Employing a domestic helper is not an easy decision. Hiring a domestic helper in Singapore will cost at least S$700 per month including a very low salary for the worker and the concessionary levy. Naturally, you need to be excessively careful in your recruiting process, which requires interviewing prospective candidates and making sure you choose the person fit for the job. One other important aspect you need to consider is the hiring cost. Hiring a live-in maid costs more than just the helper’s salary and you should take into consideration all possible costs before you make the final decision. Below we have listed for you the different costs you will be required to pay while hiring a domestic helper.
The first and foremost cost that you should be concerned about is the basic maid salary, which usually starts from S$600. The salary depends on the educational qualification of the helper and the level of experience of working with kids and thus can vary accordingly. However, this salary does not include the food, lodging, travel, and medical expenses of the helper, which you will be responsible for and will be required to pay separately. The average monthly salary for skilled workers with few years of experience is between S$750 and S$950.
The second most important cost which you will be required to pay is the foreign domestic worker levy. This cost has to be paid directly to the Government of Singapore and amounts to a normal monthly rate of S$300. However, if you qualify for the concessionary rate you will be required to pay a sum of S$60 only. To be eligible for the concessionary rate, you must have living with you at your registered address an infant child or grandchild, and elderly parent or grandparent, or a family member who is a person with a disability.
Generally, maids are hired through recruitment agencies which need you to pay them a fee in return for their services. The fee varies according to the agencies but usually increases with the reliability and repute of the agency. Most good agencies expect a placement fee of about S$2,500 for a full placement or around SG$1,200 for transfer maids (direct hire). It is important to understand that you must never choose an agency based on its fee. More than often agencies with low fees are unethical and should not be trusted to recommend responsible domestic helpers. You also can hire a maid without an agency, the process is easy and quick.
Before your domestic helper can officially start working in your household, obtaining a work permit is a mandatory step. This process involves a payment of S$30 for the application, followed by an additional S$30 fee upon the issuance of the permit. Ensuring these fees are settled is crucial for the legal employment of your maid in Singapore. The permit is valid for two years and must be renewed after that.
Your domestic helper might fall sick or have a personal accident during the time she is working for you, and therefore you need to pay for her medical insurance and personal accident insurance. It's mandatory by law to buy medical insurance with a coverage of at least S$15,000 per year for inpatient care and day surgery. It's also compulsory to buy personal accident insurance with a sum assured of at least S$60,000 per year. Some insurance agencies offer an insurance policy that combines both the above-mentioned insurances for a period of twenty-six months and starts at around S$200.
The security bond is between each employer and the Government of Singapore. It is used to ensure that both employer and domestic helper are complying with the conditions of the Work Permit. Bonds usually take the form of insurance, the minimum coverage is S$5,000. This security bond can be bought through Insurance or Bank networks. One other additional bond is required and based on the worker's nationality. For example, if you hire an Indonesian domestic helper, signing the contract or renewing will cost an appropriate amount of S$70. The contract includes a performance bond of S$6,000 which needs to be paid only if you violate the terms of employment in the contract. A similar contract is also signed if you recruit a domestic helper from the Philippines. In that case, the cost of signing or renewing a contract is S$40, while the performance bond amounts to a sum of S$2,000. These bonds are designed to protect migrant workers from other countries from exploitation at the hands of the employer and ensure that terms of employment are established and abided by the employers.
Regular medical checkups and examinations of your domestic helper are essential to ensure that she is healthy and fit. This is important as your helper is the person raising your child and thus you need to be confident that she is not suffering from a contagious disease which she might then transfer to your child. Thus, you will be required to pay for regular medical examinations of your helper at least once in every two years. Mostly medical checkups start between $25 and $45 and may vary in accordance with the tests you wish the doctor to run.
Lastly, you will be responsible for paying the airfare of your domestic helper for her to travel to Singapore, which may cost you somewhere between S$200 to S$600 and may vary according to the time of the year. Along with it, you will also be required to pay the S$75 fee for a Settling in Programme (SIP), which your domestic helper will need to take upon her arrival. With both parents working all throughout the day, it is only natural that the practice of hiring a helper is becoming increasingly common in a city like Singapore. More and more dual-income families in Singapore are appointing domestic helpers to take care of their house and children since they cannot afford to take out time from their busy schedules. The global hiring cost is to be considered before signing any contract!