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Frequently Asked Questions

We answer your questions and provide you with the necessary, comprehensive information for your hiring journey.

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Island Maids aims to make the process of hiring a maid as simple as possible.

We cover all the aspect of applications and procedures such as

  • initial interview and selection,
  • work permit application,
  • security bond and insurance,
  • travel arrangements,
  • medical screening,
  • training etc,

to ensure the transition is smooth and complies with the Singapore law.

In addition, our FAQ section allows us to further answer your questions and provide our clients with the necessary, comprehensive information along their hiring journey.


How much is my maid’s levy?

The standard migrant domestic worker’s (MDW) levy is $300 per month. (Daily: $9.87).

For additional migrant domestic worker(MDW), the levy is $450 per month. (Daily: $14.80)

The migrant domestic worker’s levy is to be paid by the domestic employers at the end of each month and should be done so only in the form of GIRO payments. If employers fail to maintain a valid GIRO account, the work permit of the maid will be cancelled.

For a first-time maid, the levy will begin on the fifth day of her arrival (excluding the day of arrival). Otherwise, the levy begins the next day of her arrival.

Employers are given up to 17th day of the following month before the deduction is made. If the 17th is a non-working day, the deduction will be made on the next working day.

Are there any Maid Levy Concessions?

For employers who engage a maid to look after an elderly at least the age of 67, a person with disabilities, or a child under the age of 16, the subsidized levy is $60 per month. (Daily: $1.98)

*Please note levy concessions has a cap of 2 helpers per household.
Each levy for each helper is based on 1 eligible person in the household.

You can also waive your maid's (FDW)levy if she:

  • Is on overseas leave for at least 7 consecutive days, capped at 60 calendar days per calendar year.
  • Is on hospitalisation leave issued by Singapore hospitals, capped at 60 calendar days per calendar year.
  • Does not return to Singapore after overseas leave.
  • Is under police custody or is housed at the embassy.
  • Passed away.

Can I claim tax relief for maid levy?


You are eligible if:

  • you are a married woman and has been elected for separate assessment; or
  • you are married and your husband is not resident in Singapore; or
  • you are separated or divorced or widowed and living with your unmarried child for whom you can claim child relief.

Who is responsible for the medical expenses of my maid?

The employer will be responsible for all expenses of his/her migrant domestic worker (MDW). Employers are required to bear the full cost of the medical care, including hospitalization and are not allowed to pass this cost to their maids.

As medical occurrence and fees can be rather unpredictable, we would strongly advise employers to purchase a comprehensive coverage for their maids to ensure these costs are covered for. Always consider upgrading your insurance plan to get a higher medical coverage.


How Can My Maid Send Money Home?

There are many Remittance Service Providers and Banks that can assist you and your maid in sending monthly salary back home regularly.

Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) are advised not to congregate in large groups when heading out to run errands. . All MDWs are advised to return home immediately after running errands such as remittance of money.

Helpers who are unable to get an appointment to remit money in person at these locations and outlets are encouraged to use e-remittance options or visit a remittance agent at another location.

Your helper can make an e-appointment to make e-remittance via the link here.

There are different benefits for using either banks or remittance agents to send money.

  1. Remittance through banks
    • Bank transfers are a convenient means of funds transfer
    • Safe
    • Your Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) will first need to open an account for carrying out her banktransfers with them.
  2. Remittance through other companies
    • Could be cheaper when it comes to small amount transfers.
    • They don’t demand any account opening and can operate without it. But you might be charged with registration fees.
    • No deposit to maintain.
    • You need to do your due diligence to ensure they are licensed.
    • Could be faster or slower than banks, depending on the remittance company.

