Thinking of getting a maid, but feeling daunted by the amount of money required?
In this article we break down all the cost of hiring a domestic helper in Singapore.
At the end of the article, we calculate the estimated, average cost to hire a fresh maid and transfer maid (with and without agency).
If you are looking for a reliable maid agency in Singapore, you can visit our directory.
You will be expected to pay the following fees.
|New maid||Transfer maid|
|Maid Agency Fee||$0 – $2,000 (depending on agency)||$0 – $2,000 (depending on agency)|
|Settling-in Programme||$75 (if she is working in Singapore for the first time)
|Work Permit application||$30||$30|
|Work Permit issuance||$30||$30|
|Foreign Domestic Worker Levy||$265/month (for Normal)
$60/month (for Concessionary)
|$265/month (for Normal)
$60/month (for Concessionary)
|Medical Insurance coverage (Minimum coverage of $15,000)
(Minimum coverage of $40,000)
|About $100 per year||About $100 per year|
|Initial Medical Examination||$80||–|
|Employers’ Orientation Programme (if you have not hired an FDW before or you have changed FDWs frequently)||Classroom EOP: $30 to $34.50
Online EOP: $46
|Classroom EOP: $30 to $34.50
Online EOP: $46
Note about agency fee: Don’t be attracted to extremely low prices of maid agency fee. Most of the fee is transferred from prospective employers to the domestic workers.
You will also need to check what is included in the agency fee. Here are some of the common components of agency fee:
- Registration of FDW
- Overseas recruitment fee of the FDW
- Air ticket for maid’s arrival in Singapore
- Initial Medical checkup of FDW
- Administrative Fee for application of work permit and other documentation
- Fee related to entry test and safety awareness course
- Transfer of the maid from airport to your home or agency
- Medical and personal accident insurance
- Security bond
- Sending maid to MOM for thumbprint.
- Guarantee free replacements
Also, do check the fee that your maid has to pay the agency.
The fee that maids have to pay agents is legally capped at two months’ salary for a two-year contract and typically ranges between $800 and $1,200 for two years.
Employers cannot deduct money from their maids for agency payments. The Ministry of Manpower states that the only valid reasons for the employer to deduct money is for absence from work, or recovery of advances. In these cases, the maximum amount that can be deducted is 50% of the total salary per month.
Maid levy and maid insurance in Singapore
Levy concession for a foreign domestic worker
If your hire of a FDW falls under any of these 3 schemes, you can opt for a levy concession which will lower your Foreign Domestic Worker Levy fee. Instead of $265 per month, you pay $60 per month. The 3 schemes are:
- Young child/grandchild scheme
- Aged person scheme
- Aged person scheme (FDW employer or spouse)
- Aged person scheme (parent or grandparent)
- Persons With Disabilities scheme
- Persons With Disabilities (PWD) scheme
- Foreign domestic worker grant ($120 per month)
For some, you will be automatically enrolled into the scheme, while for some, you will need to apply to be enrolled. So, do ensure that you read and make the right checks and application.
More detailed information can be found here: http://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-permit-for-foreign-domestic-worker/foreign-domestic-worker-levy/levy-concession
You need to buy medical and personal accident insurance for your helper. Find out the coverage required and how to submit the insurance details.
Before your helper arrives in Singapore, you must buy medical insurance and personal accident insurance as part of your medical obligations to her.
You must not pass on the cost of purchasing the insurance to your helper.
For more information on maid insurance, visit MOM site https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-permit-for-foreign-domestic-worker/eligibility-and-requirements/insurance-requirements.
Monthly salary of FDWs in Singapore
What is the average domestic helper salary in Singapore?
The monthly salary of a foreign domestic worker in Singapore varies. Mainly, the more experienced and capable FDW costs more. Factors include:
- Salary given by past employer
- Years of experience
- Specialized skill set – ability to handle elderly and children, nursing expertise and care
- More people to take care of in the household
- Attitude of the FDW
You do have to cater to the minimum wage set by the home country of your domestic helper.
- Myanmar maid salary: S$450
- Sri Lanka maid salary: S$497
- Indonesian maid salary: S$550
- Philippines maid in Singapore: S$570
Note that maids need to have a weekly rest day (if her Work Permit was issued or renewed after 1 January 2013). If there is a mutual agreement with the FDW to work on a rest day, you need provide at least a one day salary or another replacement day within the same month.
If you are hiring an experienced domestic worker, you can view this survey that compares maid salaries in Singapore to years of experience.
Other daily and important costs
|Six-monthly medical examination
Pregnancy & Syphilis (Every 6 months)
HIV (Every 2 years)
Tuberculosis (Once, upon 2 years of stay in Singapore)
|Medical expenses (if FDW falls ill)||$100-1000 per year|
|Food, Accommodation, travel expenses and utilities||$400/month|
|Immunisations (for FDW taking care of elderly or children)||$45 for a flu vaccination, $67 for Hepatitis A, $90 for typhoid and $93.50 for a combo for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (International Medical Clinic)|
To protect yourself against emergencies happening to your domestic helper such as severe illness or accidents, opt for a maid insurance with good, sufficient coverage.
Do note that you are not allowed to get your FDW to co-pay her medical expenses even if it exceeds the insurance claimable limit.
Should I engage a maid agency?
A maid agency will eliminate all the hassle that goes about hiring a maid. You can still do it by yourself for transfer maid. You will not be able to hire a fresh maid by yourself, but through an agency.
If you do not want the hassle of looking through the rules and regulations and the paperwork of hiring a maid, then a maid agency is ideal for you.
If you want a clear and easy guide to follow through your hire without an agency, you can read this how to employ maid without agency guide.
Adding up the cost above, we can essentially calculate the estimated cost of each type of hire:
|New maid||$1,308 (about 1000 for agency fee)||$15,075|
|Transfer maid without agency||$273||$15,075|
|Transfer maid with agency||$1,273 (about 1000 for agency fee)||$15,075|
Hope this cost guide helps in your hire of domestic helper for your household!
Find reliable maid agencies in Singapore
If you are looking for maid agencies to match your personalised requirements, you can contact SGHomeNeeds for a more quick and fuss-free experience. SGHomeNeeds also offers a list of reliable maid agencies in Singapore in the following areas:
- Agencies offering full time maids in Singapore
- Agencies offering part time maids in Singapore
- Maids specialised for young children
- Caregiver specialised for elderly
If you have any further questions, you can view our commonly-asked questions when hiring maids.
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