Engaging A Helper Directly Or Through A Maid Agency In Singapore: Which Is Better?

Posted on 01/ 02/ 2024

Engaging a maid can help to greatly reduce the burden of household chores, childcare, and eldercare. It is no wonder that one out of five households in Singapore employs a maid today.

If you’re ready to commit to a live-in maid, the next question would be where and how to hire one. Should you engage one directly or through a maid agency in Singapore? Let’s take a look.

Hiring a Domestic Helper Directly

Directly hiring a maid means that you’ll have to look for the maid yourself without the help of a domestic helper agency in Singapore. This can be done either through online platforms or word-of-mouth via friends, families, or colleagues. Before you begin your search, you need to decide if you wish to hire a transfer maid who has worked in Singapore before or a new maid who has never worked in Singapore before.

Hiring a transfer maid directly

If you plan to hire a transfer maid (e.g. indonesian or myanmar transfer maid) in Singapore, she may or may not be still working for her previous employer. You can check the maid’s employment history on the Work Permit Online (WP Online) portal. If she is still working for her previous employer, the employer must be willing to transfer the maid to you.

In the case if the employer is willing, you’ll both need to prepare the necessary documents. The documents includes a work permit, an in-principle approval letter, and a pre-employment medical examination.

If not, the maid can still work for you, but she will need to leave Singapore before you can apply for her work permit again.

Hiring a new maid directly

If you plan to hire a new maid who has never worked in Singapore before, ensure that she fulfils the following maid eligibility requirements by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM):

  • Female;
  • 23 to below 50 years old during the Work Permit application;
  • Certified with at least eight years of formal education;
  • Not related to the employer;
  • Employed at the employer’s home address as stated on the NRIC;
  • From an approved source country or territory including maids from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand; and
  • Attend the Settling-In-Programme if this is her first time seeking employment as a domestic worker in Singapore (MOM will inform employers if their helpers need to attend the SIP in the Work Permit in-principle approval (IPA) letter)

Once you have shortlisted a list of domestic helpers, schedule an interview with each of them to get to know them better.

After deciding on one candidate, you’ll have to complete the relevant paperwork such as applying for a work permit, an in-principle approval letter, and a pre-employment medical examination. Some individuals may choose to engage a maid agency to settle the tedious paperwork for them.

Hiring the domestic helper through a maid agency in Singapore

Maid agency prices may be slightly higher than engaging a domestic helper directly, but they also provide more services that save you time and energy.

For example, you can leave the application and renewal of contracts, work permits and insurance coverage to the maid agency.

Also, if your domestic helper is not a suitable match, maid agencies can help to replace the previous maid free-of-charge, reducing the disruption to your household.

Which is better: Direct hire or through a maid agency?

Ultimately, it depends on the individual who is hiring the maid.

Hiring a domestic helper directly is more suitable for:

  • Experienced employers;
  • Those who wish to save on costs; and/or
  • Those who already have good maid recommendations

Hiring a domestic helper through a maid agency is more suitable for:

  • First-time employers;
  • Those who don’t mind paying slightly higher fees;
  • Those who have little time to assess, filter, and select the appropriate maid candidates; and/or
  • Those who require more personalised services

To find out more about the benefits of engaging the services of a maid agency, read our other article here.

Great Help Begins with Femme5

Hiring a maid does not have to be hard. At our domestic maid agency in Singapore, we offer a wide range of domestic helpers who can cater to your specific needs. Call 8855 5551 or email us at info@femme5.com to find the right fit today.

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