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Maid Levy in Singapore

What is the current foreign maid levy in Singapore, and what necessitates the Government’s implementation of such a levy for hiring a maid (Foreign Domestic Worker or FDW) in the country?

In the past, the foreign maid levy, also known as the FDW levy, was a fixed rate of $265, regardless of the number of maids employed. However, this changed on April 1, 2019, with the foreign maid levy set at $300 for the first maid and $450 for the second.

For Singaporeans, there exists a concessionary levy rate of $60. This rate applies to families with a Singaporean who is either a young child, an elderly individual, or a person with a disability. The purpose of the FDW levy is to serve as a pricing mechanism to regulate the number of foreign workers in Singapore.

To determine eligibility for the concessionary levy rate, applicants must be Singaporean citizens living with an eligible individual who is also a Singapore citizen. Eligible individuals include a young child below 16 years old, an elderly person at least 67 years old, or a person with disabilities certified by a Singapore-registered doctor to require assistance with at least one activity of daily living (ADL).

Once eligibility is confirmed, applicants can proceed to apply for the levy, with processing taking approximately four weeks. Levy concession begins from the date of approval and is granted based on the number of eligible persons in the household, capped at two FDWs per household.

For individuals approaching 67 years old or young parents with newborns, levy concession automatically begins when they or their child, respectively, meet the qualifying criteria.

In cases where individuals are no longer eligible for levy concession or if the number of maids changes, the levy rate may be adjusted accordingly, effective immediately.

For Singapore permanent residents (PRs) or foreigners/expatriates, the levy rate is $300 monthly for the first maid and $450 monthly for the second maid.

Levy payments must be made via the General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO). Failure to pay the levy on time may result in penalties, including late payment fees, revocation of the maid’s Work Permit, and legal action.

Hiring a maid in Singapore represents a long-term financial commitment, including monthly salaries, levy payments, and additional expenses for upkeep. Despite this, hiring a maid is relatively affordable compared to many Western countries, making it an attractive option for expatriate families seeking assistance with daily household chores.

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