Hiring a Transfer Maid in Singapore

June 1, 2023
Hiring a Transfer Maid in Singapore


As announced by the Singapore Government on 24th Mar 2022, under the latest framework, all fully vaccinated travellers, as well as children aged 12 and below, will be able to enter Singapore with just a pre-departure COVID-19 test from 11.59pm on Mar 31. Therefore, this new change also applies to Migrant Domestic Workers (MDW) arriving in Singapore 1st Apr 2022 onwards.

Your hired MDW from overseas will also no longer need to apply for entry approvals or take designated VTL transport to enter Singapore quarantine-free. In addition, there will be no more quotas on the number of daily arrivals. Therefore, this latest change will translate to faster arrival and lower costs involved to hire a maid from overseas and that is definitely a welcome news for all employers of MDW in Singapore. What will also happen as a result is the supply of transfer maids will increase due to the fact that more employers will start looking to hire MDWs from overseas instead, due to the lower salary and few day(s) off that they will command. Eventually, the high demand for transfer maids will also be stabilised moving forward, unlike the crazy high demand for transfer maids that we have seen about a year ago.

To read more on this latest change, click here.

It has taken us 2 full years to get to the stage we are at. Anyway, if you are interested to know how far we have come along, just read below:

Looking to hire a Transfer Maid (Definition of a transfer maid is basically a Domestic Helper or Migrant Domestic Worker that is already working in Singapore)? That’s probably a good decision, especially during this COVID-19 period because you will save more money and time than bringing in a MDW who is currently overseas.

Why? If you don’t already know, every domestic helper you bring from overseas will incur a cost of about $2,900 to be paid to our Government. (SHN cost has increased from $1,800 to about $2,900 due to the latest requirement for all maids to go through 21 days SHN instead of 14 days previously). Can’t make up your mind yet? Not to worry… read on and we will explain why you should hire a transfer maid instead of a domestic helper who is currently overseas in her home country.

So what are transfer maids? Basically, they are maids currently working in Singapore but due to their contract finishing soon or their current employer do not require their services any more for reasons such as their children are much older or their elderly parent has passed on. Another common reason is that their current employer is leaving the country for good, especially true during this pandemic period, hence they will be out of job and will need to find a new employer soon.

This is where our company comes into the picture, to assist these transfer maids who are out of job soon to find a new employer. Universal Employment Agency Pte Ltd is an established and reputable maid agency with over 30 years experience since 1986 and a specialist especially when it comes to the placement of transfer maids. Over the many years, thousands of employers and maids have come to rely and trust us to assist them with their caregiving needs by matching both employers and transfer maids professionally which is why we have one of the highest retention rate in the industry as can be seen on the MOM website. Click here to look up on us on the MOM website.

Still not convinced we are the best maid agency for hiring your next maid? Well, do read about what both employers and maids have to say about us here or check out our Facebook page here and you can see that we have the most followers on Facebook versus other maid agencies in Singapore. We have received many 5-Stars reviews on both Google and Facebook and also our esteemed maid agency is highly rated by the Ministry of Manpower, as all our stats are above the industry average versus our competitors. Proceed to MOM website here to learn more about our stats. Moving on, so what are the benefits to hire a Transfer Maid versus a Migrant Domestic Worker not currently in Singapore?

3 main benefits come to mind, the first 2 benefits will be higher cost savings (save about $2,900 for the 21 days SHN and Covid Tests) and also the ability to have a face to face interview with the transfer maid since she is in Singapore and not in her home country. We always encourage face to face interview because it’s the best way for the employer to gauge the maid’s sincerity and interest level to work for them through observation of her body language during the face to face interview but due to this pandemic, we do strongly encourage social distancing and that’s the reason why the preference is to arrange video interviews instead most of the time.

The third benefit of hiring a transfer maid is that it’s probably the fastest way to get a maid to join your family. Especially true during this pandemic because when you hire a domestic helper not in Singapore, it is possible she get caught in her home country’s lockdown which can last up to a few months and another potential delay is flight cancellations which is very common. So it is very unpredictable for a maid agency to pinpoint an exact timeframe that she will be able to join your family. Hence, unforeseen delays will inevitably make it challenging for the family to make arrangements for the interim on their caregiving needs for their loved ones.

And ever since our Singapore Government’s announcement on 4th May 2021 that our borders will be closed from 8th May 2021 onwards until further notice, there has a huge surge in demand to hire transfer maids in Singapore which is way faster, sometimes 2 weeks (depending on the transfer maid’s release date) as compared to hiring a maid from overseas which the whole process will take as long as 4 months or more.

For reasons above, therefore it is no surprise that hiring a transfer maid is definitely the most popular choice among employers of maids in Singapore now.

Being able to save about $2,900 outright and saving a potential 4 months of waiting time for a domestic helper from overseas do make the decision to hire a transfer maid in Singapore all the more easier.

