Cost of Employing Maid in Singapore

Cost of Employing Maid in Singapore

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

Update on 26th Feb 2013: As announced by the Financial Minister on 25th Feb 2013, the foreign domestic workers levy for families with dependent will be lowered to $120 from current level of $170. The new policy will take effect from March 2013 onward. Families with children below age 12, elderly parents or family members with disability will be able to enjoy this new benefits.

1.Cost of Employing 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)

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

2.Cost of Employing 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 Employing Maid – Performance Bond

This is only relevant if you are employing 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 Employing Maid – Placement Fee

This may not be necessary if you are employing 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 Employing 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 Employing Maid – Employers’orientation program

If you are employing 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 Employing 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 Employing Maid – Monthly Salary

  1. Indonesian maid: $450 and above
  2. Filipino maid: $500 and above
  3. Myanmar maid: $450 and above

9. Cost of Employing 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 $120 monthly. You can read this under the common question below for the conditions for the foreign domestic worker levy concession.

10.Cost of Employing 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 Employing 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.

12. Cost of Employing 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 Employing 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, unless you have certain different agreement with your employment agency.

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.

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