The stranger in the house, yet not exactly...
I have employed a maid for as long as I can remember; maybe 20 years.
They come and go when their contract is up; some for short while, some after several months with a few stretching over two to three 'seasons'.
What bugs me until today is not the costliness of employing a maid but that I have to pay levy - paying someone who does nothing but who awards me a 'right' to employ a maid. Alas, in my dark moments, I likened this to protection money.
Employment of maids is no more straight forward. The maid also chooses which households she prefers to work in; big house, small house, with or without children, elders, pets, etc...uummm, the off-days!
There seems to be a few primary players who dominates the recruitment and distribute his products, the maids-to-be; naturally, the pricing too. The maids are 'displayed' like wares in supermarket and, if you happen to go shopping for a maid, their biodata do not necessarily matched the (real) person. Well, you can try chatting with the maids-on-display but only if you can withstand the stares from the proprietors. Besides, they don't seem interested in placing out their maids. Guess, it's because the cost (licence, rental) is low or next to nothing to start a maid agency.
Whatever my contract says, I always pay for their airfares if they request to go home after they finished 12 months of work. I accept whatever reasons they give, like homesick, kids sick, parents need them & others. Why? I'd rather they return home and reunite with their family & live happily forever thereafter than to have a 'time-bomb' sitting inside my home.
I treat my maid as a home-assistant and being a part of the family.
Employing a maid is unlike any supermarket purchase. It is bringing in a total stranger into the house, trusting that she is mentally sound, medically healthy and will be able to co-exist in harmony.
There must exist an absolute trust that the maid will behave, not be 'light finger' and keep confidence of all things within the home.
I fail to understand why some people can ill-treat their maids or even abuse them.
Treat them as you like to be treated. Sure, there is an employer/employee relationship but isn't respect - the more you give, the more you get? Given them some space...