How to Hire a Maid in Singapore

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Why do households with the elderly need maids

As people age, the more they require attention and care. The care an elderly family member may need ranges from assistance with Activities of Daily Living such as eating, bathing and walking to medication management and home maintenance. In busy households, their care needs may be overlooked if they do not have an appointed care provider. If they live alone, they are at risk of hurting or injuring themselves if they don’t have the access to the care support they need.

Elderly care Singapore provides maids for elderly who are MDWs specially trained to provide and look after the care needs of elderly care recipients.

What is an FDW/MDW?

FDW is an acronym that stands for foreign domestic workers. MOM has adopted a more recent term to refer to domestic helpers which are MDW or Migrant Domestic Worker.

Understanding your responsibilities as an employer

Employers are responsible for the well-being and upkeep of domestic helpers. As they will be part of your home, it is beneficial to establish open communication and integrate them into your family life. Employers should also keep in mind the following:

1. Rest days

FDW are entitled to 1 rest day per week to ensure they get enough mental and physical rest. Should your helper agree to work on her rest day, she must be compensated 1 day’s worth of salary. This is an additional payment to her basic salary. Or she may be allotted a replacement rest day taken within the same month,

2. Accommodation

Employs must ensure their helper has an adequate shelter with sufficient ventilation, access to basic amenities such as a mattress, pillow, blanket, bathroom amenities and toiletries.

Domestic helpers should also work in a safe environment where there is no dangerous equipment that could potentially harm her.

She must be provided with a separate room or an adequate space that ensures her privacy and modesty are protected. pace and Privacy

3. Adequate Food

Employers must provide their helpers with 3 meals a day. Respect dietary restrictions or requirements that are due to religious belief or culture.

4. Medical Care

Employers are required to get medical and personal accident insurance to cover inpatient care and day surgery during their helper’s stay in Singapore as well as cover unforeseen accidents that can result in permanent disability or death.

How to apply for a Work Permit for migrant domestic worker (MDW)

When employing an MDW, there are many procedures that an employer must go through. Maid Agency in Singapore can help guide you through the necessary steps to ensure a successful FDW Work Permit application. A Work Permit allows your domestic helper to live, work and move in and out of Singapore.

The following are steps to applying for Work Permit for your helper. This can be done by the employer or the employment agency. The employment agency must secure an authorization letter from the employer to do any transactions on their behalf using this FDW eService.


1.      Submit an application

You may submit an application form online. Alternatively, employers with Singpass and Employment agencies can apply using the FDW eService for faster processing.


-Written consent from helper to apply for Work Permit

-Accomplished application form with the helper’s passport details, your family members’ personal particulars as well as income information.

Cost: $35 per application.

Length of Application Process: 1-week

If the application is approved, the in-principle approval (IPA) letter and declaration forms will be emailed to you. Please check if all details are correct as any error may cause your helper to be denied entry into Singapore. These documents must be signed by you and your helper.

Your helper is required to present an IPA upon entering Singapore so make sure she has a copy. You may use the FDW eService to extend the validity of her IPA if there is any delay regarding her arrival.


2.      Prepare for MDW’s arrival

Before Your Helper Arrives:

a.      Submit an Entry Application

Work Permits and Training Work Permit holders need entry approvals to enter Singapore. More details can be found on the ICA website.


b.      Security Bond

A security bond is a bond in the form of a banker’s or insurer’s guarantee which acts as a binding pledge to pay the government if you or your helper break the law or Work Permit conditions.

 Cost: Employers must purchase a $5,000 security bond for each employed helper. (Malaysian helpers are exempted from this rule).

Length of Application Process: 3 working days to secure the bond and must be effective when your helper arrives.

Your helper must have a copy of the security bond acknowledgement letter. Log in to WP online to print out a copy. More details regarding the security bond can be found on the MOM website.


c.      Medical and Personal Accident Insurance

Employers must pay for insurance for your helper to cover inpatient care and day surgery during her stay in Singapore as well as cover unforeseen accidents that can result in permanent disability or death. Compensation must be payable to your helper or her beneficiaries.

Medical Insurance: $15,000/year

Personal Accident Insurance: $60,000/year


d. Settling-In Programme (SIP) 

For first time helpers, an employer must pay for her registration in the SIP. The Settling-In Programme serves as an orientation program for first-time MDW which educates them on safety precautions and Singaporean life.

Cost: $75

Length of Programme: 1 day


After Your Helper Arrives:

a.      Comply with Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and COVID-19 tests, if applicable.

b.      Afterwards, first-time helpers must attend SIP within 3 days excluding Sunday and holidays

c.      All helpers must undergo medical examination within 7 days.


3.      Get the Permit Issued

Once your helper passes the medical examination, you can now request to get the Work Permit issued.