But are there reasons why a family may not want to hire a transfer maid? The answer is yes and it’s mainly due to days off. As stipulated by the MOM, the MDW rest agreement is to be mutually agreed by both parties, however it is the MDW’s right to opt for weekly days off instead of exchanging her days off for monetary compensation. However, during this pandemic, it is also true that most MDW’s are willing to forego their days off because they want to do their part to minimise socialising as the pandemic isn’t over yet.

Therefore, for families who can offer no day off or 1 day off, it is almost impossible to hire a transfer maid and will have no choice but to consider fresh MDW who is currently overseas. The term fresh also means she is inexperienced and doesn’t have any overseas working experience. Since they want a job badly, and they haven’t earned the experience to command more day off and higher salary, usually they are more willing.

For elderly care, usually a family will consider a fresh Myanmese MDW or an Indonesian MDW. Myanmese MDWs are known to be very patient and delicate when it comes to caring for elderly and unlike taking care of a children, the English language isn’t a top requirement for elderly care, hence the Myanmese MDW is preferred over a Filipino MDW for example. And it helps that the salary of Myanmese MDW is lower than a Filipino MDW as well. As for why a family will consider MDW from Indonesia, the reason is language, some elderly although may be of a Chinese race, but can speak the Malay Bahasa language, hence hiring an Indonesian MDW is preferred over a Filipino MDW, unless she can speak mandarin or dialect, then the nationality doesn’t really matter.

A family who needs baby care or children care will usually hire a Filipino MDW due to her good command of the English language which is important when dishing out important instructions for her to follow. But the salary of Filipino MDW is always the highest compared to the maids of other nationalities.

So how does a maid transfer? Well, in order to transfer, the transfer maid will need a consent letter from the current employer. If the transfer maid is leaving on good term with her current employer, the employer may also give a reference for her. But even if there isn’t any reference or testimonial for the transfer maid, it doesn’t necessarily mean she is bad. It could also be that the current employer is too busy to write a testimonial but may be open to a quick phone call if you need some reference to give yourself more assurance that she is the right fit for your family.

In the past, there was a misconception that transfer maids are unwanted maids, hence they are on transfer. Over time, more and more employers of transfer maids have come to realise that isn’t necessarily the case all the time.

However, do beware of transfer maids that have too many months of placement fee. Too many means more than 2 months placement fee or some would call it salary deductions. If they have 3 or more months of placement fee, high chance is she is an inexperienced transfer maid or what we call fresh maids in the industry. Not only will you have to cough up more in upfront payment, you might actually be caught with a fresh maid that needs a lot of attention and training. Don’t be blindly attracted by the slightly lower salary they will command just because they are on transfer. And don’t forget about the amount of time to train her too.

The best kind of transfer maids are those that have completed at least 1 contract of 2 years and very often, the best maid agency to hire an experienced transfer maid whom have finish at least 2 years, 4 years, 6 years or even more than 10 years is definitely from our maid agency, Universal Employment Agency Pte Ltd. They will only have 1 month placement fee or no placement fee at all which most of the transfer maids in our maid agency currently enjoy and with at least 2 years of experience, they will be sufficiently experienced to adjust to your household. But as different households have different routines and expectations, do allow her time to adjust into your household. Do not simply throw her the whole list of tasks to accomplish, whereas try to give her 30% of the list of tasks for the first week, another 30% in the second or third week and etc. Hiring an experienced domestic helper also means that there is a high chance her English language will also be better which makes communication with her smoother when passing her instructions.

Transfer maids are usually available for face to face interview on their day off which is usually a Sunday, however due to the current pandemic, do we arrange video interviews daily too as we want to play our part in social distancing. If possible, then the face to face interviews will take place at our office which is conveniently located in the central part of Singapore, Orchard Road. The exact address will be #03-52 Lucky Plaza, Singapore 238863.

Lastly, once we have noted down your requirements, we will proceed to match suitable transfer maids to your family. After the interview, if you decide to confirm her, we will require full payment upfront and will proceed to submit the Work Permit application to the Ministry of Manpower on your behalf, also depending on the maid’s release date.

If you have read up to here so far, by now you should have a clearer picture on what a transfer maid is and is hiring a transfer maid the right decision for your family.

Should you wish to explore other options, perhaps due to the higher salary (currently minimum salary for a transfer maid is $800 and above depending on her experience) and 4 days off that a transfer maid commands, do consider Fresh maids or Ex-Singapore maids. To learn more about Ex-Singapore maids, please click here or to learn more about Fresh maids, please click here to learn more. And do ensure that you are willing to wait at least 4 months (longer wait time during this pandemic) for her to get her paperwork done in her own country and fly over to Singapore to start work with you. Also, do bear in mind that she will have to serve a 21 days Stay-Home Notice at a dedicated SHN facility and undergo a Covid-19 Tests to certify she is medically fit and free from COVID-19.

If you are still unsure on how to proceed to hire your next maid, not to worry, just give us a call at 6735 3456 and our friendly sales personnel will assist you in making the best decision for your family.

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