Families in Singapore are living a very busy life. The fathers and mothers are always at work while the children are overwhelmed by the requirements of school and tuition centers. Consequently, hiring external services is a norm in the city-state. Still, before hiring a foreign maid, below are the fees that must be expected by the employer.
Agency Fees. The agency fee is paid by the employer to the manpower company. It can amount up to $2,000 and it is used by the agency to pay for the airfare ticket of the maid from her home country to Singapore, the registration and overseas recruitment fee, pre-employment medical expenses, payment for the work permit processing, payment for the airport transfer service, medical insurance and fees for maid safety awareness course.
Placement Fees. Stipulations for placement fees of about $1000 vary per maid agency in Singapore. Some operators require the domestic workers to pay for the placement fee prior to their flight to Singapore while other agencies require the Singaporean employer to pay for the placement fee. In the previous case, it will be clearly stated in the contract of the maid that she has already settled her placement fee in her home country. In the second option, it is customary for the employer to deduct the placement fee from the monthly salary of the maid once she starts working.
Accident insurance and security bond. The law requires employers of foreign workers to secure their employees with accident insurance. For maids, some agencies include the accident insurance in the agency fee. Otherwise, the employer has to purchase this from a separate insurance company. Additionally, the Ministry of Manpower of the city-state requires employers to deposit $5000 as Insurance or Bank Guarantee. This money will serve as a security bond and can only be retrieved by the employer at the end of a successful maid contract.
Monthly salary. Start-up salary for maids varies depending on the citizenship of the house helper. For Indonesian maids, the start-up salary is $450 while Filipino maids are rated at $500. Maids from Myanmar have a start-up salary of $450. Adjustments to the monthly salary can be rewarded by the employer depending on the assessment of the employee’s work.
Foreign domestic worker levy. In addition to these payments, Singaporean employers are also required by law to pay $265 monthly. At the same time, the Singaporean government recognizes that this amount can be a problem to some families. Hence, a condition for the reduced foreign domestic worker levy at $120 is provided. Such condition can be met only if the family has members aged below 12 years old or above 65 years old. These vulnerable citizens must be living with the paying couple.
Performance bond. Special fees required by the embassy of the maid’s home country should also be settled by the employer. In the case maids from the Philippines, their embassy requires $7000 as performance bond. To cut costs, employers are permitted to utilize insurance plan for performance bond amounting to $71. 69.
Expenses for the personal needs of the maid. Since the foreign helper is directly hired by the Singaporean family through the agency to work as they stay-in house worker, the Singaporean bosses must provide decent living conditions to the employee. This includes a bed mattress, pillows, blankets and daily meals. Renewal of the maid’s passport is also usually covered by the employers.
Based on this list, about $16,000 must be prepared by a family if they want to hire foreigners as their house helper.