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Costs of Hiring Maid | Guide on Hiring Domestic Help in Singapore

Budgeting | Lifestyle
by Priyadarshini 13 June 2022

Looking to hire a maid but not sure how much it will cost? Here’s a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know. One in every five households today employs a Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW), with over 245,000 maids working in Singapore. We give you a guide on the costs of hiring maids in Singapore.

Hiring a maid in Singapore entails more than just paying a salary.

Costs of Hiring Maids in Singapore

Salary scale

A domestic helper’s monthly compensation in Singapore is between S$400 and S$650. This price, however, may be smaller or greater depending on your maid’s nationality and the agency through which you employ her.

Here is a breakdown of anticipated minimum monthly salaries based on the nationalities of the maids:

S$450 for Myanmar
S$570 for Philippines
S$497 for Sri Lanka
S$550 for Indonesia

Aside from the nations listed above, Singaporeans can hire MDWs from Thailand, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Macau, and Thailand, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Keep in mind that the above are merely the starting monthly salary for MDWs from the nations listed above. You should budget for more, especially if the MDW you hire has previous job experience in Singapore or elsewhere.

The cost of hiring a maid with past experience or who is currently working in Singapore is higher. To be fair, there are a number of additional variables driving the rising demand for transfer maids, not the least of which is a lack of new MDWs due to border restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hiring a transfer maid now costs between S$800 and S$1,000, compared to $650 to $800 earlier.

Costs of Hiring Maids in Singapore

Maid tax

In Singapore, the maid levy is a monthly cost that employers must pay in order to recruit a foreign domestic worker. The fee contributes to the expense of educating and assisting migrant domestic workers in Singapore.

In Singapore, the current maid levy is S$300 per month. The tax rises to S$450 for any additional MDWs employed.

If you are unable to pay the maid levy, you may request a concessionary levy fee. Employers can apply for a concessionary levy if they are unable to pay the full monthly maid levy.

Days of work and rest

Maids in Singapore are entitled to one day off per week, or eight days off in a row every two months. They must also get a minimum of 12 hours of sleep per day, including seven hours of unbroken sleep at night.

The employer is not permitted to ask the maid to work on her day off, though some assistance may be requested if necessary. If this is the case, they must pay at least one day’s wage in additional compensation.

Assuming she earns S$600 per month, the two extra days would cost approximately S$46.

Expenses for living

Food, lodging, and other charges must be considered when determining a domestic helper’s living expenses.

A domestic worker’s monthly food budget is approximately S$200. This amount is subject to change based on her specific preferences and dietary limitations. For example, if your assistant is a vegetarian, you may need to increase your food budget.

Loan for a maid placement

Many companies will need you to pay an upfront placement fee when hiring a maid. This is often similar to one month’s income for your maid and is intended to cover the administrative charges of finding her a job, training her, and having her medical check-up.

Fees for placement or maid loans are not considered expenses because you will be repaying the loan through deductions from the maid’s paycheck in the first few months.

Extra COVID-19-related expenses

The prices you must pay have more than doubled due to new COVID-19 travel limitations, safety precautions, and increased administration and coordinating labour.

To hire a maid during the pandemic, certain extra safety precautions and standards must be followed. These include MOM entry approval, swab testing prior to the maid’s departure, and a Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) term served at an approved institution, among other things.

These costs pile up even if you don’t hire through a staffing agency. SHN dedicated sites, for example, cost S$1,050 for 10 days, but COVID-19 tests cost S$125 to S$160 apiece.

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