The 2020 Complete Guide On How to Hire Maid Directly to Singapore

Many Singaporeans think that the only way to hire maid directly for your family is via the employment agencies at Katong Shopping Centre or at Beauty World. Did you know you can also choose to hire your maid directly on your own?

Whether you are a new parent hiring a maid for the first time, or hiring a helper to take care of your aged parent, hiring a maid can save you significant time and money in the long run.

Here are some advantages of hire maid directly:

  • Save 500 up to $2000 of agency fees – skipping the agent means skipping the exorbitant fees they usually charge you!
  • More control over maid selection and hiring process – you have the chance to choose the maid that REALLY fits your family culture / values instead of picking from options available at the agency
  • No maid loan is required – Typically maids pay between 4-6 months of salary as a loan to the agency. Directly hiring means your maid earns from day 1, leading to lower chances of your maid quitting because they are not getting paid fast enough.
  • Faster to get your maid – Transfer maid in Singapore starts within a few days of completing the paperwork. New maids however would require more than 10 weeks. Either way, you skip the agency queue by doing it yourself.
  • More experienced – Transfer maids are more experienced, you may not be needed to train the maid from scratch.

Sounds good? Here are the steps you need to take to get started to hire maid directly!

Step 1: Check whether you qualify to hire maid directly

  • Age – To be an employer, you need to be at least 21 years old or above
  • Finances – You cannot be an undischarged bankrupt
  • Mentality – You need to have the mental capacity to fully understand and discharge your responsibilities as an employer
  • Income – You need to possess the financial capability to hire, maintain and upkeep the domestic worker in an acceptable accommodation
  • Educated by MOM regulations – You need to have attended the Employers’ Orientation Programme (EOP), either online or in person.

Step 2: Know your requirements

List down the requirements you have for your potential helper. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Age – What is the potential age range you are looking to hire for? Younger maids may have lower family commitments, but older maids are generally more experienced.
  • Nationality – Does your family have any special dietary / religious requirements? This may affect the option of countries you will choose from.
  • Work experience – Do you want an experienced maid or would you like to train one yourself? Beware, experienced maids may also come with their own bad habits and quirks.
  • Salary expectations – What is the maximum amount you are willing to pay? Consider also the costs of monthly levy and yearly insurance required. (check out the total costs of hiring a maid here)
  • Availability – How long of a commitment do you require? Most maid contracts last for two years, although some families look for maids with the option to extend another year or two.
  • Work Permit expiration dates – Regarding transfer maids, beware, there is a timeline for you to hire them. If you exceed this timeline, you may need them to exit the country and enter again under a newly applied WP instead.

Step 3. Source for Maid

You are now ready to source for your maid! Where can you potentially find one? Here are some ideas.

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  • Reaching out to local on-the-ground employment agencies from PH ID MM
    Link up with local agencies from the various countries and ask them for recommendations. Be aware that you may have to pay them a fee for this service. Here are some websites to get started:

  • Word of mouth
    Another good source of maids would be the friends and connections of previous good maids under your employment.

    You can also tap on the database / network of the maid of your relative / friends. However, important note: you cannot pay this maid any money for connecting you with their friend – this is against MOM law on operating as an EA agent without a license

Step 4. Check MOM eligibility requirements

Ensure you comply fully to the MOM regulations on who qualifies to work as a domestic helper in Singapore. Here are the official MOM requirements:

  • Must be Female
  • Between the ages of 23 to 50 years old at the time of application
  • From an approved source country or territory including maids from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand.
  • Unrelated to the employer
  • Employed at your home address as stated on your NRIC
  • Certified with at least 8 years of formal education
  • Certified with the Settling-In-Programme if this is her first time seeking employment as a domestic worker in Singapore. (For new maids, SIP will be done when she arrives in Singapore)

You are encouraged to not take the information she provides you at face value, instead exercise discretion and discernment to ensure the facts provided are correct. MOM takes a strict view on underage domestic helpers and/or falsified documents.

Step 5. Interview

Once you have a few candidates shortlisted, it is time to conduct your first interview to hire maid directly! Arrange to do a call over the following platforms:

  • Skype
  • Viber
  • Whatsapp
  • Facebook Messenger

What should you ask them on the interview? Here are some must-have questions to ask:

  • Work experience – what is her experience in cooking, cleaning, children, pets, grocery shopping?
  • Family commitments – what are her current commitments for children / parents / husband, future plans
  • Salary and off days – how much is she expecting monthly and how many off days is she required to have? (Note; each domestic helper is entitled to one off day per week under MOM regulations)
  • Religion – is she particular especially when it comes to her dietary requirements, handling food / pets?
  • Duration of contract / earliest start – when is the earliest date she can start and for how long?

