. Increased duties should be compensated by increased salaries and these additional duties must be agreed by both parties to avoid confusion or unhappiness later.

What is a Nanny?

A nanny is a person whose primary and sometimes only function is caring for the children and everything in the house affected by the children. A “nanny” is not really there to care for the parents, or to make beds, do the laundry or scrub the bathrooms, clean windows, etc. Some nannies will agree to help out around the house but their focus will always be the children. Any role that includes some or all of the above is really a nanny/maid job which is different. Your nanny will typically work 8-12 hours per day and five or six days per week. This applies to live-out nannies as well as to live-in. Many will be open to working additional hours for extra pay and with some staff even their day off can sometimes become a working day for extra salary. Many will be open to working as a nanny/maid, but this needs to be made clear at the beginning.

  • Almost all Nannies are women. Although there is no law against men or 'lady-boys' working in this field, agencies with non-female staff on their books have little success placing them. As a good agency aims to find the best fit for each family, it must be noted that 99 per cent of families prefer to employ women in this role.

What is a Nanny/Maid?

A nanny/maid will work with the family as a combined nanny and housekeeper.

Her responsibilities will include laundry, cleaning, ironing and even shopping and bill paying if required. Nanny/maids will typically work with families where the children are 2 years of age or more and are attending school or - if their charges are still babies/infants - where one parent stays at home. If both parents work it is better to hire two staff members: one Nanny and one maid, at least for the first few months, to ensure the newborn's needs are attended to at all times.

A nanny/maid will be accustomed to working her day around the children’s schedule in addition to keeping the home tidy and clean and supporting the whole family with her laundry and ironing skills too.

Holiday Entitlement

The nanny’s role can be a tiring role and she will require some time off to enable her to continue working efficiently and to help her to stay focused. As for actual holidays the list below shows some of the more popular of the many public holidays in Thailand. It is only a guide though and the nanny’s precise holiday entitlement should be discussed at the interview with the nanny – or her Agency - prior to her engagement.

It should be noted that if your nanny is Thai she will almost certainly return to her home for the Songkran Festival which in certain areas can last for 5 days. We advise that this holiday in particular is discussed with the nanny well in advance of the festival so all parties can plan accordingly.

1. Songkran Festival 13 – 15 April

2. May Day 1 May (or the Monday if 1st is at weekend)

3. Queens Birthday 12 August (or the Monday if 12th is at weekend)

4. Chulalongkorn Day 23 October (or the Monday if 23rd is at weekend)

5. H.M. Kings B’day 5 December (or the Monday if 5th is at weekend)

6. New Year’s Eve 31 December

7. New Year’s Day 1 January

A minimum of 1 day off each week is required, (typically Sunday) although your nanny/maid might be agreeable to working her day off if you need her to for additional salary. This should be paid to her at the end of the shift.

Salary guides 2017

Position

Speaks English

No English

Maid only

14,000thb – 16,000thb

12,000thb – 14,000thb

Cook only

16,000thb – 20,000+thb

16,000thb – 18,000thb

Cook & Maid

(as above)

N/A

Nanny only (newborns)

18,000thb – 25,000thb

18,000thb – 30,000thb

Nanny only

16,000thb – 20,000thb

14,000thb – 18,000thb

Nanny & Maid

(as above)

N/A

Nanny/Maid/Cook

18,000thb – 25,000thb

N/A


Written by Nitiporns Professional Nanny Agency - PNA Ltd Website / Contact Copyright © 2015 AngloINFO