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Understanding Singapore’s Maid Employment Laws: A Comprehensive Guide

Hiring a maid in Singapore involves compliance with specific employment laws and regulations to ensure fair treatment and protection for both employers and domestic helpers. Understanding Singapore’s maid employment laws is crucial for employers to fulfill their legal obligations and provide a safe and respectful working environment for their maids. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the key aspects of Singapore’s maid employment laws, covering important topics such as work permits, salary requirements, rest days, and more.

Work Permits and Eligibility

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) regulates the issuance of work permits for foreign domestic workers (FDWs). Employers must meet certain eligibility criteria, such as being Singapore citizens or permanent residents, to hire a maid. The process includes submitting an application to the MOM and complying with medical examination requirements.

Salary Requirements

Under Singapore’s maid employment laws, employers are required to pay their maids a minimum salary that is specified by the MOM. The salary depends on factors such as the maid’s experience, qualifications, and the country from which they are recruited. It is important to note that employers must not deduct more than the allowable amount for accommodation and other authorized expenses from the maid’s salary.

Working Hours and Rest Days

Maids in Singapore are entitled to a rest day, which is typically one day off per week. Employers and maids can mutually agree on the rest day, and it should be a continuous 24-hour period. Additionally, employers must ensure that maids do not work more than the stipulated maximum number of working hours per day, as outlined by the MOM.

Medical and Insurance Requirements

Employers are responsible for providing medical care for their maids in case of illness or injury. It is mandatory to purchase medical insurance coverage for maids that meets the requirements set by the MOM. This insurance helps cover the costs of medical treatment, hospitalization, and surgical procedures.

Termination and Contract Renewal

Understanding the rules and procedures for terminating a maid’s contract or renewing it is essential. Employers must adhere to the notice period specified in the employment contract when terminating the employment. Contract renewal procedures should be initiated well in advance to avoid any disruptions in the maid’s employment status.

Safety and Well-being

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy working environment for their maids. This includes ensuring proper accommodation, adequate food, clean living conditions, and necessary safety measures within the household. Employers should also be aware of the guidelines regarding workplace harassment and take proactive steps to prevent any form of mistreatment.

Dispute Resolution

In the event of any disputes or disagreements between employers and maids, it is advisable to seek resolution through amicable discussions. The MOM provides mediation services to help parties find a fair and reasonable resolution. If necessary, formal channels such as the Employment Claims Tribunal can be approached for further assistance.


Understanding and complying with Singapore’s maid employment laws is crucial for employers to provide a fair and lawful working environment for their maids. By familiarizing yourself with the regulations surrounding work permits, salary requirements, rest days, medical care, and other important aspects, you can ensure that your maid’s rights are protected and that you fulfill your obligations as an employer. Adhering to these laws not only promotes a positive working relationship but also contributes to a harmonious and mutually beneficial arrangement with your maid.

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