-Log in to the FDW service to make the request.

-Enter details required such as home or office address where the card will be delivered and up to 3 authorised recipients to receive the card and their details.

– pay $35 fee

Once the work permit is issued, you may print the temporary work permit which allows her to work, stay and travel in and out of Singapore while waiting for her Work Permit Card.


4.      Register Fingerprints and Photo

The temporary Work Permit card will state if your helper needs to register her fingerprints and photo at a MOM Services Centre. If required, this must be accomplished within 1 week of issuing the Work Permit. The employer must make an appointment for your helper.


–        Original Passport

–        Appointment Letter

–        Temporary Work Permit


5.      Receive the card

It takes 4 working days after registration and authorize recipients will receive an SMS or email regarding delivery details at least 1 working day before delivery.

Failure of the second attempted delivery, the card will be available for pick up at the service desk of MOM Services Centre- Hall C.


–        Helper’s Original Passport

–        Temporary Work Permit

 Authorize personnel who will collect on your behalf must have the following:

–        Authorization letter from the employer

–        NRIC or passport for verification


How would an unmarried elderly person apply for an MDW?

Work Permits applications are assessed by the employers’ income. For unmarried elderly people, they may apply using the following schemes should they want to employ an MDW.


Joint Income Scheme

This scheme allows you to combine your income with a family member in the same household (not your spouse). One extra income can be included if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

–        Singapore citizen or permanent resident

–        at least 21 years old and above.

–        Not an undischarged bankrupt

–        With a family member (not a spouse) living in the same household.

–        Receiving a higher salary than the family member you are combining income with

–        Understands and can comply with the responsibilities of an employer


Sponsorship Scheme

Senior citizens can apply for Work Permit on the income of up to 2 sponsors if they meet the following eligibility criteria:
– Singaporean Citizen or permanent resident

-60 years and above

– Not earning an income

– Not staying with working adults

– Understands and can comply with the responsibilities of an employer.


How to Apply:

You may use the fastest method which is this eService or you may apply manually by submitting the following forms.


How to Get Trained Help to Care for Your Elderly Loved Ones

Eldercarer Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Scheme allows you to hire FDW who has received comprehensive training in eldercare

Training duration is two days of classroom instruction and then an additional three hours when your helper arrives at your home.

For more details on the hiring process, you may contact the participating employment agencies.

Financial Supports and Schemes in training and hiring an FDW

The following are financial support and schemes that employers hiring an FDW can apply for. You may apply online through eFASS.


Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession For Persons with Disabilities

Allows families to pay FDW levy concession of $60 monthly instead of $300. Each household can have a maximum of two FDW levies, one levy for each family member receiving care from an FDW.

To be eligible for a levy concession, the care recipient must meet the following criteria:

  • Care recipient must be a person with disabilities or requires assistance with activities of daily living.
  • FDW must be employed in the household with the same address as that of the care recipient.
  • Care recipient must be Singapore citizen.

Those caring for a young child (below 16) or an elderly loved one (67 years old and above) need not apply if they meet the age, citizenship and residential address eligibility criteria. MOM will grant the concession based on the information provided during the online application for an FDW.

It may take up to 6 weeks to process online applications due to the high volume. More details can be found on the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC) website. Successful applications will be informed by the Ministry of Manpower.


Home Caregiving Grant (HCG)

–        A monthly cash payout of $200 to support loved ones with a permanent disability, i.e. those that would require assistance to perform 3 or more Activities of Daily Living.

–        Can be used to defray costs of caregiving expenses, costs of eldercare, community support services or hiring an FDW.

To be eligible for the Home Caregiving Grant, the care recipient must fall under the following criteria:

  • a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident (with parents, child or spouse who is a Singapore Citizen)
  • requires assistance with at least three activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting, walking)
  • resides in Singapore
  • passed the means test (Household monthly income per person is $2,800 or less, or Annual value of the property for a household without income is $13,000 or less)
  • does not reside in a long-term care institution (e.g. nursing home)

More details can be found on the AIC website. Due to the high volume of applications, it may take 6 weeks to process your online application. Successful applications will see cash payouts reflected in their bank accounts and bank statements as “HCG”.


It may seem like a daunting task to apply and prepare the paperwork necessary to get an extra pair of helping hands around the house, but the convenience, peace of mind and relief trained help brings is well worth the effort and the costs of employing an FDW.

If you are worried about costs, grants and levies are available to help ease the burden. Meanwhile, we at RC Caregivers, are happy to help you in your selection of your FDW to ensure they are a suitable match for your household and can provide your care needs.

With all these services and tools at your service, there is no longer any reason why you or your loved ones should be deprived of the care and help you need.

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