How To Hire A Maid In Singapore Without An Agency

how to hire a maid in singapore without an agency

There are so many Foreign Worker Domestic Helpers hired in Singapore, 5 years in running for the title World's Most Expensive City, that the Singapore government actually has a special department under the Ministry of Manpower just for hiring domestic helpers. 

First off, if you are considering hiring a maid yourself, without an agency, and this is your first time, you need to attend the Employer's Orientation Program giving you permission to hire a Foreign Domestic Worker. 

The next step is to find and filter candidates. Almost 90 percent or more of those who elect to hire a Foreign Worker outside of the bounds of an agency already has a candidate in mind. 

Usually, the prospective candidate is already in Singapore and has been recommended by friends, family and co-workers. These are known in Singapore lingo as transfer maids. 

The advantage of hiring a transfer maid is that with rare exception, they meet the requirements for working as a maid in Singapore: 

• They are between 23 and 50 years old 
• They come from an approved country Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. 
• They are not related to you No nieces, cousins, etc. 
• If this is there first time as a domestic in Singapore she must go through the Settling-In-Programme in Singapore. 

There are many advantages to not going through an agency, one of which it may cost you up to $2000 over and above all of the required fees to hiring a domestic, and equally important, it may save your maid money as well. 

What many people don't realize is that Maid Service Agencies often charged hefty fees to potential domestics as well, so that during those first three months of working for you, as much as half their salary may be taken by the Agency. 

So while there may be some really great agencies out there, your new domestic may be grateful that you are hiring them directly rather than going through an agency. 

Once you are approved to be an employer for a domestic worker, you need to submit the paperwork as well as obtain a work permit for your helper. 

Getting a work permit for your domestic helper is essential. If you don't, you are subject to large fines and possibly imprisonment. 

You also need to be prepared for your helpers’ arrival in Singapore if she is not here already. This means obtaining a security bond for her, otherwise, she will be turned away at the border. 

You will also need to purchase medical and personal insurance for her. Maid insurance for medical must be at least $15,000 per year of coverage for inpatient care and day surgery, and personal insurance must be for $60,000 or more and must cover sudden, unforeseen and unexpected incidents which may cause permanent disability or death. 

As stated earlier, if this is her first time working in Singapore, she will also be required to a attend a one-day Settling-in-Programme (although this is temporarily suspended during the COVID-19 Pandemic.) 

If you are hiring through transferring a maid, you need to check with her current employer that she has gone for her 6-monthly medical examination, got her current employers permission to transfer, and apply for a new work permit for her. 

If you have caregiver needs such as young children or the elderly, you can possibly be approved to hire a second helper, but you must still meet the minimum requirements. 

How Much Will You Be Expected To Pay For Your Maid In Singapore? 

The legal minimum depends upon the country she is from. From as low as $450 if she is from Mynamar to as high as $570 for those maids from the Philippines. 

However, these are the bare minimums, and experience maids will generally get $600 to $650 per month. 

However, it's not only her salary that you have to take care of. Under the law, you are also required to take care of her living expenses. Food, transportation, phone bills, etc are liable to add up to a minimum of $200 to more than likely $250 or more. 

Rest Days 

Your domestic helper is entitled to 4 rest days per month (essentially one day per week.) If she actually works for two of those days, over and above her regular work days, she should be compensated for those two days. So if she works 6 days per week and draws a salary of $600, then she should be paid roughly an additional $46 per month. 

Maid Levy 

You also have to pay a maid levy to the government for the privilege of having a foreign domestic. The standard levy is $300 per month. However, you can get concessions and bring this down to as low as $60 per month if there is a child or grandchild below 16 years old, and elderly family member over 67, or a family member who needs help with at least one daily task living with you at home. 

The concessions end once the family member passes away, a child reaches the age of 16, or the person no longer lives in Singapore. 

Total Monthly Costs 

Counting salary, maid levy's, working on rest days and living expenses, most families can expect to pay from between $950 and $1200 per month, which is not totally cheap, but you get a lot for what you pay for. 

Some people try to reduce expenses by either hiring maids from countries such as Mynamar where they don't have to pay as high a salary, or hiring one or more native domestic helpers part-time. 

However, finding the best possible domestic maid, have her live in, and forming a genuine bond with them is often the best policy. 

There are currently over 250,000 domestic helpers in Singapore, and the vast majority are entirely satisfied with the results. 

Having a maid can allow women in the family to have their own career and still ensure their children or their elderly parents are taken care of.

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