Hiring Maid for the First Time? How to Choose Your Ideal Maid and More.

Hiring a maid for the first time can be scary.

As an employer, there are some requirements and procedures that you have to fulfill. You also have to choose a maid that meet your needs.

In this article, you will learn how to choose a maid and requirements with hiring a maid in your household.

Considerations of Maid Hiring

Before you look for maid agency, it is better if you can do some self-assessment.

Do You Need a Maid?

The first consideration is to ask whether do you need a maid. Most families decided to hire a maid when there is a life-changing moment. Common examples of life-changing moments include:

  • When you have your first child. You need someone to look after your kids when both you and your spouse are working.

  • When your parents need assistance for basic daily activities.

Knowing the reason why you need to hire a maid is important in selection.

Maid Accommodations

The next consideration is whether do you have space in your house to accommodate your maid. The maid’s place of employment is going to be your house.

As an employer, you need to provide basic amenities such as:

  • mattress, pillow, blanket;

  • enough space;

  • safety;

  • privacy; and

  • protection from adverse weather.

Do you have space in your house that you can provide the above? If not, you should not hire a maid.

Assessing the Cost of Hiring Maid

The next factor to consider is the cost of hiring a maid. According to MoneySmart, you have to fork out between $500 to $2,600 upfront depending on which maid agency you employ.

You also have to pay between $400 to $500 every month as salary to your maid.

Make sure that it is within your budget before you reach out to maid agency.

How to Choose Your Ideal Maid

While there are no ways to ensure that your maid is perfect, here are some tips that can help you minimize the chance of choosing the wrong maid:

Expected Skills

What is your reason for hiring a maid?

If you need your maid to take care of your baby or your parents, you might want to choose a maid with the relevant experience. During the interview, give specific scenarios and see how your maid will react with these scenarios.

Another common problem with maids is cooking. If you expect your maid to cook, make sure you ask whether can she cook during the interview.

Also, make sure you have the time to train your maid to cook the dishes you love. The taste preferences in the maid’s country of origin may be different from Singapore. Therefore, do not expect your maid to get it right the first time. You will have to be patient in training your maid till you are satisfied with her cooking.

Language and Nationality

Always verify that your maid speaks good English at least. It will be a bonus if she can speak your mother tongue, especially if you need them to take care of your parents. Maids who can speak good English are usually from the Philippines.

To verify your maid speaks good English, prepare your interview questions and ask follow-up questions. Observe how the maid replies you during the interview to gauge her communication skills.

Employment History

New maids without any employment history or experience as maids are cheaper than experienced maids. However, you will need to spend more time to train them. Also, new maids might not get used to living in Singapore. So you will face a risk that she might end her employment prematurely.

On the other hand, experienced maids are more expensive. While you do not have the problem of a maid who cannot get used to living in Singapore, you have another problem – why did the maid leave her previous employer.

You can check the employment history with Work Permit Online by Ministry of Manpower (MOM). You will need the maid’s work permit number to use this database.

A major warning sign in the maid’s employment history is when the maid is previously employed with several employers for a period less than a year for each employer. You can check the reason with the maid agency or with the maid herself during the interview.

Off Days and Handphone Usage

You are required to give one off-day per week to your maid. If you need the maid to work on her off-day, you either have to give 1 day of salary, or compensate her an additional off-day for the month. You should communicate the off-day with your maid beforehand.

Regarding the usage of handphones, it might be inhumane to completely ban the use of handphones. It is up to you as an employer to communicate a specific time for your maid to have her private moment.

Decide on your policy regarding off days and usage of handphones. Then communicate this policy to potential candidates during the interview. Observe their facial expressions and listen to their answers.

Choosing the Maid Agency

Before you engage a maid agency, make sure you clarify the following:

  • Breakdown of fees that you will be paying;

  • Eligibility of refund, and how fast can they process the refund; and

  • Number of replacement maids that you are eligible, and what can you do if the agency cannot find the replacement;

Requirements of Hiring Maid

According to MOM, there are some requirements that you have to satisfy before you can hire a maid:

Eligibility of Maid

A maid (foreign domestic worker) needs to satisfy the following conditions:

  • Female

  • Between 23 to 50 years old

  • From an approved source of country including Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Sri
    Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand

  • Minimum 8 years of formal education with a recognised certificate

If your maid is the first time in Singapore, she will also have to attend a Settling-In Programme.

Security Bond

According to MOM’s website:

“A security bond is a binding pledge to pay the government (up to $5,000) if you break the law of the conditions governing the employment of a helper. You need a bond for every helper you employ, unless she is Malaysian.”

You can get your security bond by buying a maid insurance. The insurance company will guarantee the payment should you break the rules.

You will have to buy the bond before your maid arrives in Singapore. Please note that you cannot ask your maid to pay for the bond.

Insurance Requirements

You need to buy 2 insurances for your maid:

  • Medical Insurance with coverage of at least $15,000 per year; and

  • Personal accident insurance with a minimum coverage of $40,000 with compensation made payable to your maid or her beneficiaries.

You cannot ask your maid to pay for the premiums of these insurance.

Buying a maid insurance will help you to meet the requirements of security bond and insurances.

Medical Examination

You need to send your maid for medical examination with a Singapore-registered doctor within 2 weeks of her arriving in Singapore. The work permit will only be issued when she pass the medical examination.

Employer’s Orientation Programme

Being a first-time employer, you will have to attend the Employer’s Orientation Programme. You will understand your role and responsibilities as an employer after this programme


Hiring a maid for the first time can be complicated.

You have to meet the requirements set by MOM. You also have to ensure you choose the right maid.

This article helps to address some of the common concerns with maid hiring. Feel free to drop us a message if you need any assistance.