As I also had many bad experiences with these maid agencies. I had the same complaint. Agencies most often than not are just making money out of the employers and they don't serve what we pay for considering the very high agency fee and replacement fees that they collect from the employers. I can tell the desperation of the mommies here who hope to find a really good maid/ yaya provider. I am a person who work out of passion and not really after money. My husband and I begin to contemplate of serving the need for a reliable and well trained maids/ yayas. If I pursue this I think, I would make sure that I have a space for training house helpers and will give them exam related to what they have learned from the training and also basic psychological exam. Before deployment maybe I would require them to stay with the agency for a week or 2 to complete the training course and also to observe their manners and their behavior. I would have a team who would evaluate their behavior. The training could come with allowance as not to waste their time. This could be part of the agency fee the employers pay. I would also do background investigation by checking on their personal stuff with their signed permission like their phone directory or any proof to establish their character and would do a random call to people in their phone directory to ask about them. I should have a way of polite introduction when doing this random call and this would serve as their reference on our record. I would maintain a history of employees going in and out of the agency including feedback from previous employer. I will not accept those that cannot comply with the agency standards as we need to maintain good reputation with the employers. The agency needs to protect both parties. But most of the time, domestic helpers here are often abusive so there should be equally high protection for the employers like how to manage employees who leave without formal notice to both the agency and the employer. The agency should make an inventory of their belongings and also the amount of money they have before deployment for record purposes. I think the day off should take place before the salary date in order to be able to hold the 15 days unpaid work mandated by DOLE in case of justifiable bridge of contract by the employee. As the usual day off is 2x a month, maybe the first salary should be given at the end of the month but they will only receive the salary for 15 days from 1-15. The next salary day would be on the 15th of the following month, they should be able to get the salary for the 16-30. period. And so on and so forth until they finish their contract they will receive full amount due to them. This way they will not think that you are holding their salary but will appear that it is part of the contract as to the manner and date of salary. Another is that in consultation with the DOLE, there should be a database or a site wherein the agency or the employers can post maids with derogatory records supported by formal complaint. This way, the employers and the registered agencies can easily check the site for derogatory records of the applicant if there is any.
It is very unfair for the employees to ask for a high salary but cannot meet the qualifications of the employer nor her duties stipulated in the contract she signed. It is ok to pay for the price for something that would truly make your life easier, would take away your anxieties and won't make you feel like a milking cow.
Of course the employees should also get equal protection and benefits from the placement. Good compensation is one, the agency making sure that the employers comply with the kasambahay law. Employers should be required to secure SSS employer ID of some sort, same with PAG-IBIG and Philhealth. Part of the agency service could be processing of the requirements for the employers to help them secure all the requirements but only to the point of securing the registration requirements. Paying for the monthly dues should be part of the employers. But the agency could also make that as part of the service if the employers would want that but there should be an agreement to protect the employer.
The issue I have however is that, will you find applicants who are willing to go through all these? I guess if everyone else do the same, they will just have to comply if they want to get hired. I think it's a matter of making them understand too the benefits of the process. Applicants should be oriented with the Kasambahay law so they know their rights clearly and also what the law expects from them. Kasamabahay also go through an agency to make sure they are protected from the harmful employers.
Very hard really. Until now I am still on the look out for a reputable agency. 5 Star seem to be good but the owner is after the money they get from new employers. They prioritize replacement less and it takes a while to provide replacement. Unless no new employers are signing up, they won't bother to get back to you. You will have to follow up everyday or go out of your way to go there and see for yourself if they are telling the truth. One time I interviewed an applicant for replacement. We already agreed and I was about to pick her up but I was late only for an hour because I could just not leave when they advice me to pick up the maid, they suddenly told me that the applicant has backed out. So I told them to let me speak with the applicant to ask her what is the matter. The applicant was stuttered didn't know how to answer me. So i just told her that she might be under pressure. I told her not to give in to their pressure as we've already have an understanding during my interview with her. She told me to hurry up and she will just choose to go with me when I get there just so the owner won't have no choice but to let her go. They were putting up reasons for the back out like the applicant wants a higher salary, something they think would turn me off. But I did not surrender, instead I told them I can give the salary she asks and we will talk about it when I get there. So when I got there, we negotiate in front of the agency and she agreed so the agency has no more reasons not to let her go.
I would appreciate your ideas about how service providers (agencies) should improve their role to be fair to the stakeholders. I would like to draw a plan for this idea of putting up a house help agency.