So you have decided to hire a maid or FDW as they are more frequently called. You have to keep a few things in mind here.
1] Why do you really need FDW?
Finding the right FDW is really a key to making your life easier. If your expectation and the skills of the FDW do not match, you will not be able to have a pleasant experience. Following are the things you should keep in mind.
- Do you need FDW of general housekeeping?
- What kind of cuisine is she expected to cook?
- Will she take care of your infant child?
- Will she take care of elderly parents?
Then there are other things like religious compatibility, beliefs regarding consuming pork and beef etc. You need to have clear answers to these questions before even thinking of hiring an FDW.
2] Real Cost of hiring an FDW
Hiring an FDW is not a cheap affair. We have already discussed the MoM levy. There are other hidden costs as well when it comes to hiring an FDW.
- Salary: The monthly salary of the FDW which can be between 450 to 700 SGD depending upon the skillset you require.
- Bonds and Insurance: You need to have a Security bond deposited to MoM either in form of banker’s guarantee or Insurance. Besides this, you also need to have a medical insurance of at least 15,000SGD and accident insurance of 40,000SGD. The average premium is around 300 SGD per year in most cases.
- Employment agency(EA) fees: If you are hiring a fresh maid, it is adviced that you hire through an EA. An EA will charge you around 1,500SGD as their fees. Besides they will also ask you to pay the Maid’s share of EA fees as an advance which can be around 900–1200SGD. This totals to 2500 SGD in most cases. Given that most FDWs change employment or leave Singapore after one year, this comes out to around 200 SGD each month.
- FDWs Cost of Living: The maid will live in your home. You will have to provide her with a private sleeping place in your home. You might even have to upgrade to a costlier apartment to enable this. Also, you should account for her expense for food, toiletries, etc. Although it is hard to calculate the exact expense, you can safely assume it will be around 100 SGD per month.
- Flight ticket of maid Back home: At the end of employment contract, you have to pay for the airfare of the maid to the source country. You can avoid this by giving your maid opportunity to transfer to another employer.
- MOM Levy: As an FDW employer, you have to pay a monthly levy to Ministry of Manpower of 265SDG. You must check if you qualify for levy concession under any of these schemes: 1]Young child or grandchild scheme. 2] Aged person scheme. 3] Persons with disabilities scheme.
If eligible you will have to pay concessionary rate of 60SGD only. 200SDG savings per month will go a long way in balancing your budget. You can find more information on eligibility and application process here.
As you can see, an FDW will really cost you anywhere from 750–1500 SGD per month in real money.
Beware!! Many Employment Agencies will try to hide some of the cost to lure you. You need to be very careful while ensuring if there are any hidden fees in the EA contract.
Now that you know some of the key points to think about before hiring a maid. Let me tell you why hiring a transfer maid is a smart move. But first
What is a Transfer Maid anyway?
A transfer maid is an FDW who is currently in Singapore who’s employment contract is about to end. Instead of going back to her own country, she can look for another employer and continue to work in Singapore.
Why should you hire a Transfer Maid?
Well, there are two major reasons, Cultural risk, and Cost. Let me explain.
1] Cultural Risk
The FDW you hire will live in your home 24×7. It is very important that you and she get along. Even small things like eating habits, use of footwear inside the house, excessive use of handphone by the maid, etc can lead to squabble.
Then there are the more important things. A fresh FDW will be coming to Singapore for the first time, Probably from rural area in the origin country. There is a risk that she might not adjust to city culture and might have to return home. She might not be able to take care of your children or parents the way you expect. She might not have the skills she talked about during your phone interview.
All these Cultural aspects cannot be tested in a few phone calls you would have with the FDW before she arrives in Singapore. But, if you are hiring a Transfer FDW, you can have multiple face-to-face interviews with the candidate before finalizing. You can test their cooking and other skills first hand to ensure you get the best candidate possible.
Most of the costs pertaining to FDW hiring are not flexible, except for the Employment Agency fees. While in case of Hiring a fresh maid the EA charges up to 2500 SGD, Transfer maid services will cost you less than 1000 SGD. As the EA doesn’t have to source the candidate from an origin country they can charge less.
However, you can do even better and virtually eliminate the Employment agency from the picture. Using service like ProWidor.com you can find a maid interested in transfer for free. You can contact up to 30 maids for a nominal amount and save your 1000 SGD. Of course, you will have to do the nominal documentation of the transfer on your own.
As you can see hiring a transfer FDW is the smart move and using ProWidor.com is even smarter.