Singapore - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Expats often employ full-time, live-in domestic workers, with average wages of US$700-900 depending on experience. Agency fees can be in the thousands of US dollars if you hire a “new maid”, but transferring a domestic worker from one employer to another runs about $900 USD, which includes an agency doing all the paperwork, the first annual insurance premium, and a required bond. - Mar 2022

This is very much available. This is one of the highlights of Singapore. You will pay between US$600-800 for experienced help. - Aug 2015

Cheap. Live in full time helper is around US$500/month. - Aug 2015

Plentiful. SGD400-700/month. - Apr 2012

expensive and many regulations but many people still hire a live in helper (many from the Philippines) through a Maid service. - Nov 2011

Readily available and inexpensive. I have an amazing live-in helper. Domestic helpers are regulated by the government. You pretty much have to use an agency. - Mar 2010

Very available. Cost is openended: I've read real horror stories of people liable for their foreign maid's medical expenses. We share a cleaning lady (the U.S. term) with an expat neighbor: she comes in 4 hours a week and cleans a 2 BR flat, does the dishes and the laundry, changes the sheets (but no ironing) for US$50, which may be high by local standards, but she's great. She also comes in when we need a sitter. Lots of people we know have fulltime and even live-in help; my family thrives without it. - Dec 2008

Available in large numbers (Filipinas and Indonesians, mostly) and relatively cheap. We didn't have a maid, but most of our friends did. Non-embassy employees have to pay some sort of bond - I don't remember the exact cost, but it struck me as high. - Aug 2008

I know a lot of expats and Singaporeans alike have live-in help from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam (I don't-I prefer to do my wash my own stinky gym clothes). Stories of maid abuse surface frequently here, as do stories of maids stealing from their employers. Costs vary depending on the agency used and the country of origin of the maid. - Jun 2008

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