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Find and Hire a Maid in Singapore via a Maid Agency, 2019 Guide

Last updated: Sep 18th 2019

Hiring a maid  (a.k.a FDW, Foreign Domestic Worker, Domestic Helper) in Singapore is fairly common nowadays. According to the Ministry of Manpower, there are 253,800 FDW in Singapore as of 31 December 2018. With the lifestyle in Singapore increasingly hectic and an aging population, the figure appears to be rising even further.

 

In many dual-income families, where both parents devote most of their time working, domestic assistance is often needed to deal with daily household tasks, care for children, care for elderly parents or as simple as looking after their pets. Regardless of the reasons, hiring a maid in Singapore is relatively straightforward with the help of a Maid Agency.

 

singapore maid cleaning windows.jpg

 

Below are the steps to find and hire a maid via a Maid Agency

1. Find the right maid from the right maid agency

a. Agency First Approach

 

  1. Ask your friends and relatives for referral to a good maid agency with quality maids
  2. Visit the nearest maid agency near your home
  3. Visit the various Maid Agency Hub in Singapore at Katong Shopping Centre, Bukit Timah Plaza, Hougang Green and Jurong

b. Maid First Approach

 

  1. Google search using keywords such as maid Singapore or maid agency Singapore to find maid agencies websites with maid biodatas placed online that have traits you are looking for.
  2. Search and browse maid biodatas in maidportal.sg from multiple maid agencies

 

2. Ensure the Maid Agency is Licensed

Check that the Maid agency (a.k.a Employment Agency, EA) you are engaging is licensed by using the EA Directory which has information on the EA track records and contact details.

You can also request the agency fee packages at this point.

 

3. Choosing the most suitable Maid for your family

 

a. Eligible Age

The maid agency must take all reasonably practicable measures to ensure the maid is at least 23 years old and has at least eight years of formal education. For more information on the requirements, please see: http://www.mom.gov.sg/fdw-requirements

 

b. Maid Type

The Maid Type can be New, Transfer, Ex-Singapore, Ex-aboard and APS (Advance Placement Scheme)

 

New Maids

New maids have no work experience in foreign country. They may have experience in their own country. The likely advantages of getting new maids are they request a lower basic salary, willingly to work on more or all rest days in a month, follow your instructions to the letter, use less hours on mobile phones, etc. The key disadvantages are that they have poor language abilities, need extra training to take public transport/ go to supermarket, etc.

 

Transfer Maids

Transfer maids are maids that are transfer out of the current family in Singapore. The likely advantages are that you can interview the maid in person and ask the reason for transfer.

 

Ex-Singapore Maids

Ex-Singapore maids are maids with Singapore working experience. . The likely advantages of getting Ex-Singapore maids are they are able to communicate better, able to take public transport/ go to supermarket, etc. The key disadvantages are that they command a higher salary, less likely to work on rest days, more use of mobile phones, etc.

 

Ex-Abroad Maids

Ex-Aboard maids are maids with overseas maid working experience.The likely advantages of getting Ex-Aboard maids are they are able to communicate better, etc. The key disadvantages are that they command a higher salary, less likely to work on rest days, more use of mobile phones, compare with the previous working environment, etc.

 

APS Maids (Advanced Placement Scheme)

Under this scheme, participating employment agency may bring in a certain number of maids before they find an employer. Since they are already in Singapore, you can do face-to-face interview with potential maids.

 

c. Approved Country

Make use the maid is from a country approved by MOM and take note of the requirements set by the overseas government. Additional requirements may apply for Indonesian and Filipino maids such as minimum wages and extra performance bond.

 

d. Communication / language

Communication issue is the most common reason why the relationship between you and your maid fall apart. Choose a maid who can understand the language you speak.

Unless, you have the time and patient to train maid or require maid to do simple household tasks, language should be one of your top selection criteria.

