As able as you are, there will be times when you need a pair of helping hands for your household. More so if you have to devote your time and attention to your job – the one thing that’s keeping your household afloat without any hardship.
Unless you have family members or friends who are willing to help you in terms of taking care of your household such as cleaning, cooking, and babysitting, you will most likely hire a foreign domestic worker because it’s so much more convenient.
In many cases, employers like you will approach a maid agency to help find a maid and deal with the paperwork that follows. This employment practice is common in Singapore because employers prefer not to deal with all the fuss of applying for a work permit.
However, this will typically incur a high agency fee by the maid agency, causing some employers to undertake direct hires – thereby saving some of the costs for themselves and their maids. Here’s what you need to know about the maid placement fee.
Why do maid agencies impose placement fees?
There are several meanings to placement fees. In this context, it means the amount charged by a private employment agency from an applicant worker for its services in the recruitment and placement of said worker.
This is basically an amount that you pay to the maid agency on behalf of your prospective maid. In layman terms, it’s the amount that your maid is paying the agency in order to work in Singapore.
Since there is no fixed price for how much maid agencies can charge for their placement fees, you should know that it usually costs around $800 to $2,000 to place a maid in your household and process the work permit and papers in Singapore.
If a maid agency charges lower than the average, you should find out how much the agency is charging the maid. High placement fees can force your potential maid into debt with the agency, rendering your maid without any funds once her employment term comes to an end.
What does a maid placement fee cover?
Should a maid agency charge you around $800 to $2,000 for the placement fee, you should find out what you are actually paying for, since it’s an exorbitant amount to pay for the help you need.
Among the things that the fee should cover are:
∙ Transportation expenses – If your maid has to be sourced by the maid agency in partnering countries.
∙ Pre-employment medical screening – To ensure that your potential maid is fit for the job.
∙ Work permit application – For the agency to deal with all the paperwork.
∙ Medical and personal insurance – For your maid before she arrives in Singapore.
∙ Settling-In Programme – For first-time maids to learn about safety precautions and living in Singapore.
∙ Agency fees – To handle the administrative work for you.
How much can agencies charge foreign maids?
Maid agencies in Singapore are only allowed to charge foreign maids a month’s salary for each year of work as per the work permit, for a maximum of two years. This includes any fees that were transferred by the agency used in the foreign maid’s home country.
If you terminate the employment contract, the agency is required to refund you part of the paid fees. In the case of visa renewal, the maid shouldn’t pay for any fee because there’s no actual placement and the maid agency should be responsible for it.
Passing agency fees onto your maid
The rules and regulations are enforced to keep matters in control but unfortunately, not all maid agencies follow the set regulations. Some tend to charge higher by asking the employer to foot the fees first and later deduct the fees from their maids’ salaries.
Some maids are even charged an exorbitant amount, leaving them to earn only a small fraction of what they should receive. When a maid agency requests you to do that, you are abetting the agency to do something illegal.
If you face such a situation, you should find other maid agencies that are more transparent with their hiring process and agency fees. At the very least, you and your potential maid can have peace of mind regarding what you both can expect from each other.
Homekeeper can help with your household needs
If you’re looking to hire a maid with the help of an agency in Singapore, Homekeeper is here to help with the process.
We can also help to process the necessary documents for you and your helper. On top of that, we provide maid pre-employment training to ensure that your helper meets your household needs. Reach out to us by calling (65) 6468 5220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.