In 2019, market researcher YouGov asked 1,060 Singaporeans whether maids should be paid more than S$600. Evenly divided on the issue, 52% said yes, while the others felt they deserved less.
Hiring a domestic helper can be costly, and once past the security deposit, agency fees, the insurance cost, the monthly levy (which currently stands at S$300) and other miscellaneous fees, the monthly salary seems almost like an afterthought.
Fair compensation is nonetheless pivotal to a good working relationship with your maid. Here’s everything you need to decide, and how else you can say ‘thank you’ to the keeper of your home.
What your maid’s salary means
Among the many methods of compensating labour, a salary confers a degree of financial security in the form of a regular income, with allowances for leave of absence.
The amount of salary an employer pays speaks for how much s/he values the worker and her work. Just as you would hope for progression in your career, your maid looks forward to increments over time, given an acceptable quality of work.
Additionally, many domestic workers here support families in their respective countries of origin, elevating the symbolism of the wage beyond just money. Considering your maid’s circumstances from her perspective can therefore help you make a compassionate and fair choice with regard to her remuneration.
What you’re paying for
With most domestic helpers hailing from abroad, you may be under legal obligation to pay your maid a fixed minimum wage. Here’s a breakdown by your helper’s home country.
In 2019, Singapore’s domestic workers earned an average of S$579 – not too far from the earlier proposed wage of S$600. You may consider paying above average as a token of appreciation for your maid’s work.
More experienced maids should receive more than the minimum, especially if she has been with your household for an extended period of time. These pay raises, even if a small gesture on your part, can contribute to the longevity of your working relationship.
Caring for young children and the elderly can be demanding, so you can consider raising your maid’s salary if she bears these additional responsibilities.
Fair pay and holistic appreciation
With the economy in limbo, you may find yourself hard pressed to significantly raise your maid’s pay, however much you appreciate her work.
While your family finds its footing in the new normal, you can show your maid you value her contribution by supplementing as much of an increment as you can afford, with the option for more paid off-days or even shorter working hours.
You can also help lighten her load by staggering her routine, so she doesn’t have to perform the same long list of tasks every day. For instance, you may choose to have her clean the bathrooms only every other day, and the car just once a week. With her chores more evenly distributed, you save on your utility bill, too.
Include her in celebrating special occasions as a family, especially if you know these occasions are important to her. A gift on Christmas will definitely be well received.
Your maid deserves the best treatment but in granting her such, remind her to be careful how she shares this information. If you are paying your maid more than the usual, advise her to guard the information carefully so as not to attract unwelcome attention or financial complications.
ePROTECT maid and the strength of trust
Appreciation comes in many forms. For your maid, knowing you value her well-being goes a long way. Beyond personal accident protection, ePROTECT maid covers $15,000 of hospitalisation and surgery expenses, granting both you and your maid financial assurance in the event of mishap. You may also choose to top up additional hospitalisation and surgical coverage, and include critical illness cover for maximum protection.
Your maid insurance policy protects you, too. In the event that you need to send your maid home, ePROTECT maid covers repatriation expenses up to S$10,000. Termination and rehiring expenses up to $350 are also included, as well as medical expense compensation in the unfortunate event of abuse by your domestic helper.
With the assurance of trust on both sides, your good relationship with your maid is secure. Did you know? ePROTECT maid has been lauded by Seedly and SingSaver as among the most affordable maid insurance plans on the market? With premiums from as low as $138.42 and more funds freed up to better provide for your helper, get the biggest bang for your buck here.
Information is accurate as at 23 July 2020. This policy is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No. 201331905K). Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
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