Hiring Maid Singapore: Cost of Employing Maid

 Cost of maid in Singapore include maid basic salary, maid agency fee, air ticket, fee for work pass, maid levy, food and toiletry, maid insurance.

Last Update: September 13, 2017

1. Maid Fees - Maid Agency Fees

2. Maid Fees - Personal Accident Insurance and security bond

3. Maid Fees - Performance Bond

4. Maid Fees - Placement Fee

5. Maid Fees - Settling-in Program

6. Maid Fees - Employers'Orientation Program

7. Maid Fees - Other Upfront Costs

8. Maid Fees - Monthly Salary

9. Maid Fees - Foreign Domestic Worker Levy

10. Maid Fees - Food and toiletry

11. Maid Fees - Medical Expenditure

12. Maid Fees - Air Ticket

13. Maid Fees - Common Questions

Latest Update: According to Singapore media, the minimum salary for domestic workers from the Philippines will be raised from current S$550 to S$570, the Philippines Embassy's Overseas Labour Office (POLO-SG) reveal this on 31 March 2017, the new minimum salary will take effect on 1 May 2017.

In summary, cost of maid consists of includes the following: 1. Basic salary of maid which is now usually more than $500; 2. Extra fee for working on off days, this fee is around $100. 3. Foreign domestic worker levy: this can range from $60 to $265 and exact amount depends on household conditions. 4. Food and toiletry: this can cost employers about $300 a month. 5. Air ticket: this one-time off fee will cost employers a few hundred dollars. 6. Employer orientation program: this costs $30. 7. Maid agency fee: this can range anything from zero to a few hundred, depending on the service coverage. 8. Insurance: this can cost employers about $260.

1.Cost of Maid - Maid Agency Fee or service fee

This can range from $0 to $2000. It is important for you to check with your maid agency or domestic helper agency what the agent fee or service fee covers.

The maid agency fees: The maid agency fee may or may not cover the following:

1. Registration and overseas recruitment fee of the foreign domestic helper

2. Arrival ticket for the maid

3. Medical checkup expense of the maid

4. Administrative Fee for application of work permit and other documentation

5. Fee related to entry test and safety awareness course

6. Fetching of the maid from airport

7. Medical insurance

8. Security bond (Please read further about this)

9. Pick up maid at airport and send maid to the Ministry of Manpower for thumbprint.

It is therefore important to ask maid agency what maid agency fee covers before engaging their service.

2.Cost of Maid - Personal Accident Insurance and security bond

If these services are not included in the agent fee, you have to look for an insurance company and pay the amount accordingly.

As an employer, you need to purchase personal accident insurance for your foreign domestic workers, minimum sum insured will be $40,000.

All employers of foreign domestic workers need to have a security bond with the work pass division of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Under the bond, employers are required to put a deposit of $5000 in the form of a Banker's or Insurance Guarantee. In the event that the foreign domestic workers disappear, or are pregnant and you fail to repatriate the maid, your $5000 deposit will be forfeited.

To avoid paying the $5000 cash and minimize the risk, you can purchase insurance from some insurers like NTUC Income. Under the terms in some insurance plans, when the maid runs away, you only need pay $250 and the insurer will pay the remaining $4750.

Some insurers like NTUC income will have a plan that combines personal accident insurance and security bond; cost of this plan may be about $256.80.

3.Cost of Maid - Performance Bond

This is only relevant if you are hiring a Filipino maid, you need to furnish a bond of $7000 to the Philippines Embassy in Singapore. You can purchase an insurance plan from insurer. This may cost you about $71.69.

4.Cost of Maid - Placement Fee

This may not be necessary if you are hiring Indonesian maid.

This may range from 2 months of salary to a few thousands, depending on the agency you employed. If you pay the placement fee, you can deduct it from the maid's monthly salary.

5. Cost of Maid - Settling-in Program

This may cost you $75 if your foreign domestic worker is working in Singapore for the first time. This sometimes is included in the agent fee or service fee.

6. Cost of Hiring Maid - Employers'orientation program

If you are hiring maid for the first time, you may need to attend the orientation program unless you have valid reason. This can cost you $20 or $30. This sometimes is included in the service fee or agent fee.

