How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Domestic Helper in Singapore?

Cost of hiring maid

Thinking of getting a maid, but feel daunted by the amount of money required?

In this article, we break down all the costs of hiring a domestic helper in Singapore.

At the end of the article, we calculate the estimated average cost to hire a fresh maid and transfer maid (with and without agency).

If you are looking for a reliable maid agency in Singapore, you can visit our directory.

Hire A Maid In Singapore

You will be expected to pay the following fees.

New maid Transfer maid
Maid Agency Fee $0 – $2,000 (depending on agency) $0 – $2,000 (depending on agency)
Settling-in Programme $75 (if she is working in Singapore for the first time)


Work Permit application $30 $30
Work Permit issuance $30 $30
Foreign Domestic Worker Levy $265/month (for Normal)

$60/month (for Concessionary)

$265/month (for Normal)

$60/month (for Concessionary)

Security deposit $5,000 $5,000
Medical Insurance coverage (Minimum coverage of $15,000)

Personal Accident Insurance

(Minimum coverage of $40,000)

About $100 per year About $100 per year
Initial Medical Examination $80
Employers’ Orientation Programme (if you have not hired an FDW before or you have changed FDWs frequently) Classroom EOP: $30 to $34.50

Online EOP: $46

Classroom EOP: $30 to $34.50

Online EOP: $46

Note about agency fee: Don’t be attracted to low prices of the maid agency fee. Most of the cost is transferred from prospective employers to domestic workers.

You will also need to check what is included in the agency fee. Here are some of the standard components of the agency fee:

  1. Registration of FDW
  2. Overseas recruitment fee of the FDW
  3. Air ticket for maid’s arrival in Singapore
  4. Initial Medical checkup of FDW
  5. Administrative Fee for application of work permit and other documentation
  6. Fee-related to entry test and safety awareness course
  7. Transfer of the maid from the airport to your home or agency
  8. Medical and personal accident insurance
  9. Security bond
  10. Sending maid to MOM for thumbprint.
  11. Guarantee free replacements

Also, do check the Fee that your maid has to pay the agency.

The Fee that maids have to pay agents is legally capped at two months’ salary for a two-year contract and ranges between $800 and $1,200 for two years.

Employers cannot deduct money from their maids for agency payments. The Ministry of Manpower states that the only valid reason for the employer to deduct money is the absence of work or recovery of advances. In these cases, the maximum amount that can be deducted is 50% of the total salary per month.

Helpful Read: Commonly Asked Questions When Hiring Maids In Singapore

Maid levy and maid insurance in Singapore

Levy concession for a foreign domestic worker

If your hire of an FDW falls under any of these three schemes, you can opt for a levy concession, which will lower your Foreign Domestic Worker Levy fee. Instead of $265 per month, you pay $60 per month. The three schemes are:

  • Young child/grandchild scheme
  • Aged person scheme
    • Aged person scheme (FDW employer or spouse)
    • Aged person scheme (parent or grandparent)
  • Persons With Disabilities scheme
    • Persons With Disabilities (PWD) scheme
    • Foreign domestic worker grant ($120 per month)

For some, you will be automatically enrolled into the scheme, while for some, you will need to apply to be registered. So, do ensure that you read and make the right checks and applications.

More detailed information can be found here:

Maid insurance

You need to buy medical and personal accident insurance for your helper. Find out the coverage required and how to submit the insurance details.

Before your helper arrives in Singapore, you must buy medical insurance and personal accident insurance as part of your medical obligations to her.

You must not pass on the cost of purchasing the insurance to your helper.

For more information on maid insurance, visit the official MOM site.

Engage A Maid Agency

A monthly salary of FDWs in Singapore

What is the average domestic helper salary in Singapore?

The monthly salary of a foreign domestic worker in Singapore varies. Mainly, the more experienced and capable FDW costs more. Factors include:

  • Pay gave by the past employer
  • Years of experience
  • Specialized skill set – ability to handle elderly and children, nursing expertise and care
  • More people to take care of in the household
  • The attitude of the FDW

You do have to cater to the minimum wage set by the home country of your domestic helper.

  • Myanmar maid salary: S$450
  • Sri Lanka maid salary: S$497
  • Indonesian maid salary: S$550
  • Philippines maid in Singapore: S$570

Note that maids need to have a weekly rest day (if her Work Permit was issued or renewed after 1 January 2013). If there is a mutual agreement with the FDW to work on a rest day, you need to provide at least a one day salary or another replacement day within the same month.

If you are hiring an experienced domestic worker, you can view this survey that compares maid salaries in Singapore to years of experience.

Helpful Read: Part Time Maid or Full Time Maid – Which Is Better?

Other Daily and Significant Costs

Six-monthly medical examination

Pregnancy & Syphilis (Every 6 months)

HIV (Every 2 years)

Tuberculosis (Once, upon 2 years of stay in Singapore)





Medical expenses (if FDW falls ill) $100-1000 per year
Food, Accommodation, travel expenses and utilities $400/month
Immunisations (for FDW taking care of the elderly or children) $45 for a flu vaccination, $67 for Hepatitis A, $90 for typhoid and $93.50 for a combo for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (International Medical Clinic)

To protect yourself against emergencies happening to your domestic helpers such as severe illness or accidents, opt for maid insurance with good, sufficient coverage.

Do note that you are not allowed to get your FDW to co-pay her medical expenses even if it exceeds the insurance claimable limit.

Speak To Reliable Maid Agencies

Should I Engage a Maid Agency?

A maid agency will eliminate all the hassle that goes about hiring a maid. You can still do it by yourself for a transfer maid. You will not be able to hire a fresh maid by yourself but through an agency.

If you do not want the hassle of looking through the rules and regulations and the paperwork of hiring a maid, then a maid agency is ideal for you.

Read our best maid agencies in Singapore article and how to hire a useful maid agency guide.

If you want a clear and easy guide to follow through your hire without an agency, you can read this how-to employ, maid, without agency guide.

Adding up the cost above, we can essentially calculate the estimated cost of each type of hire:

One-time Yearly
New maid $1,308 (about 1000 for agency fee) $15,075
Transfer maid without an agency $273 $15,075
Transfer maid with agency $1,273 (about 1000 for agency fee) $15,075

Hope this cost guide helps in your hire a domestic helper for your household!

Helpful Read: 5 Best Maid Agencies in Singapore (MOM Statistics and Reviews)

Find reliable maid agencies in Singapore.

Homees provides a list of the best maid agencies in Singapore. If you are looking for maid agencies to match your personalised requirements, you can contact Homees for a more quick and fuss-free experience.