List Of e-Remittance Service Providers

Full Name of Business Website Address Email Address Contact No.
Agrani Exchange House Pte Ltd 6295 9731
Brunphil Express (S) Pte Ltd 7975 4/5
GPL Remittance Pte Ltd 6291 2991
Hanshan Money Express Pte Ltd 6438 3119
InstaReM powered by NIUM 6950 1132
Kabayan Remittance Pte Ltd 6732 9551
MetroRemit SG 6734 2748
Money World Asia Pte Ltd 62211 755
Pay2Home (Wandr Pte. Ltd.) 6372 2474
SlideSG Pte Ltd 6594 1380
TransferWise Singapore Pte Ltd 3158 3259
TranSwap Pte Ltd 6100 9788
Western Union 6336 2000

List Of Remittance Service Providers

Ameertech Remittance Services
291 Serangoon Road
Singapore 218107
Phone: 6297-7707
ActionPlus Remittance Services
133 New Bridge Road
Singapore 059413
Phone: 6533-3083
One-Stop Remittance Centre
304 Orchard Road
Postal Code : 238863
Phone No: 68340071
Fax No: 68340069
Brunphil Express (S) Pte Ltd
304 Orchard Road
Postal Code : 238863
Phone No: 67356204,67356205
Fax No: 67356690
Ace Orient Exchange Pte. Ltd.
400 Orchard Road
Postal Code : 238875
Phone No: 67355525
Fax No: 67325575
J-Dee Remittance Services
2 Beach Road
Singapore 190002
North Bridge Road
Phone: 6294-8720
King's Professional Cargo Service
304 Orchard Road
Postal Code : 238863
Phone No: 67342387
Fax No: 67343991
GPL Remittance Pte Ltd
5001 Beach Road
Postal Code : 199588
Phone No: 62912991
CYS Express Exchange Pte Ltd
3 Shenton Way
#02-05 SHENTON HOUSE more addresses...
Postal Code : 068805
Phone No: 62262088
Fax No: 62260288
Ming Express Pte Ltd
5001 Beach Road
Postal Code : 199588
Phone No: 62977602
Fax No: 62977585
Metro Remittance Centre
304 Orchard Road
Postal Code : 238863
Phone No: 67348035
Fax No: 67349326
Lekshmi Overseas Remittance Agency
304 Orchard Road
Postal Code : 238863
Phone No: 67364033
Fax No: 67321910
Express Remittance
304 Orchard Road
#04-38 Lucky Plaza
Singapore 238863
Tel: 235-9849
Zhongguo Remittance Centre
710 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8,
Postal Code : 560710
Phone No: 64584456
Fax No: 64585567
Valutapos-TKI Pte Ltd
304 Orchard Road
Postal Code : 238863
Phone No: 67330055
Fax No: 67372987
Sonali Exchange Pte Ltd
587 Bukit Timah Road
#03-26, Coronation Plaza
Singapore 269707
Tel: 294-9862
Tsoimpex Enterprises
304 Orchard Road
Postal Code : 238863
Phone No: 68873932
Fax No: 68873142
Robin Remittance Trading Centre
304 Orchard Road.
Postal Code : 238863
Phone No: 62350803
Fax No: 62359115
Moneyhome Remittance Express
545 Orchard Road
#13-01 Far East Shopping Centre
Singapore 238882
Tel: 732-8777
AMA Remittance Pte Ltd
7500A Beach Road
#01-326 The Plaza
Singapore 199591
Tel: 293-1992
MoneyNet Remittance Service Pte Ltd
101 Upper Cross Street
#03-50 People's Park Centre
Singapore 058357
Tel: 532-1142

You can find out more info about e-remittance here.

What Should I Do When My Maid Runs Away?


    Before you reach any conclusion that your maid has ran away, you should try to find her by looking around your neighbourhood to see if she has wandered out without letting anyone know.

    Sometimes, this happens and can lead to unnecessary anxiety or negative emotions.


    Check if she has taken her personal belongings and more importantly her passport with her. If these items are no longer present, chances are she has taken off.


    Contact your Singapore Maid Agency so that they can keep a look out for you in case your runaway maid returns to the maid agency.

    In addition, they will be able to contact the maid's training centre or her family members to see if she has left a message on her whereabouts.


    Filing a police report is important after you have made reasonable efforts to locate your maid.

    They will be able to investigate and find out if your maid has left the country or try locating her whereabouts for you by contacting the relevant embassies, shelters, hospitals, etc, to see if she had reported to any of those locations.


    If you are not able to locate her after a few days, you might want to cancel her work permit.

    Your levy payment will cease and in this case, your maid will become an overstayer and can be prosecuted for the offence either by getting fined, jailed or suffer both sentences before she is repatriated.

