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Living in Singapore has allowed me the opportunity to employ a helper, more commonly known as a maid in the US.  While this is beyond the imagination for most Americans, both black and white, having a maid in Singapore is a common occurrence.  Many Singaporeans have a maid/helper to help them cook, clean, and look after their pets, elderly, or young children.  In Singapore, employing a maid is not only for the wealthy.  Here are a few facts about having a maid in Singapore.

Foreign Domestic Worker.

Maids in Singapore fall under the Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW) category.  There are more than 200,000 FDW’s in Singapore, and possibly 1 out of every household employs an FDW.  Maids or helpers as they are known in Singapore are from nearby Southeast Asia countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, and Thailand.  These maids work as helpers in Singapore to support and/or educate their families back home and save money to buy land or a business when they return home.

Requirements to employ a maid.

Although costs for having a maid are not as prohibitive as in other places, not everyone can employ a maid.  An employer must meet specific eligibility requirements.  First, they must be over 21 and have the mental capacity to supervise and care for their helper.  In addition, first-time employers must attend a mandatory employer orientation program.  Employers are assessed on their mental and financial ability and other requirements to employ, maintain, and upkeep the maid in acceptable accommodations.

Costs of maid/helper.

The average minimum cost for having a maid in Singapore is $550.00 per month.  Yes, I said that correctly; that is the cost per month.  Of course, monthly salaries are commensurate with the duties required and/or the number of people in the household.  There are also agency fees, health checkup fees, and a security bond to consider.  In addition, there is a monthly levy fee anywhere from $60 to $300.  Employers also must provide health insurance and a yearly round trip ticket for the maid/helper.

Why a maid?

When you consider the costs of childcare, cleaning, eating out, and or senior daycare or a live-in nurse, employing a maid simply makes sense.  Some households have a maid for cleaning and another for the child or elderly care.  The maid/helper is often responsible for running the home, shopping, and cooking to meet dietary restrictions.  In some cases, the Singapore government may help defray the costs of employing a maid/helper.

Personally, I have a helper in Singapore because I don’t cook or clean.  Although that might seem like a vain statement, it is my lived experience.  Having maids in Singapore allowed me to live in Singapore and still work in the USA for many years.  I had help raising my kids, and I could go to work knowing that someone was taking care of my children and home.  Now, as an empty nester, I simply enjoy having a maid who takes care of my dog, grocery shopping, cleaning, and cooking.  In addition, I can travel anytime I want because someone is always there to take care of my home.  If you had the opportunity, would you hire a maid?  Let me know in the comment section below.