Cost to Hire a Maid/Domestic Helper in Singapore – Salary Range Across Countries, Part Time vs Full Time, Medical Expenses

Cost to Hire a MaidDomestic Helper in Singapore – Salary Range Across Countries, Part Time vs Full Time, Medical Expenses

Hiring a maid can be an immense help in your household. A savvy domestic worker can help you with your little ones, keep your house clean, and assist your elderly parents.

While the Singapore domestic helper salary can go as low as $450 per month, there are many other expenses to consider.

So, how much does a maid cost in Singapore?

This article details every expected charge, from airfare tickets to Singapore to medical check-ups, salary, levy and more.

Read on to avoid surprise costs.

How Much Is A Maid Paid In Singapore?

The cost of maid Singapore entails several factors that we will break down below:


The first thing you should consider is the salary because that is the most significant recurring monthly expense.

The maid salary Singapore depends on her country of residence:

CountryMinimum monthly salary
Sri Lanka$497

Note: If your maid is very experienced or offers additional services, you will likely pay her more than that.

  • The Singapore domestic helper salary for someone offering palliative or elderly care can reach $1,500/month.
  • You should consider a raise at least every two years to reward your domestic worker.

Rest Day Salary 

Any domestic helper in Singapore is legally entitled to one rest day per week, amounting to four or five days per month.

Pro tip: Your maid can agree to work on this rest day. In this case, you can either:

  • Pay her a full day of work
  • Give her another rest day during that calendar month

For a $500 Indonesia maid salary reference, one additional workday will cost $21.

Warning: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will implement a mandatory monthly rest day policy from the end of 2022. This cannot be compensated for.

Living Costs

The living costs of maids in Singapore are much like those of any other grown person in your household. You must consider the following monthly expenses:

  • Utilities: $40
  • Groceries: $120
  • Transport: $40

Warning: This estimate is the lowest amount you can expect.

Typically, Singapore families want to include their maids in family outings when they require extra help. You must pay for additional transport and potential leisure activities in these cases.

Medical Expenses

In Singapore, employers are legally obligated to cover the medical expenses of their migrant domestic workers. These expenses include:

  • Insurance: $300-$500/month
    • Medical insurance that covers at least $15,000/year
    • Personal accident insurance that covers at least $60,000/year
  • Recurring fixed medical costs:
    • Six-monthly medical examination (6ME): $30-$40 per exam. This examination aims to detect potential signs of abuse and is conducted in the employer’s absence.
    • Pregnancy and syphilis tests: $30 every six months
    • HIV: $30 (every two years)
    • Tuberculosis: $40 (once after two years of residing in Singapore)
  • One-off treatments: These treatments include specific medicine, hospital stay, blood work, and more.

Maid Levy

Maid levy in Singapore is:

  • $300/month: For the first domestic worker
  • $450/month: Additional maids
  • $60/month: Concessionary levy

To reduce your maid costs in Singapore as much as possible, you would have to qualify for a concessionary levy. The requirements include having:

  • Children or grandchildren in your care below the age of 16
  • Elderly relatives above 67 years old
  • Disabled family member requiring help with at least one activity

Note: These people in your household must be Singapore citizens to be eligible for a concessionary levy.

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Are Maids Expensive In Singapore?

The cost of hiring a maid in Singapore can be as low as $1,167.25.

If you read the section above, the recurring costs of maids in Singapore may not seem like much. It may seem like maids are not expensive in Singapore:

An Indonesian maid’s salary can be as low as $550. Add to that working on two rest days per month ($46), a maid levy of $60 and minimum living expenses of $200. The medical insurance and additional treatments cost another $311.25 per month.

But maids can be very expensive in Singapore.

Other costs to consider include:

Maid Agency

An agency streamlines the maid hiring process, sparing you the bureaucracy and wasted time.

All you have to do is explain what you need, and the agency will help you source the best applicants. Besides, the agency will also help you with the paperwork.

The maid agent fees in Singapore vary between $1,000 and $3,000. Below are the expenses covered in this amount:

  • Maid registration
  • Overseas recruitment fee
  • Airfare
  • Initial medical examination ($80)
  • An administrative fee for work permit application and additional paperwork
  • Entry test and safety awareness course
  • Maid transport from the airport to your home
  • Medical and personal accident insurance
  • Security bond
  • Sending helper to MOM for thumbprint
  • Guarantee free replacements

Pro tip: You can hire a transfer maid from one of your acquaintances to go around paying this agency fee.

If you want extra help vetting your domestic transfer worker, you can hire one through an agency. In this case, the agency fee for transfer maid will also be $1,000 to $2,000.

Placement Fee/Maid Loan

Although your maid will pay this placement fee back through salary deductions, you must still have this sum available upfront.

Here is what you will be paying for:

The placement fee or maid loan is an amount your agency will charge on behalf of your maid. This expense is akin to paying the agency for the chance to work in Singapore.


  • The Indonesian maid placement fee typically varies between $1,500 and $4,000. However, your Indonesian domestic worker cannot use more than half her monthly earnings to repay loans.
  • Maids from the Philippines should only use up to half of her monthly salary to repay a loan of up to $1,110.
  • The maximum placement fee in Singapore is equivalent to two months’ salary.

Security Bond

You must purchase a $5,000 security bond for every domestic worker you hire—Malaysian maids excluded. Also, you must pay for this bond yourself, without any financial assistance from your maid.

You are discharged from the security bond liability if:

  • You have revoked the maid’s work permit.
  • Your domestic worker has returned to her country of residence.
  • The security bond conditions have not been breached.

The bond is forfeited if:

  • The work permit has been violated.
  • The security bond conditions have been breached.
  • You do not pay your domestic worker on the agreed dates.
  • You did not send your maid home after her work permit expiration, cancellation, or revocation.
  • Your domestic worker went missing.

How Much Does A Part-Time Maid Cost In Singapore?

A part-time maid’s salary ranges from $18 to $30 per hour, depending on the following:

  • The size of your home
  • The range of work
  • The task difficulty

Hiring a part-time maid can be better than hiring a live-in domestic worker if you need regular cleaning services.

Pro tip: Opt for a discounted cleaning package at one of Singapore’s maid agencies. These services cost $230-$480/month, offering four hours of cleaning per week.

Here is the drawback:

Part-time maids do not offer the advantages of a full-time in-home domestic worker. For example, you may need help with young children who do not yet attend kindergarten. Alternatively, you may want someone to look after your disabled parents, helping them with daily tasks.

Can I Pay My Maid In Cash?

Yes, you can pay your maid in cash, although that is not advisable.

It is much better to pay your domestic worker’s salary in direct transfer to:

  • Her bank account in her country of residence
  • A bank account you created for her in Singapore

If your maid ever needs a loan, having clear bank statements will help her get a better offer. Besides, it is always best to be transparent with your finances for tax purposes.

Pro tip: Keep a record of the salary you paid your domestic worker. Make sure this record is readily available for both your maid and any authorities in Singapore when doing their legal duties.

Warning: It is illegal to safe-keep your maid’s earnings, even if she consents or asks you to do it. If you are found guilty, the punishment may be up to a $10,000 fine and/or jail up to 12 months.

Hiring Your Maid—First Steps 

As you can see, hiring your maid can be fairly expensive, especially in the first month. This is when you will have to fork out the maid agency fee, placement charge, bond deposit, and salary.

If all that seems too much, you can always consider a part-time maid.

But it is best not to compromise if you need urgent household help with your little ones or elderly parents.

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Why drain your savings account instead of getting a personal loan with a $100 or $200 installment charge?

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