What Should I Do If My Maid Got Pregnant?

Under MOM regulations, as a work permit holder, maids cannot become pregnant or give birth here unless they are married to Singapore citizens or permanent residents with the government’s permission.

Employers should inform MOM and terminate the helper’s contract as soon as they have found out about this.

According to MOM guidelines, employers are obliged to inform MOM’s Work Pass Division through their web portal.

Please include:

  • Name of Maid
  • Work Permit Number
  • Doctor’s letter or medical memo confirming her pregnancy
  • Citizenship of the maid’s spouse (if applicable)

Following which, your maid’s work permit must be cancelled and the employer must buy the air ticket for her to be sent home. She must be repatriated to her home country.

Employers who fail to do this risk the forfeiture of the $5,000 security deposit.

What Happens If I Have An Prolonged, Unresolved Issue With My Helper?

Please get in touch with any of our 9 branches of Island Maids and we will be happy to assist to provide mediation and counselling services to you and your helper as a first step.

Branch Name Address Contact No. Email Address
Tiong Bahru Blk 36 Beo Crescent #01-33 Singapore S(160036) 6299 7703
Ang Mo Kio Central Blk 716 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 #01-4030 Singapore 560716 6553 7703 /
(+65) 9228 8732
Bedok Central Blk 214 Bedok Street 1 #01-183 Singapore 460214 6448 7703 /
(+65) 9228 8732
Jurong 2 Jurong East Central 1 #B1-16 Jcube Singapore 609731 6835 7703 /
(+65) 9228 8732
Yishun Blk 930 Yishun Central 1 #01-117 Singapore 760930 6757 7703 /
(+65) 9228 8732
Race Course 429 Race Course Road Singapore 218675 6792 7703
Hougang Central Blk 804 Hougang Central #01-132 Singapore 530804 6758 7703 /
(+65) 9228 8732
Bukit Timah 19 Anamalai Avenue Singapore 279987 6758 7703 /
(+65) 6355 7703
Marine Parade 82 Marine Parade Central #01-606 S(440082) 6440 7703

Regulations And Process

How long does it take for my maid to arrive?

Once you have selected your helper, we will begin the processing for her. If her documents are ready (eg. passport), her work permit application should take less than a week for approval.

Once her work permit is approved, and if she requires no other processing, it will take about a month for us to arrange for your maid to arrive. Your maid’s arrival date also largely depends on the availability of the Entry Approval date issued by MOM.

Once her work permit is approved, and if she requires other forms of document processing (depending on her country’s requirements and legislation) it will take about 2 months for your maid to arrive. Her arrival date also largely depends on the availability of the Entry Approval date issued by MOM.

Due to the current Covid-19 Situation, do note that your helper will still need to go through a 14 days quarantine period upon her arrival in Singapore.

After which, she has to proceed for her medical check-up and may have to complete the Settling In Programme (course required for all foreign domestic worker working in Singapore for the first time) before she can start work.

In addition, she will be required to pass her medical examination and issue her work permit within 14 days of arriving in Singapore.

Why engage Island Maids?

Island Maids provides you with comprehensive services to make the process of hiring a maid as hassle free as possible.

If you require eldercare giving needs, we also are accredited by AIC to provide eldercare training in the comfort of your home.

Should you require a confinement nanny for your new-born, we are also able to assist you in your search.

We will cover all the aspect of applications and procedures such as initial interview and selection, work permit application, security bond and insurance, travel arrangements, medical screening, training, etc, to ensure the transition is smooth and complies with the law.

In addition, we aim towards ensuring that we match the right maid to assist you with your domestic needs. Choosing the best maid agency is important as the process requires a strong after sales support.

At Island Maids, we are open 7 days a week and are dedicated and committed to giving you the best.

What is a security bond (security deposit of $5000)?

The security bond of $5,000 applies to employers of migrant domestic workers (MDWs). Its purpose is to ensure that employers remain responsible for the upkeep and maintenance, ensures prompt salary payment as well as timely repatriation of the foreign domestic workers.

