Getting domestic help in Singapore



It is common to hire a live-in domestic helper in Singapore as they are readily available and the cost of this is relatively reasonable. A foreign domestic helper is normally from the Philippines, or occasionally from Sri-Lanka, Thailand, or Indonesia.

Filipinas generally speak, read and write English and are good with children. The main cost involved in hiring a maid is their monthly salary (Between $350 – $600 per month, and the monthly levy of $265). The best way to hire a domestic helper is through a licensed, recommended domestic helper agency. These agencies typically charge between $350 to $700 in agency fees.

First-time employers are required to attend an Employers’ Orientation Program. You can either do this four-hour course online for S$30 or attend it in person for S$20.

Hiring House Workers

It is common to have house workers from the Philippines because of low labour costs and because Filipinos can usually communicate in English better than domestic helpers from other South-east Asian countries. Some expats see great advantages in hiring house workers who can help provide them with more free time and an easier lifestyle.

There are some things to consider before hiring domestic help. Some expats don’t like the loss of privacy and the challenges of an employer/employee relationship. Also, the people you hire may not do things the way you want them to, and some tasks you might be better off doing yourself.

There is a law that provides for social security system benefits for domestic help. The employer shares in the payment of the monthly contributions. After 36 months, the employee is eligible for benefits which include some medical care, loans, and a retirement plan.

Typical Positions of House Workers

  • Cleaners (Maids): You can hire a cleaner for a full day, or even just a half day, to wash clothing, clean the house, sweep, etc. Some can even cook food for lunch or dinner.
  • Gardeners: You will only need a gardener if you have a large garden to keep, such as those found in an old colonial bungalow.
  • Manual Workers: If you have renovations or repair work that needs to be done at your residence, you should find a contractor to handle it and find the necessary workers.

Keep in mind that you should keep a business relationship with any house worker you employ. It is best not to get involved in any personal problems they may have.