5 Training Tips When Hiring a Transfer Maid

happy mother and daughter

With the bustling pace of modern living in Singapore, maids have become an invaluable addition to many households. Maids are trained to handle a list of household responsibilities, from managing household chores to providing excellent childcare, allowing families to balance their professional commitments with the demands of daily life.

To ensure that the specific needs of every household are met, Singaporeans would often hire a maid through a reputable agency. These establishments don’t only have a large pool of foreign domestic workers, but they can also match their clients with highly skilled maids that fit their preferences. Moreover, maid agencies in Singapore will present their clients with a list of new and transfer maids. Each option has its own set of advantages, but transfer maids have been a popular choice for several compelling reasons.

Simply put, transfer maids are foreign domestic helpers who are looking to change employers. The reason behind this is usually because they are nearing the end of their current contract or their previous employers no longer require their services. What makes transfer maids appealing to many employers, however, is that they’ve already acclimated to life in Singapore. The total cost of hiring transfer maids is also quite lower than that of hiring a new one, because the expenses that are associated with their recruitment and relocation (e.g., airfare and agency fees) have been covered by their previous employers. Moreover, their prior work experience makes them knowledgeable about common household tasks, so they require less training. As such, they offer a smoother transition and quicker integration into the new household.

While hiring a transfer maid from a transfer maid agency in Singapore offers numerous advantages, you also need to be aware of potential challenges that can arise during the integration process. Even though transfer maids have experience working for Singapore employers for several years, they can still face adjustment issues that can affect their productivity and effectiveness. Fortunately, you can use the following training strategies to ensure that your transfer maid can get used to working in her new environment and satisfy your household’s needs.

Provide a Comprehensive Orientation

Conducting a comprehensive orientation will allow your transfer maid to familiarise herself with your household’s layout, daily routines, and specific rules. This initial training ensures that she will understand her responsibilities and can confidently navigate her tasks. A well-informed maid is more likely to adapt quickly and make meaningful contributions to the household’s operations. Moreover, a thorough orientation sets the foundation for a smooth integration process, reducing the chances of misunderstandings or mistakes.

Establish Clear Communication

You need to establish open lines of communication with your maid right from the outset. Encourage her to ask questions and provide feedback on her experiences as well. Regular check-ins also help maintain a comfortable atmosphere where concerns can be addressed promptly, leading to improved task execution and a sense of inclusion within the household. Moreover, effective communication builds trust, which is crucial for a positive working relationship and mutual understanding.

Include Task Demonstration with New Instructions

When delegating tasks, verbal instructions might not be enough for your transfer maid to understand her new responsibilities. As such, you should offer hands-on demonstrations to show your transfer maid the specific techniques and standards you expect them to perfect. A visual demonstration can also be especially helpful for tasks that require a certain level of precision or adherence to specific guidelines. This approach eliminates ambiguity and ensures that tasks are carried out to your satisfaction.

Set Boundaries

Set clear expectations regarding privacy and personal boundaries within the household with your transfer maid. You should tell her which areas are off-limits and teach them the importance of respecting family members’ spaces. This clarity helps prevent any potential discomfort and fosters an environment of mutual respect between your transfer maid and everyone in your household. Such boundaries also contribute to maintaining a harmonious household dynamic.

Consider an Employment Trial Period

Before you decide on hiring a transfer maid, you can initiate a trial period to assess her compatibility and performance. This period allows you and your transfer maid to evaluate if the arrangement aligns with your expectations and needs. During this time, you can provide your maid with consistent feedback and communicate openly about any adjustments required. A trial period mitigates the risk of committing to a long-term contract before both your household and your transfer maid are certain about your compatibility.

Thanks to their work experience and years of living in Singapore, transfer maids make excellent candidates for Singapore households looking for dependable foreign domestic helpers who can assist with and maintain the smooth flow of their daily routines. However, even though transfer maids are accustomed to the Singaporean way of living, they can still experience problems during the integration and adjustment periods. With these tips, you can help your transfer maid overcome these challenges and create an environment of mutual respect and understanding for a strong, positive, and long partnership.



The Real Cost Of Hiring A Helper In Singapore

Our concrete jungle has wired us to focus mainly on work. As work occupies most of your day, it is easy to take domestic life for granted. To handle the so-called burden of managing your household chores while you tackle occupational responsibilities, you may turn to a maid agency for help.

Let us be honest! It is becoming a fairly common practice to hire domestic help in Singapore. Many families come from dual-income households where both parents work long hours. Who will be left to take care of the children, elderly relatives, and chores?

There are various reasons why you may hire a helper. Whatever your reasons are, here are the initial and monthly costs that you can expect.


The following are some of the initial costs that you need to pay as an employer of a foreign domestic worker.

a. Agency Fees: about S$1,000
b. Settling-in Programme: S$75
c. Work Permit Application: S$30
d. Work Permit Issuance: S$30
e. Security Deposit: S$5,000
f. Foreign Domestic Worker Levy: S$60-S$265
g. Medical and Personal Accident Insurance: about S$250 per month spanning 26 months

The estimated total will amount to more than S$6,000. Now, let us put a spotlight on each element.

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To determine someone’s monthly salary, you must consider several factors. Experience and relevant training are just some of the main factors. Not to mention, the applicant’s nationality plays a part too.

The Philippines’ government recently reduced the number of domestic helpers entering Singapore. With the reduced manpower supply, expect salaries to increase accordingly. That being said, the minimum salary for a Philippine domestic helper is S$570. On the other hand, Indonesian authority set its minimum domestic helper salary to about S$500. Lastly, the minimum salary that you can expect to pay to a foreign domestic worker (FDW) from Sri Lanka is S$400.

Other miscellaneous costs include food, accommodation, medical expenses, and travel expenses.


As the name suggests, Employer’s Orientation Programme or EOP is tailored to the employers who are looking to employ some FDWs. It is recommended for employers who are hiring a foreign domestic worker for the first time or have changed workers on a frequent basis. This program lasts for 3 hours and can be both taken in a classroom or online setting. Classroom setting costs about S$30 to S$34. While, the online setting costs about S$46. After all, you are paying for convenience!

Learn more information about EOP by checking this link: mom.gov.sg.


How many times have you encountered a damage deposit or damage bond in your life? One to many, I suppose. A damage deposit ensures that you return an item in good condition. Similar mechanics can be applied to the FDW security bond.

If you are employing a Non-Malaysian domestic helper, you have to pay about S$5,000 to the Singapore government. This security bond ensures the safety of the domestic helper should you break any laws governing the employment. You will eventually be discharged from the security bond when you meet the following requirements:

a. You cancelled your foreign domestic worker’s Work Permit
b. You did not breach any conditions of the said bond
c. Your FDW has returned home


There are more than 500 maid agencies in Singapore, which are licensed by the Ministry of Manpower. Only licensed maid agencies can act as middlemen in finding related jobs in the country. Agency fees vary greatly depending on the services included. They do not usually publish their fees unless you inquire, but you can expect to pay around S$1,000. Be wary if you only have to pay S$200 or less.


The FDW levy, paid directly to the Singapore government, costs about S$265 on a monthly basis. However, you can qualify for the concessionary rate of S$60 per month. Levy concession is “part of the package to support Singaporeans needing care”.

An employer with a young child or grandchild, an elderly person, or a person with disability living at the registered address can apply for the levy concessionary rate. Learn more about this by going to mom.gov.sg.

Sources: 1 & 2