Step 6. Check employment status

Only applicable for transfer maid – if you are hiring a transfer maid, you must check if she is still working with her previous employer. You can check through the Work Permit Online Portal by logging in with your Singpass and the FDW’s work permit number.

In the portal, you can also check her past employment history.

If she is still working with her previous employer, you must check with the employer if he/she is willing to transfer the maid to you. If the employer is willing to, both the employer and you will need to log in and process the transfer.

However, if the employer is not willing to transfer, your domestic helper will need to leave Singapore before you are allowed to apply for her work permit.

Step 7. Set up GIRO account

For Levy payment, you are required to set up a general interbank recurring order (GIRO) account.

Take careful note to ensure that there is always enough money in the GIRO account, else MOM may revoke the maid’s permit.

Step 8.  Apply for necessary paperwork to hire maid directly

Now for the tedious part.

Apply for a new work permit at Each work permit is only valid for a maximum of 2 years.

IPA Approval – Once MOM approves your application, an In-Principle Approval (IPA) Letter will be sent to you. The validity of the IPA will be mentioned in the letter.

Flight to SG – Send the IPA to your maid to bring with her. Arrange for your maid to enter Singapore. The validity period is the time you have to bring the foreign worker to Singapore.

Settling In Program – Once your maid arrives, send her to attend the Settling-in Programme (SIP) within first 3 working days of her arrival. You are advised to book and secure a slot before her arrival to Singapore.

Medical checkup – Within 2 weeks of arrival, the maid must also go through a pre-employment medical examination, else she will be repatriated back home.

Fingerprint and phototaking – After work permit is issued, bring the maid for fingerprinting and photo-taking at the MOM Services Centre – Hall C within 7 calendar days.

Step 9. Apply for security bond

You will need to obtain the In Principle Approval letter before applying for insurance and bond.

When applying, you are required to deposit a $5000 security bond with MOM.

Important note: your maid is not allowed to help you cover this deposit. This deposit will be forfeited if you break the employment rules.

When is the bond returned to you?

The bond will be refunded to you only when:

  • Your domestic worker has returned home
  • You have cancelled the work permit
  • You and your domestic worker did not breach the terms of the bond

However, the bond may be forfeited if:

  • You did not pay your domestic worker her salary on time
  • You fail to send her back home when her work permit is no longer valid
  • Your domestic worker goes missing from your home, which is the official employment address for her (you will have to forfeit half of $5000 here)

Therefore, make sure to inform your maid about the conditions of her work permit. You are advised to safeguard yourself by reporting any violations of the permit immediately.

Remember not to break any of MOM’s regulations for you as an employer. Learn about 7 MOM regulations that you didn’t know about here.

Step 10. Apply for insurance

At the same time, you also need to purchase the necessary medical insurance policies for your maid. You can purchase the bond together with the insurance policy as a coverage i.e. you do not need to pay the full price of the bond.

The insurance company will notify MOM after your purchase. This may take up to 3 working days.

Do ensure that you secure the security bond before she arrives. The bond should take effect on her arrival date. Without the security bond, she will be refused entry to Singapore and you will need to incur additional costs to send her home.

Step 11. Post-hire maid directly

After everything has been processed, you are strongly encouraged to sign a safety agreement with your maid. This is a sample of a safety agreement, covering her precautions when handling hot objects, electrical appliances, cleaning of windows etc.

You are also required to draw up an employment contract stating the work requirements, rest days, salary, termination notice etc.

Keep a clear record of the maid’s required 6 monthly medical check ups and ensure that she goes for all of them.

Finally, make a clear record of her salary – salary amount, date with both parties’ signature (and a witness if possible).

That’s it, you have now successfully hire maid directly to singapore!

Whats next: try to improve your maid’s efficiency by following our 6 tips here.

If the above steps to hire maid directly are too tedious for you, you can also elect for an employment agency to handle most of the steps for you. Here at Reliable Maids, we source, interview, train and settle all paperwork and insurance requirements for you at a fair price.

Our price structure is guaranteed to be the most competitive you can find on the market!

Get a free price quote by filling in the form below.