7. Cost of Maid - Others Upfront Cost

You may also need to purchase bed, mattress, bed sheet, pillow and blanket if you do not have these items for your maid. As an employer, you have to provide these items to the maid.

8. Cost of Maid - Monthly Salary

Monthly salary of Indonesian and Filipino maids have been increased steadily over the years. For example, for Indonesian maid, it has been increased from $450 to $550 a month with 4 days off in 2017.

  1. Indonesian maid: $550 and above
  2. Filipino maid: $550 and above (From 1 May 2017, it will be $570 and above)
  3. Myanmar maid: $450 and above

9. Cost of Maid - Foreign Domestic Worker Levy

You need a pay a monthly foreign domestic worker levy of $265 through arrangement of GIRO.

If you meet condition for concession of foreign domestic worker levy, you only need to pay $60 monthly. You can read this under the common question below for the conditions for the foreign domestic worker levy concession.

10.Cost of Maid - Food and toiletry

As an employer, you are supposed to provide food for the foreign domestic worker. If you do not cook, you have to give maid some cash to buy her own meals. It may be recommended that you pay for the basic toiletry such as shampoo, toothpaste and tooth brush for the maid, but this is not compulsory unless you and your maid agree to it in the contract.

11. Cost of Maid - Medical expenses

As an employer, you have to pay all medical expenses of your maid. This is the reason why it is important for you to have the personal accident insurance plan.

Every 6 months, the maid will need to go for a simple medical examination as required by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). This medical examination will cost employers about $30 (Different clinics will charge differently). MOM will send employer a letter and the employer will need to bring the maid to clinic for the medical examination.

12. Cost of Maid - Air Ticket

You need to pay the transportation fee for the repatriation of the maid upon cancellation of the work permit.

Common Questions about Cost of Hiring A maid

Question 1: How do I know whether I am eligible for the foreign domestic worker levy concession?

Answer: The employer is eligible for the levy concession if he or she satisfies one of the conditions stated below:

Condition A:

  • the employer or spouse has a child who is a Singapore citizen below 12 years old and is living with him or her; or
  • the employer or spouse has a grandchild who is a Singapore citizen below 12 years old and is living with him or her.

Condition B:

  • the employer or spouse is a Singapore citizen who is 65 years old and above; or
  • the employer or spouse is a Singapore citizen and the other party is a Singapore Permanent Resident aged 65 years old or above and both are living together.

Condition C:

  • the employer or spouse has a parent or parent-in-law, grandparent or grandparent-in-law who is a Singaporean and aged 65 or above and is living together with the employer or
  • the employer is a Singapore Citizen and has a parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandparent-in-law who is a Singapore Permanent Resident aged 65 years old or above. The parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law must live with the employer.


Question 2: Can I claim tax relief for maid levy?

Answer: You can claim tax relief if you meet the following conditions:

  1. you are a married woman and has elected for separate assessment; or
  2. you are married and your husband is not resident in Singapore; or
  3. you are separated or divorced or widowed and living with your unmarried child for whom you can claim child relief

Question 3: If the domestic helper needs to return to her home country before contract expires, do I need to pay her return air ticket?

Answer: Yes. You are responsible for the maid's return air ticket as stated in guideline issued by the Ministry of Manpower, unless you have certain different agreement with your employment agency.

In some situations, the maid may agree to pay the return air ticket.

Question 4: Do I need to pay to renew the maid's passport?

Answer: This depends on the nationality of the maid. For maid from Indonesia, Embassy of Indonesia makes a rule that the employer needs to pay for all the fee relating to passport renewal.

In general, many employers choose to pay for all the relevant costs associated with the passport renewal.

Question 5: Anyone hires maid recently? What is the basic salary for fresh maid in 2017?

Answer: For fresh Filipino maid, the basic salary of new maid is $550 with 4 days off in a month.

Question 6: Is any refund of insurance if we replace maid?

Most insurance companies will refund you a certain percentage of fee. You may check details with employment agency personnel when you sign contract with maid agency.

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