The security bond stands to be forfeited if the employer violates the Work Permit conditions. However, if the maid is found to have breached these conditions by her own behaviour, the employer will not be held liable. (example: maid getting pregnant, the security deposit will not be forfeited)

In cases whereby the maids absconds and as such, the employer is unable to repatriate her, only half of the security bond will be forfeited. This is provided that the employer has shown they have made reasonable efforts to locate her.

Even in the extreme case where the maid absconds and the employer is unable to repatriate her, only half of the security bond will be forfeited, so long as the employer has made reasonable efforts to locate the maid. The forfeited sum will then be used to cover the cost of repatriating the maid.

Are there other alternatives to the $5,000 Security Deposit?

Yes, you can purchase an maid insurance policy which is a cheaper alternative.

You can choose between different policies which cover different areas of concern (example: runaway bond).

That being said, you may still be liable for the forfeiture of $5,000 (if you are not covered by your policy) should you fail to repatriate the maid for whatsoever reason as it is a requirement by the Law of Singapore.

6 Important Questions about Maid Insurance

  1. Do I need to buy medical insurance for my helper?

    The answer is YES: You need to buy medical and personal accident insurance for your helper.

    This is by law in Singapore, and this insurance policy has to be in effect before your helper arrives in Singapore, as part of your medical obligations to her.

    Likewise, if she is a transfer helper, the policy has to be purchased and in effect before she is deployed to your house to work.

    Please note that as an employer, you must not pass on the cost of purchasing the insurance to your helper.

  2. What are the requirements for purchase of Medical Insurance for my helper?

    Employers need to purchase at least $60,000 per year for inpatient care and day surgery during your helper’s stay in Singapore.

  3. What are the requirements for purchase of Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) for my helper?

    As per MOM regulations, the PAI policy must have a sum assured of at least $60,000 per year.

    This is because your helper is employed by you and they work and live in the same premise as your household, making it hard to determine whether any injury sustained while working was due to work-related activities or not.

    Hence, this Personal Accident Insurance would cover her during her length of work with you.

    And this Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) has to cover sudden, unforeseen and unexpected incidents resulting in permanent disability or death.

    In addition, this Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) must not contain extra exclusion clauses that are not in the Employment of Foreign Manpower Regulations.

    This insurance is extremely important to help you with expenses as an employer, and also to protect your helper and her family by providing a secured compensation if she suffers from any permanent disability or passes away as a result of an accident. (In this case: the compensation must be made payable to your maid or her beneficiaries.)

  4. Should I get a higher insurance plan for my helper?

    In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, employers are highly encouraged to buy a higher insurance coverage for their helpers. This is to help employers alleviate unforeseen medical costs, if any, especially when hospitalisation costs could amount to quite a large bill.

    MOM also strongly encourages employers to buy additional insurance coverage for greater protection against medical bills incurred by your helper, providing you greater peace of mind.

    However, as an employer, you will know best which insurance plan is preferred, depending on your own budget and risk appetite.

  5. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, what is especially important to check on before I purchase medical insurance for my helper?

    Always check that the medical insurance you are about to purchase, covers the treatment and hospitalisation costs of Covid-19 should your helper need treatment due to Covid-19.

    Pay special attention to the features of the insurance plan, such as the exclusion clauses.

  6. As an employer, am I fully responsible for my helper’s inpatient and outpatient costs?


    As an employer, you are fully responsible under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act for the cost of both inpatient and outpatient treatment.

What medical checks does my maid have to go through?

Once your maid reaches Singapore, she is given 14 days to complete her medical examinations and be certified fit to work under Ministry of Manpower’s standards.

These medical checks are done to ensure that your maid is in good health, is not pregnant, has an acceptable blood pressure reading and have no viral diseases.

In addition, your maid is required to undergo half yearly medical screening to ensure that her health continues to meet MOM’s standards.

Inclusive in the 6 months medical checks for your migrant domestic worker (MDW) are:

  • Pregnancy and VDRL- every 6 months
  • HIV- every 2 years
  • TB- Once, upon 2 years of stay in Singapore
  • (New) Checks on Body Mass Index (BMI) and visible signs of abuse.

All medical checks are to be done at, and submitted by clinics to MOM.

What Are Some Of My Obligations As An Employer to my Maid?

As per MOM requirements, Employers will need to pay their helper's salary on time, bear all the living expenses of the helper and be responsible for her welfare while she is in Singapore.

