Frequent Asked Questions
All Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents and expatriates who hold valid employment or work passes are eligible to hire a FDW as long as they have a valid reason to employ a FDW at their residence. The application is subject to MOM approval. Do note that expatriate employers have to declare that their family members are living with them upon application. For the detailed and latest information, please refer to MOM website.
Typically, with the application and processes to obtain the Work Permit done correctly, the FDW can arrive within 2 to 4 weeks before starting to work for the employer. For first-time FDWs, they are obliged to attend the Settling-In Programme (SIP) before being able to work for their employer. Also, the FDW would also have to pass his/her medical examination and obtain his/her work permit within 14 days upon arriving in Singapore. For the detailed and latest information, please refer to MOM website.
The Setting-In Programme (SIP) is a compulsory programme for first-time FDWs in order to educate them on safety precautions and help them to adapt to working and living in Singapore. The programme must be completed within 3 days upon arriving in Singapore. The programme would be completed in 1 day and then only could the FDW work for his/her employer. The cost of $75 inclusive of GST for the programme would be borne by the FDW’s employer. Employers are encouraged to start the registration process before the arrival of their FDW in Singapore. For the detailed and latest information, please refer to MOM website.
Transfer maids are maids who are looking for a new employer having previously worked for other employers in Singapore. It could be that these maids have already fulfilled their 2 years contract or their service with their previous employer has been discontinued.
FDWs could transfer money directly through online banking or use an outward remittance service carried out by his/her bank branch. Also, they could enlist the service of any of the registered and well-reputed money transfer companies to send monthly salary back home regularly.
Yes. Given the condition that the repatriation does not breach any of the clauses in the service agreement between the employer and the maid agency, employers can opt to repatriate his/her FDW without going through the maid agency. Nevertheless, it is strongly advisable for employers to repatriate his/her FDW through the maid agency to be relieved off the responsibilities and other complications. For the detailed and latest information, please refer to MOM website.
With effective of 1 April 2019:
a) For the first FDW who is employed without levy concession, the monthly levy will be raised from $265 to $300.
b) For the second FDW who is employed without levy concession, the monthly levy will be raised to $450.
c) The qualifying age for levy concession under the aged person scheme will be raised from 65 to 67 years. However, all households with persons aged 65 and 66, which are enjoying or have enjoyed the levy concession under the aged person scheme before 1 April 2019, will continue to pay the monthly FDW concessionary levy rate of $60 on and after 1 April 2019. Changes aside, all households with Singaporeans who need help with any Activities of Daily Living will still qualify for the monthly concessionary levy rate of $60 under the scheme for persons with disabilities. This is regardless of their age.
Foreign Maid Levy (FML) Relief is introduced by Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to encourage married women to stay in the workforce. Married women and divorcees/widows with school-going children can apply for the FML to claim twice the total maid levy paid in the previous year on one foreign domestic worker. For more information, please visit here.
Yes. Medical Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance are part of the employers’ obligations for his/her helper. The FDWs would be denied from entering Singapore without having valid insurance. According to the regulations of MOM, the minimum coverage of Medical Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance are $15,000 and $60,000 respectively. For more information, please refer to Medical Insurance & Security Bond. For the detailed and latest information, please refer to MOM website.
A security bond is a binding pledge of $5,000 to the government applied to the employers to ensure that they keep their responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of their employed FDWs. It protects the welfare of the FDWs by ensuring prompt payment of salary and timely repatriation. It is required for every helper hired unless he/she is Malaysian. Should the employer violate the Work Permit conditions of his/her FDW, the entirety of the security bond would be forfeited. A maid insurance policy could be purchased to cover the security bond. This would protect the employer from forfeiting his/her security bond should unwanted situations arise, for example, maids running away, etc. For more information, please refer to Medical Insurance & Security Bond. For the detailed and latest information, please refer to MOM website.
Upon arrival in Singapore, the FDWs must complete the medical examinations within 14 days to be declared fit to work under the standards set by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). The FDWs are required to undergo a medical screening every half year to ensure his/her health condition meets the standards set by MOM. The employer will be responsible for these expenses. For the detailed and latest information, please refer to MOM website.
The employers are responsible for the entirety of the medical costs of his/her FDW. As such, the employers are obliged to purchase Medical Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance. Insurance plans with better coverage should also be considered as medical occurrences and fees can be fairly unpredictable.
*The information presented is as at the date of writing. For the latest information, please kindly refer to MOM website.