What Is The Real Cost To Hire a Maid in Singapore?
People hire domestic workers for various reasons. You may be getting a maid to take care of your aging parents, your children while you work or a general house manager to get your home organized as you work. The current economic condition in Singapore has recently prompted many families in Singapore to look for full-time domestic workers from foreign countries.
This confirms the high number of foreign domestic workers in Singapore. Many families have shown interest on foreign maids as they assume that it is cheaper—or is it lack of domestic workers in Singapore? Whichever the case, we are going to analyze and break down the costs of hiring a domestic worker in Singapore to get a more definite figure that will determine whether this option is actually cheaper or it’s just another bad business.
The monthly salary
The maid’s salary predominantly varies based on some factors like the country they’re coming from, the years of experience, and many others.
- Filipino- $570
- Sri Lanka-$400
You’re also expected to pay for meals, medical, lodging and travel expenses on top of the salary.
As the employer, you’re supposed to pay levy directly to the government. The average monthly rate stands at $260 while the concessionary fee is $60, Although the monthly levy is expected to rise any time between now and 2019.You only pass to get the concessionary rate if there is a person with a disability, an aged person, a grandchild, or child living at the same residence as you. Here are the conditions;
- Either you or your spouse has a young child or a grandchild who is below or at the age of 16 years, a Singapore citizen and living the same address.
- You or one of the family members living with you is disabled
- You live with a Singapore resident aged above 65 years
- Agency Charges
Every agency has its own rate which heavily depends on the services listed. Many agencies don’t virtually announce their prices, but you should always expect them to command about $1000. Some little research won’t do you harm but may help shed some light on the various charges and services. Also, pay attention to agencies requesting very low agency fees as this industry has very many scammers as well as immoral and unethical operators.
Work permits for domestic workers nowadays costs about $30 plus an additional $30 after the application has been successfully completed. Work permits virtually take three to five weeks nowadays and once obtained can be renewed after two years.
Medical and other personal insurance
You’re responsible for purchasing insurance policies for your maid. Depending on the many coverages available, some of the basic policies include medical and personal accident insurance coverages. The minimum costs for each include:
- Personal accident protection: $40,000
- Medical coverage: $15,000
There exist other insurance companies that provide coverage for both policies at a subsidized rate as a combined package. Most of them are available in premium packages that range up to $200 for 26 months.
If you intend to hire an Indonesian domestic worker, the hiring or renewing contracts may set you back with a slap of $70. This amount covers for the performance bond of $6,000 the full amount of money you will be required to pay if you breach the agreement.
This bond helps protect the migrant worker by making sure that the employers stick by the employment terms and condition of the contracts. Similarly, you will need to pay $40 for a bond worth $2000 if you intend to employ a worker from the Philippines.
Medical checkups and regular examinations
The maid will be required to take an initial medical test needed for your work permit application. You are financially responsible for paying this test which costs S$80. Subsequently, the worker may need to get regular medical checkups which may cost you approximately S$35 depending on the type and number of tests. Some tests are only required to be taken after every two years.
Settling in the Programme (SIP)
Another additional cost is the Settling in Programme (SIP). You will need to send your domestic manager a special program known as Settling in The Programme (SIP) upon arrival which costs S$75. The program typically covers subjects like stress management, relationships, safety, and employment conditions.
Depending on where the maid is coming from, you’re entirely responsible for the air ticket for your employee. This may cost you between S$ 200 to S$600 depending on her home country. Alternatively, you can find a credit card that offers travel bonuses and benefits to help you save a couple of bucks as you will need to find a taxi or personally fuel and drive to the airport to pick the employee. In the airplane, she will need to eat and rest if the flight is a long one—all that should be covered by you.
The above costs are only an approximation of what you must pay in order to get a foreign domestic worker. Remember that this is a new member you have introduced in your family and will need other basic necessities like a room to sleep, food, personal effects, some training and other necessary expenses that come with new members. Such costs may look small, but at the end of the month, you may have to deal with an acute shortage of money.
The final verdict
It is crystal clear that hiring a foreign domestic worker is a very significant family life investment—an idea that requires some serious thought before venturing into. The one-time process can cost you on average a clean $1,496. This is only the starter pack, the monthly salary, food. toiletries, insurances, and medical examinations are not included.
Hiring a non-native also means risking bringing a stranger to your home. Cultural diversities and means of communications are some of the challenges you will have to deal with as an employer. Therefore, unless you have exhausted all your options, you may need to rethink fundamentally if you’re financially straining before considering to hire a foreign worker. When making such decisions, always calculate the costs of hiring a foreigner vs hiring a native and pick the finance-friendly option.
You may also like to read: