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The full cost of hiring a maid in Singapore 2022: maid levy, agency & insurance fees

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

Full cost of hiring a maid in Singapore in 2022

Ever wondered what the cost of hiring a maid in Singapore was? Is it still possible for FDWs to enter Singapore in 2022 with the ever-evolving COVID situation and with all of these changes, how much does it cost to hire a maid now?

To support their families, an increasing number of people employ foreign domestic workers (FDWs). You've probably heard how costly it is to hire a maid from another country during COVID season. Especially since the situation on the ground with the current COVID epidemic is continuously changing, there are a few things to consider before hiring a maid during this season.

Many newcomers are unfamiliar with even the procedure of hiring a maid, let alone the expense. The expense and intricacies of employing a maid are discussed in this article.

Things to note before hiring a maid today

1. Government regulations

Governments today impose tight controls on inbound and outgoing travel, requiring the production of numerous papers prior to departure.

Directly hiring an FDW is not as simple as it once was, especially if your FDW needs to obtain the necessary licenses from their home country. For peace of mind, it is advisable to employ your aid through a reputable agency.

2. Entering Singapore

Fully vaccinated FDWs will not require entry permissions from April 1, 2022. They must, however, adhere to the travel requirements.

FDWs have to be fully vaccinated and are obligated to do a $50 - $100 serology test within 30 days of their arrival in Singapore.

Exceptions are made for FDW whose vaccination certificates are digitally verifiable or FDW who visit a GP clinic to get their certificates verified and update their vaccination records in Singapore’s National Immunization Registry.

Within one hour of arriving at the checkpoint, you must pick up your FDW utilizing private transportation. Agencies may take care of all pre and post-arrival arrangements, as well as keep you updated on your helper's situation until the day of pickup.

Breakdown of costs of hiring a maid in Singapore in 2022

One-off costs of hiring a maid in Singapore in 2022

Maid agency fees

Some employers may prefer employing a maid service over hiring a maid on their own because of the convenience, competence, and guarantee. You won't have to choose your own assistance; instead, the agency will provide you with a list of domestic assistants from which to choose.

The agency will also assist with the administrative aspects of hiring a maid, such as the work permit cost, maid insurance, medical screening, and travel, which can be time-consuming to organize if you employ a maid on your own. Hence, these agencies charge a fee for the convenience and services provided.

Estimated cost: $1600 - $2500

Employer’s Orientation Programme

If you are a first-time domestic assistant employer, the Ministry of Manpower requires that you complete the Employers' Orientation Program. This class will assist new domestic assistant employers in understanding their job and duties.

Estimated cost: $35

Airfare to Singapore

You will be responsible for your domestic helper's air ticket to Singapore if you do not hire through a maid agency. If you do hire through a maid agency, they will the recruitment and administration of the flight for you, naturally, you can expect the fees to increase.

This is not included in the summarized tables above, you’ll need to manually include this cost if you choose not to hire via a maid agency!

Estimated cost: $400

Pre-employment medical Examinations

If your helper is arriving from abroad, then they will need to do a pre-employment medical exam within 2 weeks of her arrival in Singapore.

Her Work Permit is only issued if she passes the medical examination. Otherwise, she will have to be sent home.

The purpose of the medical examination is to check for 4 types of infectious diseases (tuberculosis, HIV, syphilis and malaria) and assess if she is fit to work.

Estimated cost: $80

Security Bond/ Deposit

If a domestic helper, who is not Malaysian, is engaged through a maid agency, the employer must pay the Ministry of Manpower a security deposit. This is done as a precaution in the event that:

  • The employer or domestic helper breaks the domestic helper's contract (e.g. not paying salary on time) or/and,

  • The employer or domestic helper violates any of the work permit or security bond conditions or/and

  • The domestic helper vanishes or/and,

  • The domestic helper becomes pregnant and the employer refuses to send the helper back to their native country.

Estimated cost: $5000

Settling-in Programme Fees

Any first-time domestic helper working in Singapore must complete a settling-in program. The settling-in program will assist your domestic assistant in adjusting to living in Singapore and will give them a sense of what it's like to work in Singapore.

An introduction to Singapore, work circumstances, and home safety are among the topics covered.

Estimated cost: $75

Work permit

The application and issue of a work permit cost money, coming up to $35 for each. Keep in mind that if your domestic helper's work visa has expired, you will need to renew it.

Estimated cost: $35-$70

Maid Insurance fees

As an employer, you are responsible for your FDW's medical requirements. These expenditures include regular fixed medical fees from maid insurance as well as one-time charges such as treatment for common colds and flu or toothaches.

Estimated cost: $225-$330

Maid placement fee

The FDW placement fee is a deposit that maid agencies require of FDWs to reduce the risk of recruitment. The recruitment of FDWs can be a very risky business and maid agencies require a deposit that they can access should the FDW breach their terms i.e. run away.

