A Step-by-Step Guide to Hiring a Transfer Maid in Singapore

May 28, 2024
Transfer Maid Singapore | Universal

Singapore’s evolving economic landscape is reflected in the significant growth of its foreign workforce, a testament to the city-state’s status as a global hub. The numbers are telling: Work Permit holders, including maids or domestic workers (MDWs), have seen a substantial increase from 253,800 in December 2018 to 276,600 in June 2023. This uptick underscores the reliance of Singaporean households on domestic help to balance the demands of modern living.

In this article, we will offer a detailed guide to hiring a transfer maid in Singapore. With the expanding pool of MDWs, it becomes even more crucial to navigate this process with clarity and precision. We’ll provide you with a step-by-step walkthrough, from understanding the legal intricacies to finding a maid whose skills and personality align with your family’s needs. Armed with up-to-date data and expert insights, you’ll be well on your way to securing the right domestic support for your home, ensuring that your choice contributes positively to the growing trend of skilled and reliable foreign domestic workers in Singapore.

What is a Transfer Maid?

A transfer maid is a domestic helper who is already working in Singapore and seeking to transfer from one employer to another within the country. Unlike new maids who are recruited directly from their home countries, transfer maids have been residing in Singapore, often having completed a contract or looking for a change due to various reasons such as employer relocation, mismatch in expectations, or personal reasons. These maids are already accustomed to the local lifestyle, culture, and work environment, which can make their integration into a new household smoother and faster. Their existing presence in Singapore also allows for direct interviews and quicker placement, compared to the process of hiring a maid from overseas.


The appeal of hiring a transfer maid lies in their experience and familiarity with the domestic work landscape in Singapore. They often require less training and adaptation time, understanding the nuances of living and working in a Singaporean home. This can include knowledge of local cooking styles, language proficiency, and a better grasp of the employer’s expectations. Furthermore, the process of hiring a transfer maid is usually more straightforward, as they are already in the country, and legal formalities are typically fewer, focusing mainly on the transfer of work permits and adherence to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) regulations. However, it’s crucial for potential employers to conduct thorough interviews and checks to ensure the maid’s skills and experience align with their specific household needs.

Guide to Hiring a Transfer Maid in Singapore

Navigating the process of hiring a transfer maid in Singapore can be complex, especially with the constantly evolving policies and regulations. Understanding these changes and their implications is vital for a smooth hiring process. For instance, as per the Singapore Government’s announcement on 24th Mar 2022, the easing of entry requirements for fully vaccinated travellers, including Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs), has significantly impacted the dynamics of hiring domestic help.

Step 1: Assessing Your Needs

Begin by evaluating the specific requirements of your household. This could range from general housekeeping duties to more specialised needs like elderly care, child care, or culinary expertise in particular cuisines. It’s essential to consider your household’s practical and personal aspects to ensure the best fit.

Step 2: Finding a Transfer Maid

Finding the right transfer maid in Singapore requires exploring various avenues. Reputable agencies like Universal Employment Agency offer a vast selection of experienced candidates, ensuring a reliable match for specific household needs. With recent policy changes simplifying entry for MDWs, the pool of available transfer maids has grown, providing more choices for employers. You can also consider exploring online platforms and personal networks as these resources can offer insights into the maids’ previous employment experiences, allowing for a more informed selection process. 

Step 3: Shortlisting Potential Transfer Maids

Once you’ve outlined your needs, work closely with your chosen employment agency to shortlist transfer maids who meet your criteria—factor in their experience, skill set, and compatibility with your family dynamics.

Consider the following steps for precision in selection:

Experience and Skill Set

  • Evaluate the transfer maid’s professional background and experience. Consider the types of households they have worked in and the duration of their previous engagements.
  • Match their skill set with your specific requirements, ensuring they have the expertise to fulfil your household duties effectively.

Compatibility with Family Dynamics

Assess the transfer maid’s adaptability to different family dynamics. Consider their experience with households of similar size and structure, ensuring a seamless integration into your home.

Experience and Skill Set

  • Request references from previous employers to gain insights into the transfer maid’s work ethic, reliability, and interpersonal skills.
  • Inquire about their past performances and any commendations or areas for improvement, providing a more comprehensive picture of their capabilities.

Step 4: Interviewing and Background Checks

The interviewing process is a vital step in selecting a transfer maid. Conduct comprehensive interviews to better understand the maid’s personality, communication style, and general demeanour. This is your opportunity to discuss job expectations, the work culture in your home, and how they handle potential challenges. During the interview, communicate your expectations and preferences clearly, including work hours, days off, and any specific household rules or guidelines. Encourage the maid to express her expectations as well, as this fosters a transparent and open dialogue from the outset.

