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Hiring A Domestic Helper In Singapore: How Much Does It Cost?

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic placed a strain on the costs and availability of hiring domestic helpers in Singapore, many Singapore households are rethinking their plans on hiring maids. 

 

There is a growing “shift in dynamics between employers and domestic helpers, which is likely to continue in the near future, with the income gap between Singapore and source countries narrowing, and as a result, driving up the wages of maids”, according to professors from the Yale-NUS College and Singapore University of Social Sciences.

 

Given such circumstances, we’ll need to take a step back and reassess our financial situation and capabilities to determine the affordability of hiring a maid for our household, and this starts with estimating the cost of hiring a maid.

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Estimated Cost Breakdown Of Hiring A Maid In Singapore

Type of fees/cost itemNew maidTransfer maid
Salary $1,020 - $1,270 $1,020 - $1,270
Maid agency fees $1,000 - $3,000$1,000 - $3,000
Settling in (for first-time helpers) $200 - $500 N.A.
Work permit application $100 $100
Work permit issuance$30$30

Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) Levy

$300 (or $60 with concessions that is only for Elderly & Persons with Disabilities)$300 (or $60 with concessions that is only for Elderly & Persons with Disabilities)
Security deposit required by MOM $5,000$5,000
Maid insurance (Minimum medical coverage of $15,000 and personal accident coverage of $60,000) $579.96 (Using MSIG MaidPus Standard Enhanced in this example) $579.96 (Using MSIG MaidPus Standard Enhanced in this example)
Estimated total sumBetween $7,990 and $8,780Between $7,790 and $8,280

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What Is The Highest Cost Component In Hiring A Maid?

As we can see from the above cost breakdown, the salary is among the highest cost components. There are many factors which determine the salary of a domestic helper in Singapore and their salary varies depending on factors such as their nationality, work experience, and completion of relevant training. Here is a comparison of the average salaries of domestic helpers from Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

As you can see from the data below, domestic helpers from Indonesia and the Philippines earn slightly more than those from Myanmar and Sri Lanka. However, it is important to note that these are just averages and the actual salary may vary depending on the factors mentioned above.

For example, a domestic helper with many years of experience or specialised skills may command a higher salary, regardless of their nationality. Additionally, some employers may choose to pay their domestic helpers more than the average salary, especially if they are happy with their services.


Average Salary Of A Maid In Singapore

Country of OriginMinimum Salary
Indonesia$550
Philippines$570
Myanmar$450
Sri Lanka$497

Are There Any Government Subsidies Available?

Foreign Domestic Worker Grant

This grant is a $120 monthly cash payment given to families who need to hire a maid to care for their loved ones who require permanent assistance with three or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).


To be eligible for the Foreign Domestic Worker Grant, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (PR)
  • Your household income must not exceed $10,000 a month
  • You must be hiring a maid to care for a loved one who requires permanent assistance with three or more ADLs such as bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, and transferring

Home Caregiving Grant

This is another of the government subsidies that is available to Singapore Citizens and PRs who require a domestic helper for caring duties concerning elderly persons or persons with a disability in the household. The subsidy amount is $200 per month for the first 3 years, and $150 per month for the next 2 years.


To be eligible for the Home Caregiving Grant, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (PR)
  • Your household income must not exceed $10,000 per month
  • Elderly person or person with a disability must require assistance with at least 3 ADLs

Maid Levy Concession for Aged Persons and Persons with Disabilities

This subsidy is available to households who need to hire a maid to care for seniors or persons with disabilities. Eligible households will pay a lower concessionary maid levy of $60 a month.


To be eligible for the Maid Levy Concession for Aged Persons and Persons with Disabilities, you must meet the following criteria:


  • You must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (PR)
  • Your household income must not exceed $10,000 a month
  • You or your spouse are at least 67 years old
  • You are a single parent with a child who is below 16 years old
  • You must be hiring a maid to care for a senior who is at least 65 years old or a person with a disability who is certified by the Ministry of Health

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Best Maid Insurance In Singapore

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Personal Accident
S$60,000
Hospital & Surgical Expenses
S$60,000
Third Party Liability
S$5,000
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PremiumS$585.3325% Off
S$438.99

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Valid until 21 Apr 2024
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Highest Liability Coverage
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Highest Liability Coverage

AIG Domestic Helper Insurance Elite

Personal Accident
S$100,000
Hospital & Surgical Expenses (per year)
S$100,000
Domestic Helper Liability
S$100,000
Premium
PremiumS$674.429.093% Off
S$613.09

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Valid until 30 Apr 2024
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Enhanced Hospitalisation & Surgical Expenses
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Enhanced Hospitalisation & Surgical Expenses

Tiq Maid Insurance Plan B

Personal Accident
S$65,000
Hospital & Surgical Expenses (per year)
S$60,000
Third Party Liability
S$7,500
Premium
PremiumS$803.3334% Off
S$530.19
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Valid until 30 Apr 2024
Personal Accident
S$60,000
Hospital & Surgical Expenses (per year)
S$15,000
Third Party Liability
S$10,000
Premium
S$272.50
Personal Accident
S$70,000
Hospitalisation & Surgical Expenses (per year)
S$60,000
Third Party Liability
S$3,000
Premium
S$556.91

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of hiring a maid in Singapore?

Depending on whether you’re hiring a new maid or transfer maid, the estimated total cost will range from $7,790 to $8,780 or more. However the total cost will vary depending on the nationality, work experience, and completion of relevant training as well as many other factors like food and accommodation, medical expenses, travel expenses (including air ticket home) as well as any emergency expenses like hospitalisation fees which have to be taken into account.

Are there any government subsidies for hiring a maid in Singapore?

Yes. There are currently 3 main types of subsidies including the Home Caregiving Grant which is valid for those needing a maid to care for an elderly person or person with a disability in the household, the Maid Levy Concession for households who need to hire a maid to care for seniors or persons with disabilities, and the Foreign Domestic Worker Grant which is a monthly cash payment given to families who need to hire a maid to care for loved ones needing help for ADLs.