Not to worry as this placement fee is a loan which you will be loaning out to the maid agencies. You can think of it as the cost of allowing your maid to work in Singapore.

As such, you’ll be receiving your loan back through deductions in your maid’s salary.

Estimated cost: 1 month of your maid’s salary

Recurring cost of hiring a maid in Singapore in 2022

Maid Salary

Maid salary is one of the most significant monthly expenditures you will incur. The majority of Singapore's domestic workers are from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Thailand, and Taiwan and the minimum remuneration for domestic workers largely varies by country.

On top of that, if a maid were to cancel their off-days, employers are expected to compensate them for it monetarily.

According to a report by Anisya, a social enterprise that helps FDWs, here’s how much you can expect to pay based on the FDW’s experience:

Estimated costs: $450 - $850/month

Maid levy

The Ministry of Manpower imposed a maid levy, which is an extra sum of money paid per maid engaged, to regulate the number of foreign employees in Singapore which must be paid on a monthly basis while the domestic assistant is still employed by the employer.

Singapore's current maid levy is $300 per month. It's $450 for additional FDWs. There is also a concessionary levy but more details on that below!

Estimated costs: $300/month

Living expenses

You'll need to add in food, lodging, and other extraneous charges like utilities and communications bills when determining a domestic helper's living expenses.

An approximate estimate for the overall cost of these daily expenses each month is $180-$250. Depending on the FDW's particular tastes and dietary constraints, this quantity may vary.

Furthermore, these expenses may differ based on your family's purchasing habits. For example, if your family enjoys eating out and frequently takes holidays with your maid, your costs will be greater.

Estimated costs: $185-$270/month

Medical Examinations

MOM asks that you submit your FDW for a six-monthly medical examination (6ME) to screen for pregnancy and infectious diseases such as syphilis, HIV and tuberculosis.

That means your helper will have to go for medical exams twice a year. Here is the cost breakdown for each test:

All 6MEs must be completed in clinics without the presence of the employer. You can check the preceding 6ME date and FDW medical findings/clinical results by logging into MOM's FDW eservice.

Estimated cost: $95/year


Home Caregiving grant

The Home Caregiving Grant, which began in October 2019 and replaced the FDW Grant, is currently a $200 monthly cash payment to help your loved ones who have a chronic moderate impairment (i.e needing assistance with 3 or more day to day activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, transferring, moving and going to the toilet) and can be used to help with caregiving expenditures, such as the cost of hiring an FDW.

In order to qualify for the grant,

  • The person receiving care must be a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident (with a parent, child or spouse who is a Singapore Citizen), living in Singapore.

  • The person receiving care must not be living in a residential long term care facility.

  • The household monthly income per person must be $2,800 or less, or the annual value of the property for households without income must be $13,000 or less.

By early 2023, households with:

  • $1200 or less in monthly income per person or,

  • Annual value of property for households without income must be $13,000 or less

would be able to avail $400 as part of the enhanced HCG grant. Also, households with:

  • $1201-$2800 in monthly income per person

would be able to avail $250 as part of the enhanced HCG grant.

Total subsidies per year: $2,400

Maid Levy

Singapore's current maid levy is a whopping $300/month. But thanks to the levy concession, this will be lowered to $60 under a concessionary maid levy for families with:

  • Children or grandchildren under the age of 16,

  • An elderly relative who is at least 67 years old

  • A family member who requires assistance with at least one daily task.

However, the families no longer qualify for the concessionary levy once:

  • Their kid or grandchild turns 16 or/and

  • The person who required care has died or/and

  • The person who requires assistance is no longer with you or/and

  • The person who needs assistance is no longer a Singaporean


Hiring a domestic helper can be an extremely pricey option, it’s best to go through this over with your spouse about whether your family should commit to this.

Recurring expenses are also something you should take note of as they will gradually increase over time due to inflation or wage increases.

Naturally, it will be much more difficult to grow your assets with huge recurring costs from hiring a maid.

So if you’re looking to invest. it would be smart to work with a financial professional.

Contrary to their reputation for pushy sales tactics, financial advisers help new investors cut through the noise.

According to a survey report by St James’s Place Wealth Management, a majority of Singaporeans or 81%, stated that they heavily prioritise seeking financial advice before making any major financial decision.

And 56% ranked financial advisers as their top source of financial advice.

Financial advisors can arrange your investments and build a financial plan that helps ensure you will meet your financial goals in a sustainable manner.

In other words, you can rest assured of paying a recurring cost knowing that your assets will grow over time.

If you’re interested in seeing for yourself what a financial advisor can help you achieve, Techiya is offering a limited-time offer for a free comprehensive and personalized financial assessment worth over $200!



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