Transitioning from the interview stage to conducting thorough background checks, the focus shifts to validating the information provided by the maid. Background checks are indispensable for ensuring reliability and trustworthiness. This includes verifying the maid’s employment history for consistency, checking for any legal or disciplinary issues, and confirming the validity of their work permits.

Step 5: Legalities, Documentation, and Work Permits

Navigating the complexities of work permits for transfer maids in Singapore can be challenging for many. At Universal Employment Agency Pte Ltd, we understand the intricacies involved in this process. These permits, essential for legally employing a transfer maid, are issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), and as part of our services, we ensure that you, as an employer, are fully equipped with all the necessary documentation. This includes assisting you with the employment contract, the Migrant  Domestic Worker (MDW) insurance policy, and arranging for the mandatory medical examination report.

At Universal Employment Agency Pte Ltd, we pride ourselves on our expertise in transfer maid services, ensuring every detail of the documentation process is meticulously handled. We aim to make the hiring process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you. We take care of the $complexities and legal nuances, allowing you to focus on finding the right maid for your household needs.

Drafting the Employment Contract

The clarity of this contract ensures a mutual understanding and agreement between the employer and the maid, setting the foundation for a successful working relationship. Here are some points that should be included in the contract: 

  • Salary Details: Clearly state the maid’s monthly salary.
  • Work Hours: Specify the maid’s daily and weekly working hours, and outline any provisions for overtime.
  • Job Scope: Define the specific duties and responsibilities expected of the maid.
  • Rest Days: Detail the number of rest days per month and any conditions related to days off.
  • Medical Benefits: Outline the medical care and insurance coverage provided to the maid.
  • Accommodation Arrangements: Describe the living arrangements, including room and board specifics.
  • Holiday Entitlements: Specify any public holiday work expectations and compensations.
  • Termination and Notice Period: Clarify the conditions and notice period required for contract termination.
  • Repatriation Responsibilities: State the procedure and responsibilities for repatriation at the end of the contract.
  • Training and Development: Include any opportunities for professional development or additional training.
  • Cultural and Religious Observances: Acknowledge and respect the maid’s cultural and religious practices.
  • Code of Conduct and Discipline: Outline expectations regarding behavior and the process for handling disciplinary issues.

Responsibilities of Current and New Employers

For current employers transferring a maid, it’s essential to complete the transfer agreement, continue paying the levy until the maid’s employment is officially transferred, and return the cancelled Work Permit card to MOM. New employers must secure the current employer’s consent for the transfer, ensure the maid has undergone her recent medical examination, and take care of the new Work Permit issuance. This process also includes securing maid insurance as mandated by MOM, covering the maid’s medical and accidental expenses. 

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Transfer Maid | Universal

Step 6: Trial Period and Adjustment

A smooth transition is crucial for integrating the maid into your household. Setting clear expectations, establishing open communication channels, and being patient as the maid adjusts to the new environment are vital. Implementing a trial period allows both you and the maid to adjust to each other’s working styles and preferences. This period is also the time to address any concerns and make necessary adjustments, contributing to a harmonious working relationship.

Step 7: Building a Positive Employer-Employee Relationship

Regularly ensure the maid’s well-being and adhere to all MOM regulations, including COVID-19 safety measures. Open communication is key to fostering a positive employer-employee relationship. Encourage the maid to express her thoughts and preferences, and ensure she understands and agrees with your expectations. Fair compensation and recognition of her work also play a significant role in maintaining a positive and respectful working environment. Remember, a successful relationship is built on mutual respect, understanding, and clear communication.

Best Transfer Maid Agency in Singapore

Hiring a transfer maid in Singapore is a practice embraced by many households for its immediate benefits and the smooth transition it offers. This guide has walked you through the end-to-end process of hiring a transfer maid, from the initial step of assessing your household needs to finding a reputable agency, shortlisting candidates, conducting interviews, and managing legalities. 

At Universal Employment Agency, we are dedicated to guiding you through the complexities of hiring a transfer maid. Our extensive database is rich with experienced Indonesian, Filipino, and Myanmar transfer maids, each bringing their unique cultural skills and expertise to your doorstep. Let us assist you in this crucial step towards enhancing your home life. Visit our office or submit your requirements today, and let’s start the journey to finding your ideal household partner.

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