 

e. Education Certificates

The maid agency must take all reasonably practicable measures to ensure the maid education certificates are authentic. The maid must bring the necessary educational certificates as proof of her education. Otherwise, she will not be allowed to attend the Settling-In Programme (SIP) which is essential for the work permit to be issued.

 

f. Skills and Experiences

Take note of their skills, training and work experiences that matched your household needs. For taking care of elderly, you can send them for extra training courses as well.

 

4. Interview of the Maid

Face-to-face interview is the most ideal. However, with the advent of the internet, you can easily do video calls via Whatsapp, Viber with the potential overseas maid candidates. Ask them as many questions as you can to know the maid better before you decide to employ the maid. 

 

5. Confirmation of the ideal Maid

Upon confirmation the ideal maid, the maid agency will provide the employment history from MOM if the maid has previous work experience in Singapore.  

 

6. Review the Service and Fees Schedule from the Maid Agency

The Service and Fees Schedule usually comprises of two parts: the Agency Fees and the Placement Fees.

Total Agency Fees 

Fee Description

Remarks

Sample Estimate

Agency Service Fees

Agency service fees can range from: $188 to $2000 depends on Maid Type, Service Provided, etc.

$1600

Work Permit Application

Pay to MOM

$35

E-issue of Work Permit

Pay to MOM

$35

Settling-In Programme

For first-time maid in Singapore only

$75 *

Pre-employment Medical Checkup

Varies from Clinic

$60

Transport

Transport to bring maid from airport, medical checkup and thumbprinting

$200

Insurance for Security Bond and other medical coverage

Varies from insurance companies, issue letter of guarantee for security bond of $5000 in lieu of cash deposit to MOM

$240

Wavier of Counter indemnity

Most insurance need you to pay excess S$250, to waive this, you can purchase the waiver

$53.50

Total Estimate

 

$2298.50

 

Total Placement Fees

Placement fees are fees incurred by the maid. You need to pay the placement fees in advance to the agency for the maid. The total placement fees you have paid in advance will be deducted from the maid’s salary every month.

 

Fee Description

Remarks

Sample Estimate

Local Placement Fees to the FDW

Local Agency can charge a maximum of 2 months of maid salary.

Sample maid salary per month = S$500

$1000

Overseas Recruitment Costs

Can range from 1-6 month of the maid salary

Sample maid salary per month = S$500

$2,000

Total Estimate

 

$3000

7. Review the Service Agreement

The service agreement is the agreement between you and the maid agency. Some keys things to note are:

Key things to note:

  1. the circumstances under which you may be eligible for a refund and how soon the refund should be given
  2. The number of replacement FDWs you are eligible for
  3. the action you can take if your agency cannot find a replacement FDW
  4. How service-related disputes between you and your agency will be dealt with

8. Make Payment to the Maid Agency

After you have vetted through the fees schedule and review the service agreement, you have to pay a deposit or the full agency fees depending on the agency’s policy. 

9. Before and upon maid's arrival in Singapore

 

Type of Maid Average time required
First -time Maid (never worked in Singapore) 4 to 6 weeks from date of approval
Transfer Maid (In Singapore seeking new employers) 7 working days

If you are hiring a maid for the first time, you are required to attend the employer's orientation programme.

Classroom EOP

  1. $34.50 (Singapore Polytechnic)
  2. $30 (Nation Employment Pte Ltd)

Online EOP

  1. $46

In the meantime, your Maid Agency will help you to:

  1. Apply for a work permit for your maid from MOM. 
  2. Place a security bond with MOM.
  3. Buy personal accident and medical insurance.
  4. Send the in-principle approval letter (or notification letter) and an air ticket note to your new maid if they are still overseas.
  5. Arrange for transport to pick your maid from airport to the lodging house.
  6. Arrange for transport to send your maid for pre-employment medical checkup.
  7. If your FDW is working in Singapore for the 1st time, your maid agency will book the settling-in programme (SIP) training course for her.
  8. Arrange for transport to send your maid to SIP.
  9. Arrange for transport for her for fingerprinting and phototaking at MOM Services Centre – Hall C