By Caring Caregivers (19C9594)

Employing a foreign domestic worker (FDW), also known as maid, can be a valuable resource for households in Singapore, particularly for tasks such as elder care, infant care, child care and housekeeping. However, along with the many benefits, there are various responsibilities and costs associated with hiring foreign domestic workers. In this article, we will guide you through key aspects of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) levy, ensuring a successful and ethical employment experience.

Understanding the MOM Levy

The MOM levy is a monthly fee imposed on employers who hire foreign domestic workers. This levy encourages employers to prioritize local workforce participation while contributing to the costs of maintaining a foreign labor force. The levy amount varies based on the number of domestic workers a household employs. For instance, first-time employers and those with more than FDW may experience differing levy rates.

  • Levy Structure

The MOM Levy is structured to encourage local workforce participation and offset the cost of hiring foreign labor. The levy amount varies depending on the household. First-time employers usually pay a lower levy for the initial few FDWs, after which the rate increases for subsequent FDWs. This tiered structure aims to create a balanced incentive for employers to hire local workers as well as to acknowledge the responsibilities of employing foreign labor.

  • Monthly recurring Cost

You need to budget for the monthly MOM levy, as it constitutes a significant part of the overall cost of employing an FDW. This recurring expense should be factored in when calculating the financial feasibility of hiring a domestic worker. It is important to note that the MOM levy is a mandatory payment that contributes to the government’s effort to manage the foreign workforce while supporting local employment.

  • Variations in Levy Amount

The levy amount can differ based on specific criteria such as your residency status, the age of the FDW, and whether the FDW has completed a Settling-In Programme (SIP). It is advisable for you to consult or seek guidance from reputable maid employment agencies to obtain accurate and up-to-date information regarding the levy rates and any applicable exemptions.

  • Compliance and Penalties

You are responsible for paying the MOM levy promptly and consistently. It is important to know that failing to do so can result in penalties and legal consequences. In order to avoid any unintended violation, it would be great if the Employer has an in-depth understanding of the payment schedule and methods. The levy payment is tracked through the Work Permit Online (WPOL) system, which provides a platform for employers to manage their FDW’s work permits and levy payments.

Calculating the Levy Cost:

When considering hiring an FDW, it is important to budget for this recurring expense. This cost may vary depending on the specific needs of the household, such as elder care, infant care, or child care.

  • Exemptions and Concessions

Certain households may be eligible for exemptions or concessions that can affect the levy cost. For instance, households with elderly family members or young children might be eligible for levy concessions. You should verify your eligibility for these concessions and exemptions through the MOM’s official guidelines or by consulting with reputable maid employment agencies.

Elderly Persons Levy Concession: Families with elderly family members who require care and assistance may be eligible for the Elderly Persons Levy Concession. To qualify for this concession, the elderly person being cared for must be 67 years old or above and must be a Singaporean citizen. This concession aims to ease the financial burden on families caring for elderly relatives by providing a reduced levy rate.

Young Child Levy Concession: Households that require child care services may be eligible for the Young Child Levy Concession. To qualify for this concession, the child being cared for must be a Singapore citizen and below the age of 16. 

Additional Criteria: In addition to the age and citizenship criteria, households applying for levy concessions should meet certain income and residency requirements.

Levy Concession Period: Levy concessions are typically granted for a specific period, which can range from a few months to a few years, depending on the specific requirements and needs of the household. You should be aware of the validity period of the concession and take note of any renewal requirements.

  • Continuous Evaluation

You should periodically evaluate your household needs and the financial implications of the MOM levy. For example, if circumstances change and the need for multiple FDW diminishes, you might consider adjusting their workforce to optimize costs. This approach requires ongoing assessment to ensure that the FDWs hired align with the household’s evolving requirements.

  • Proper Budgeting

When planning to hire an FDW, it’s crucial to incorporate the MOM levy into the household budget. The levy can be a significant portion of the total expenses associated with hiring an FDW, especially when considering elder care, infant care, or child care. By accounting for the monthly levy cost, you can make well-informed financial decisions and avoid any unforeseen financial strain.


Maid employment agencies play a pivotal role in connecting employers with matching FDWs. It’s crucial to work with reputable agencies such as Caring Caregivers that are registered with the MOM. We can assist you in the selection and recruitment process, provide information about the MOM levy, and ensure that ethical standards are maintained throughout the hiring process.

In conclusion, hiring a foreign domestic worker can be immensely beneficial for households in Singapore, especially for elder care, infant care, child care or housekeeping. However, understanding the MOM levy, ethical matching, and providing proper support are all essential elements for a successful and harmonious employment experience. By considering these factors, you can ensure the well-being of their FDWs while meeting your own household needs.

The journey of hiring an FDW doesn’t stop with understanding the levy. As an employer, you are embarking on a meaningful partnership with a helper or caregiver who will play an integral role in your household. That’s where we, Caring Caregivers, step in.

At Caring Caregivers, we believe that finding the right match between employers and FDWs is essential for a successful placement. Our commitment to ethical matching ensures that your specific needs align with the skills and experience of the domestic worker we recommend.

Contact us now! Together, let’s create a nurturing and supportive environment that benefits not only your household but also the dedicated helpers or caregivers who become an integral part of your family.