How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Maid in Singapore? (2024)

Posted on 01/ 02/ 2024

Welcome to our 2023 comprehensive guide on the cost of hiring a maid in Singapore. As a leading authority in the field of domestic help and household management, we aim to provide you with all the essential information you need to make informed decisions when it comes to hiring a maid in Singapore. From understanding the factors that influence the cost to navigating the legal requirements, we've got you covered. Let's dive right in!

Factors Influencing the Cost

When determining the cost of hiring a maid in Singapore, several factors come into play. It's crucial to consider these factors to get a realistic understanding of the expenses involved. Here are the key aspects that influence the overall cost:

1. Maid's Nationality and Experience

The nationality and experience of a maid are significant factors that affect the cost. Maids from different countries may have varying salary expectations due to factors such as economic conditions and exchange rates. Additionally, maids with extensive experience or specialised skills may command higher salaries. One guideline you can follow is the minimum wage set by your helper’s home country:


Minimum Monthly Salary





Sri Lanka




In addition to the mentioned countries, you have the option to hire Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Note: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has recently updated the terminology for live-in household maids, now referring to them as Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) instead of Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs).

2. Agency Fees

Engaging the services of a maid agency is a common practice in Singapore. These agencies provide valuable assistance in sourcing, screening, and arranging necessary paperwork for hiring a maid. However, their services come at a cost, typically in the form of agency fees. These fees may vary depending on the agency's reputation, services provided, and additional support offered.

3. Monthly Salary and Benefits

The monthly salary of a maid is a significant component of the overall cost. Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) sets a minimum salary requirement that employers must adhere to, ensuring fair wages for maids. In addition to the basic salary, employers are also responsible for providing benefits such as food, accommodation, medical insurance, and toiletries.

4. Levy and Work Permit

Employers in Singapore are required to pay a monthly levy for each foreign domestic worker they employ. The levy amount varies depending on factors such as the maid's nationality and the employer's dependency ratio ceiling (DRC). Additionally, employers must obtain a valid work permit for their maid, which incurs an application fee.

As of 31 Jan 2023, the current maid levy in Singapore is $300 per month. For subsequent MDWs, it’s $450. Those who qualify for the levy concession need to be in one of the following schemes:

  • Young Child Scheme: Your child is a Singapore citizen, below 16 years old and lives with you

  • Young Grandchild Scheme: Your grandchild is a Singapore citizen, below 16 years old and lives with you

  • Aged Person Scheme: (You or) your spouse is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident married to a Singapore citizen, at least 67 years old and lives with you

  • Persons With Disabilities (PWD) Scheme: Your family member requires help with at least 1 activity of daily living (ADL)

However, you stop qualifying for levy concession when the:

  • Child or grandchild turns 16 years old.

  • Person needing care (young child, aged or disabled family member) has passed away.

  • Person needing care no longer stays with you.

  • Person needing care is no longer a Singapore citizen

The monthly recurring cost to hire a maid in Singapore consist of the following:

  • Maid Salary: $480-$750

  • Living Expenses: $350

  • Foreign Domestic Worker Levy: $60 (with levy concession) or $300 (without levy concession)

Assuming most helpers are engaged for two years in Singapore based on their contracts, you have to account for up to 24 months for the monthly costs.

5. Additional Expenses

Other miscellaneous expenses to consider include the cost of a security bond, transportation fees for the maid's arrival and departure, medical check-ups, and any training courses or certifications required.

6. Additional Covid-19 Related Costs

Owing to increased travel restrictions, safety protocols, and administrative coordination, there might be additional costs involved. Starting from 29th August 2022, entry approvals are not required for pass holders entering Singapore. However, vaccination remains a prerequisite for work pass approval. For overseas vaccination records, verification can be done through a serology test or by obtaining a digitally-verifiable vaccination certificate (DVC) at a local clinic.

Lastly, (MOM) recommends employers who are hiring transferred migrant domestic workers (MDWs) to share the Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and related COVID-19 tests costs incurred when the MDW entered Singapore.

Understanding the Cost Breakdown

To provide you with a comprehensive view of the cost of hiring a maid in Singapore, let's break down the expenses in a clearer manner. The following breakdown showcases the typical cost elements involved:

Cost Components

Approximate Cost Range

Maid’s Monthly Salary

$600 - $1,200

Maid Agency Fees

$1,500 - $3,000

Monthly Levy and Work Permit

$300 - $450

Additional Expenses


Total Monthly Cost

Approximately $2,400 - $4,650

Total Annual Cost

Approximately $28,800 - $55,800

Please note that these figures are approximate and may vary based on individual circumstances, market conditions, and government regulations.

Legal Requirements and Obligations

It's crucial to understand the legal requirements and obligations associated with hiring a maid in Singapore. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth and compliant employment process. Here are the key legal aspects to consider:

1. Eligibility Criteria

Employers must meet specific eligibility criteria set by the Ministry of Manpower. This includes being at least 21 years old, being a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, and not having any disqualifications specified by the ministry.

2. Security Bond

Employers are required to purchase a security bond worth $5,000 for each maid they employ. This bond serves as a financial guarantee to ensure that employers fulfill their obligations under the employment contract. In the event of contract breaches, the bond may be forfeited.

3. Medical Insurance

Employers must provide medical insurance coverage for their maids, which includes both inpatient and outpatient care. The insurance plan should have a minimum coverage amount of $15,000 per year and cover any work-related injuries.

4. Rest Days and Off-Days

From 1 January 2023, all employers must ensure their MDWs have at least one rest day each month that cannot be compensated away. Alternatively, they can opt for compensation in lieu of rest days. Employers should discuss and mutually agree upon the arrangement with their maids.

5. Termination and Contract Renewal

The employment contract with the maid typically lasts for two years. Employers must adhere to the termination and renewal procedures outlined by the Ministry of Manpower. This includes providing advance notice, settling outstanding salary and benefits, and returning the maid's personal belongings.

On A Budget?

If you feel that the fees are simply too much for you to handle, you can consider the following ways to keep your costs to a minimum.

1. Hire Myanmar maids

The monthly salary of a domestic helper is pegged to her nationality and policies from their home countries.

Domestic helpers from Myanmar typically draw a lower salary compared to their counterparts from the Philippines or Indonesia. Nonetheless, most of them have a strong work ethic, with the commitment to work hard.

2. Hire transfer maids in Singapore

Transfer maids are maids whose existing contract with another employer has ended or cut short. The cost of hiring them is lower as expenses like plane tickets and work permit fees are excluded.

Less training time is also needed as transfer maids are also generally more experienced and can understand simple English, Mandarin or other dialects, than new maids.

3. Engage a domestic maid agency

Domestic maid agencies help to arrange health check-ups and settle all the paperwork for you, including the application, renewal and cancellation of work permits so you can enjoy a fuss-free process. Time is money after all and with all the hassle, logistics and paperwork saved, we think the small extra cost of paying for a domestic maid agency is well-spent and well-justified.

Check out this article about the benefits of hiring through a maid agency.


In conclusion, hiring a maid in Singapore involves various costs and considerations. By understanding the factors that influence the cost, breaking down the expenses, and complying with legal requirements, you can make informed decisions and ensure a smooth employment process. 

Remember, the cost of hiring a maid is an investment in your household's well-being and convenience. If you have further questions or need personalised assistance, don't hesitate to reach Femme5 Agency. We're here to help!

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