52.5% of married couples in Singapore form dual-income households with both husband and wife working (Singstat, Census of Population 2020). As both husband and wife spend more time at work, having household help becomes a bigger priority for families. In Singapore, the two main sources of household help (outside of family) are (1) live-in full-time maids and (2) part-time helpers.
Full-Time Maid Costs More Than Just The Salary
In general, hiring a full-time live-in maid will cost about $900 per month. This excludes the one-off costs associated with hiring and assumes you qualify for the concessionary levy. Hiring an experienced transfer maid who commands a higher salary will be more expensive.
The entry-level salary of a new full-time maid averages around $600. This can be higher or lower depending on the source country and the experience level. Maids with specialised competencies, like eldercare or childcare, will command higher salaries.
In addition to salary, you will also have to pay a levy to hire a full-time maid. This is currently $300 per month for the first maid and $450 for the subsequent maids. Families with young children, elderly or persons with disabilities qualify for the concessionary rate of $60.
Additionally, there are additional costs such as the compulsory six-monthly medical examination and insurance coverage. This is estimated to cost about $400 a year for the mandatory medical examinations and insurance. MOM regulates that employers are responsible for their maid’s medical needs. This includes the full cost of any medical care including hospitalisation.
Living expenses are another cost that needs to be factored in. You are expected to provide basic amenities and adequate food (3 meals a day) for your full-time maid. In general, food and basic necessities (such as toiletries) will cost about $200 per month.
Finally, hiring a maid will incur one-off costs such as placement, agency fees, application fees, airfare, and medical screening. This can cost about $2,500 on average.
Part-Time Helper Costs About $25 Per Hour
In comparison, the cost of part-time helper is fixed per hour, about $25 to $30 per hour. You only pay for the service hours you use. In general, most cleaning services recommend a minimum of 3 hours per session for a weekly housekeeping session. Some may require a minimum regular commitment (monthly or weekly) before a part-time helper is assigned.
Assuming you commit to a weekly cleaning service of at least 3 hours per session, this will cost about $300 ($25×3×4).
You Are The Employer Of A Full-Time Maid
While maid agencies can help you in the process of hiring a full-time maid, you are the employer. This means that you are directly responsible for your maid. You must be familiar and updated with MOM’s regulations on employing a maid.
For example, on 1 January 2023, MOM introduced that migrant domestic worker must have at least one rest day a month that cannot be compensated away. This affects not just new maids but also existing maids who are already employed.
You will have to abide by MOM’s guidelines and regulations on salary payments, workplace safety (such as safety regarding window cleaning) and medical care. If your maid falls ill, you are responsible for her medical care.
Additionally, hiring a maid is adding a new member to a family and this inevitably means some friction in integration. Sometimes, a maid may not fit well into your household dynamics and you will have to go through the administrative process of terminating and hiring again.
As the employer, you may also have to deal with nightmare scenarios such as when the maid turns out to be less than trustworthy or engages in errant behaviour.
The Company Is The Employer Of A Part-Time Helper
When you hire a part-time helper through a professional cleaning company, you will save yourself the headache of being an employer. The company is responsible for the employment of the helper, including adherence to any MOM regulations.
Additionally, the cleaning company is responsible for the helper’s off days and sick leave. This may mean sending you a replacement helper or arranging for an alternative cleaning session in lieu of any missed sessions.
At Nimbus Homes, we take pride in being a reliable and trustworthy service provider. Our customer service team will notify and arrange for a suitable replacement if your regular helper is unavailable.
Full-Time Maid Follows Your Schedule
For families that require round-the-clock assistance such as for childcare or eldercare, having live-in help can be a blessing. Instead of being subject to scheduling conflicts, you always have your full-time helper ready to assist you.
The scope of their training and work is also determined by you. If you require a helper to cook daily meals, you can hire a maid proficient in cooking. If you need help with childcare or eldercare, you can hire a maid with those competencies. When looking for a suitable full-time maid, maid agencies will provide profiles of suitable candidates. However, most of the training provided by agencies tends to be rudimentary and you will need to train and orientate your new maid when she arrives.
Hire Part-Time Help Only When Needed
At Nimbus Homes, we offer on-demand part-time help. Just like booking a ride only when you need it, you can book a cleaning service only when needed. Have a party planned this weekend? Book a cleaning service before guests arrive and book another cleaning session for the post-party clean-up.
For small households, on-demand part-time helpers may make more sense. Most small households don’t have a huge amount of household chores to occupy a diligent helper full-time. Idle hands are the devil's workshop. Hiring part-time help only when needed will avert the possible issue of having a full-time helper idle in your home.
Full-Time Maid Lives With You
In exchange for the convenience of full-time help, you will have to sacrifice some privacy to accommodate your full-time maid in your home.
MOM has specific requirements for housing your maid: it must be adequate shelter, sufficiently ventilated, not near any dangerous equipment or structure, sufficient space and privacy, and she must not sleep in the same room as a male adult or teenager.
Keep Your Privacy With A Part-Time Helper
One major advantage of hiring a part-time helper is that you don’t have to sacrifice precious space in your home to house your helper. For couples living in increasingly smaller BTO flats, the privacy of having personal space without the intrusion of another stranger may be worth the minor inconvenience of not having full-time help.
Want to try out part-time cleaning? Nimbus Homes provides on-demand home cleaning services that give you the convenience of part-time help whenever you need it. Book a single one-off cleaning session to test out our service before committing to a regular schedule. Our booking system allows you the flexibility of one-off or recurring service.
With more than 6 years in the cleaning industry, Nimbus is recognised professionally with NEA Clean Mark Gold Award. Our cleaners are all trained and equipped with the most effective tools in the market. They are also employed as per MOM regulations and properly insured.
New users can enjoy 10% off their first house cleaning session with promo code: NEW10