Please see below for the most common Questions and Answers.

Kindly notice that Singapore regulations and legislation are often very different from Western countries.
It’s good to realize that all these regulations have the intention to protect both the FDW and you the employer.

If you have any additional questions please contact us, we happily assist you.

Q: What are the requirements to hire a foreign domestic worker (FDW)?

A:  You must be a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident or an Expatriate with a valid employment pass.  For first time employer, it is compulsory to attend the Employers Orientation Program (EOP) as required by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) which can be done online.

Q: What are the obligations of the employer to the Maid?

A:  As an employer, you are responsible to pay her salary on a timely basis, provide adequate and suitable food, medical care (which covers hospitalization), a safe working environment and to give her the respect .

Q: Any other obligation with the Government in hiring a domestic helper?

A:  There is a monthly levy to be paid to the Government which amounts to currently xxx$ for expat employers.  The levy charges will start on the 5th day from the date of arrival of the helper.  The work permit of the helper may be revoked should the employer fail to pay the monthly levy.

Q: What to do if the helper’s work permit was revoked due to non-payment of the levy?

A:  The employer must pay the outstanding levy and apply for the reinstatement of the work permit to MOM together with the receipt of payment.

Q: I have heard of levy concession, what are the criteria to be eligible for it?

A:  An employer is eligible for low levy for each FDW if she/he meets conditions set by MOM.  A household that has a child/grandchild who is a Singapore Citizen below 12 years of age or an elderly (employer/spouse/parent/parent-in-law/grandparent/grandparent-in-law) who is a Singapore Citizen aged 65 years old and above may be eligible to apply low levy subject to MOM approval.  A household living a person with disability may also be eligible for levy concession.

Q: Can I claim tax relief for maid levy?

A: You can claim tax relief if:

a. You are a married woman and have elected for separate assessment; or
b. You are married and your husband is not resident in Singapore; or
c. You are separated, divorced or widowed and living with your unmarried child for
Who you can claim child relief.

The relief is two times the amount of maid levy paid for one maid. It can only be set off against the earned income of the wife. Single taxpayers are not eligible for this relief. You can get the relief even if the levy is paid by the husband.

Q: What are the consequences if the helper I hire does not meet my expectations?

A:  All FDWs go through a screening process before deployment, however, some helpers may be found unsuitable to employers due to personality and compatibility issues.  Cinderella provides advisory services to both the FDW and employers for free.  If the current helper still needs to be transferred after, we will provide replacement maid as soon as possible.

Q: Can I repatriate the helper without going through the agency?

A:  Yes you may repatriate the FDW provided such action does not breach any of the clauses in the service agreement between the employer and the agency.  However, it is strongly advised to repatriate the helper via the agency so that the employer can be discharged of responsibilities if any.

Q: Can I hire an additional helper?

A:  To be eligible to hire an additional helper, your family must consists of 2 children under 18 or 1 child below 18 and 1 elderly above 65 years old.  The combined annual income should be at least $50,000 or more.

Q: Can I employ a FDW on part-time basis?

A:  Currently, MOM regulation does not allow the part-time employment of foreign domestic workers.

Q: I am allowing my FDW to transfer. What are my obligations?

A:  You must sign a written “consent to transfer letter” and you will still need to pay the levy up to the day the new work permit has been issued.  In the event that the transfer is unsuccessful and the work permit has been cancelled or expires, the current employer must repatriate the foreign domestic helper within 7 days from the date of work permit cancellation/expiry.

Q: My helper gets sick, am I responsible for her medication expenses?

A:  As an employer, you are responsible for the upkeep and well-being of your helper.  You are required to bear the full cost of her medical treatment including hospitalization.  It is strongly advised to pay for an insurance covering hospitalization of your helper.

Q: My helper got pregnant?

A:  You must repatriate the maid immediately.

Q: What is a security bond? Do employers really need to pay for this?

A:  A security bond serves as a security deposit amounting to $5000 for every foreign domestic worker as required by the MOM.  Employers are responsible to repatriate the helper after the end of the usual 2-year contract unless it is renewed or the helper transferred to a new family. If you fail to repatriate the foreign domestic worker, you risk losing the $5000 security bond.  You may purchase an insurance policy instead of depositing a security bond which is much cheaper than making the cash $5000 deposit.  However, you are still liable for $5000 should you fail to repatriate the helper for any reason required by the Singapore Law.

Q: Our FDW went missing?

A:  You should cancel her work permit immediately to stop the levy payment.  You are then given one (1) month to locate and repatriate her.  Otherwise, you risk losing the $5,000 security deposit.

Q: Can I hire a domestic worker from any country?

A:  No, the only approved countries by the MOM are Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.

Q: What are the differences between an Indonesian and A Filipino FDW?

A: Indonesian FDWs:
• They speak the Indonesian language which is quite similar to the Malay language used in Singapore. Some of them are college graduates or have worked in Singapore before and are able to speak and understand reasonable English.
• Most of them are Muslims and do not eat pork. However, most of them are able handling pork if required by their employer during their course of work.

Filipino FDWs:
• Generally, they are able to command good English.
• Most of them are Catholics or other Christians.

Q: Why should I approach a maid agency?

A:  Maid agencies provide you with a professional and comprehensive service in maid recruitment and employment.  A maid agency saves you a lot of effort in maid training, work permit application, security bond, insurance, travel arrangement, immigration clearance, medical screening, etc.

Q: How does the new FDW insurance policy affects a customer like me?

A:  The employers are required to take care of their FDW medical expenses in Singapore. Therefore, all FDWs need to be covered with adequate insurance. This is compulsory before a work permit can be issued by MOM. The new insurance policy requires the FDW to be covered with a minimum sum of S$15,000 per year for hospitalization claim. The sum is in line with the new hospitalization subsidy regulation. It is also compulsory for employers to take up a Personal Accident Insurance policy for their FDWs before they can employ the FDW. The minimum sum assured should be $40,000. Nevertheless, we would advise employers to upgrade the FDW insurance policy to an even better coverage to meet higher-than-expected bills arising from the FDW hospitalization expenses.

Q: My employer overlooked the renewal notice from MOM, my work permit is now expired, what will happen?

A:  The employer may still renew you via WP Online but the employer will have to pay a penalty for overstaying and defaulting levy.

Q: Can I terminate a contract before the end of contract?

Yes, the employer can end a contract early. In this case, he either may allow her to transfer to a new family, or he may repatriate the FDW.