Am I Obliged To Give Rest Days To My Migrant Domestic Worker?

All MDWs who have their work permits issued on or after 01 January 2013 will be entitled to a weekly rest day.

However, an employer may compensate his/her maid if there is a mutual written agreement between both parties for the maid to work on her rest days.

The compensation could be a replacement rest day taken within the same calendar month or compensate the FDW with extra pay.

Formula for calculation of each rest day pay is as follows:
basic salary divided by 26 = compensation for one rest day.

What is the compulsory course – the “SIP” about?

SIP is a one-day “Settling-In-Program” to orientate all first-time MDW (migrant domestic workers) to working and living in Singapore. They should attend SIP Within 3 days upon arrival, excluding Sunday and public holidays.

The SIP will consist of five modules, including: introduction to Singapore, conditions of employment, safety at home, safety in other areas, and relationship and stress management.

The SIP is conducted in your maid’s native language to maximise understanding and learning retention.

I Wish To Transfer My Helper. What Should I Do?

Written consent must be given to the agency to authorise them to assist with your transfer.

You must continue to pay the levy up to the day before the new Work Permit is issued. If the FDW medical was done five months ago, as her employer still, you are responsible to send the FDW for her 6-Monthly Medical Examination if required.

In the event that the MDW's transfer is unsuccessful and the Work Permit is cancelled or expires, the current employer must repatriate the worker within 14 days from the date of the Work Permit cancellation/expiry.

The worker is only allowed to start work with the new employer after the Work Permit has been issued in the new employer's name and any outstanding salary should be paid on the day you release her.

For the purpose of transfer, you will not need to pay anything to the maid agency unless you require the agency to provide food and accommodation for the interim. However, do note that the salary of the FDW is to be paid even though she may no longer be performing any work for you while staying with the agency.


What is a transfer maid?

Transfer maids are migrant domestic workers (MDWs) who are already in Singapore under the employment other employers and are seeking a new employer.

This usually occurs when the 2 years contract of the maid is expiring or anytime when an employer or helper chooses to terminate or discontinue the employment service for whatsoever reasons.

Which Nationalities of Maids does Island Maids Bring In?

  1. Indonesia
  2. Myanmar
  3. Philippines
  4. Mizoram (India)

Who Can Hire A Maid?

All Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents and expatriates (holding valid employment or work passes) are eligible to apply but subject to MOM approval of the reason for employing a FDW.

For expatriate employers, they have to show proof of family members living with them upon application.

To hire a helper, you must:

  • Be 21 years old and above.
  • Not be an undischarged bankrupt.
  • Have the mental capacity to fully understand and discharge your responsibility as an employer.

MOM will also consider your financial ability to hire, maintain and upkeep the helper in an acceptable accommodation.

COVID 19 FAQS: On Hiring A Maid

Can I still hire a maid during this Covid-19 Period?

Yes you can!

What are the various ways to hire in current times?

Island Maid can arrange for you to hire a newly-arriving helper from the various source countries that we partner with. However you will need to bear the prevailing SHN and Covid-19 costs, subject also to MOM's approval for her entry.

Island Maids is also able to assist to source out transfer maids for your selection as well.

Hiring an MDW(Migrant Domestic Worker) - what is the process?

Procedures remains the same whereby Island Maids will first understand your requirements and set up interviews with you with the shortlisted prospective FDW for hire. Island Maids will also help to apply for your helper's In-Principal Approval (IPA) to MOM, subject to MOM approval.

What changed during Covid-19 and Phase 2?

After IPA approval, Island Maids can assist you to submit for entry approval from MOM.

If all the above factors are cleared and MOM has released your maid’s entry approval date into Singapore, only then can Island Maids assist to book an air plane ticket for the FDW (subject to flight ticket availabliities). Upon arrival, all Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) have to serve SHN immediately.

Additional costs to Employers

All MDWs (Migrant Domestic Workers) will be required to serve 14-day Stay Home Notice (SHN) at allocated SHN facility as per advised by MOM. Before discharge from SHN facility, a COVID-19 test will be required to be administered on the FDW. All costs of the ART tests and costs for the SHN duration ($1,800 including GST) will be borne by the employer.