What is the current foreign maid levy in Singapore and why is it necessary for the Government to implement a levy for hiring a maid (Foreign Domestic Worker or FDW) in Singapore? In the past, the foreign maid levy or also known as FDW levy was a flat rate of $265 no matter how many maids you employ, but that has since changed starting from 1st April 2019, whereby the foreign maid levy is $300 for the first maid and $450 for the second maid.
However, for Singaporeans only, there is a concessionary levy rate of just $60. The concessionary levy rate applies to families with a young child, elderly member or person with disability who is a Singaporean. So what’s the purpose of the FDW levy? The foreign worker levy, commonly known as “levy”, is a pricing mechanism to regulate the number of foreign workers in Singapore.
Now to find out if you qualify for the concessionary levy rate, as mentioned above, you first have to be a Singaporean and you must live with any of the following eligible person who is a Singapore citizen:
a) Young child below 16 years old.
b) Elderly person who is at least 67 years old.
c) Person with disabilities (PWD) – Must be certified by Singapore-registered doctor to require help with at least 1 activity of daily living (ADL), such as showering, feeding, dressing or toileting.
If you meet the above requirements, then you can proceed to apply for the levy and the processing time is 4 weeks. You can apply here. The levy concession will start from the date of approval.
Note: The levy concession for 1 FDW is granted based on 1 eligible person in the household. It is capped at 2 FDWs per household.
But what if you an elderly person approaching 67 years old? As stated on the Ministry of Manpower website, you do not need to apply for the levy concession as it will automatically start when you or your spouse turn 67 years old. Also, if you are a young parent and has just given birth, it will also be automatically start according to your child’s date of birth if your child is registered as a Singapore citizen at birth or on the date your child was granted Singapore citizenship.
When you are no longer eligible for levy concession or your number of maids changes, the levy rate may be adjusted. The new rate will take effect immediately.
So if you are a Singapore PR or a Foreigner / Expat, the levy rate for you will be $300 monthly for your first maid. If you hire a second maid, then it will be $450 monthly to employ her.
Payment of Levy
The only way to pay the levy is through the General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO).
If you don’t have a GIRO account, simply apply for one using the GIRO application form here. You will be notified of the outcome by post usually within one month.
A very important thing to note is that the levy for each month will be deducted from your bank account on the 17th of the following month (or the next working day if it falls on a weekend or public holiday). Therefore, you must maintain enough funds in your account before the deduction date. If the GIRO deduction is unsuccessful, your bank may charge you a failed transaction fee as a result.
Penalties for not paying levy
If you don’t pay the full levy on time, you may face the following penalties:
You’ll be charged a late payment penalty of 2% per month or $20, whichever is higher. Your total late payment penalty will be capped at 30% of the outstanding levy.
Your maid’s Work Permit will be revoked.
You won’t be allowed to apply for or issue a new Work Permit, or renew an existing Work Permit.
You may face legal action to recover the unpaid levy.
Hiring a maid in Singapore is a long-term financial commitment. Not forgetting you have to add her monthly salary to the MOM levy payable, and in addition the upkeep of your maid, such as food and basic toiletries. But compared to many western countries, hiring a maid is still considered a cheap option which is why many expatriate families will want to lead a better life by having the luxury of hiring a maid in Singapore to ease the burden of the never-ending daily household chores.
If you wish to hire a maid soon, do give us a call at 6735 3456 and we will more than happy to assist. We look forward to serving you soon!