All you need to know about Foreign Domestic Worker Levy (Maid Levy)

maid-2Despite numerous alarming reports, maids have seemingly become indispensable in Singapore. It is no longer a service for the elite. According to a recent study, there are 150, 000 maids registered in Singapore, from keeping house to minding the children to looking after the elderly.

Nowadays maid’s salary has been steadily increasing. Besides that, you must also pay a monthly levy. Luckily, you may qualify for a levy concession and apply for a levy waiver in certain situations.

In the latest announced Budget 2015, the Government will halve the foreign domestic worker concessionary levy from the current S$120 to S$60 to help families who are taking care of the elderly, from May 1.

The concessionary levy will also be extended to households with children aged below 16, up from below 12.

What is the foreign worker levy

The foreign worker levy, commonly known as ‘levy’, is a pricing mechanism to regulate the number of foreign workers in Singapore.

As an employer, you don’t have to pay Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for your Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW). However, you must a pay monthly levy for her. If your FDW is a first-time FDW, the levy will begin on the 5th day of her arrival (including the arrival date). Otherwise, the levy will begin the next day after she arrives.

The levy ends when the Work Permit is cancelled or expires.

How much is Levy rate

The levy rate for FDWs is as follows:

Type of levy Monthly rate Daily rate
Normal $265 $8.72
Concessionary $120 $3.95


With effect from 1 May 2015, there will be the following changes:

  • Reduce the concessionary FDW levy from $120 to $60.
  • Enhance the qualifying criteria to include employers with Singaporean children or grandchildren below the age of 16 (instead of 12).
  • Daily levy rate applies only to workers who did not complete a full calendar month. The daily levy rate is calculated as follows: (Monthly levy rate x 12) / 365 = rounding up to the nearest cent.

How to apply concessionary rate

As you can see, concessionary rate is much cheaper than normal rate.

You can get levy concession if you hire a foreign domestic worker (FDW) to care for

  • A child (Young child or grandchild scheme)
  • An elderly person (Aged person scheme)
  • A person with disability living at the same registered address as you (Persons with disabilities scheme)

Below are the qualifying criteria of the three schemes

1. For young children or grandchildren

If you have a Singapore citizen child or grandchild living with you, you can qualify for a levy concession under these schemes.

Young child scheme

You are eligible if you or your spouse has a child who is:

  • Below 12 years old.
  • A Singaporean citizen.
  • Living at the same address.

You do not need to apply for the concession if your child is registered as a Singapore citizen. This includes a Singaporean child who is born overseas. The levy concession will apply from the 1st of the following month after the child’s birth.

Young grandchild scheme

You are eligible if you or your spouse has a grandchild who is:

  • Below 12 years old.
  • A Singaporean citizen.
  • Living at the same address.

If the grandchild’s parents also employ an FDW, the grandchild’s eligibility must not already be used to grant levy concession to that FDW.

2. For Aged Person

If you live with an elderly family member, you can qualify for a levy concession under these schemes.

Aged person scheme (FDW employer or spouse)

You are eligible if you or your spouse is:

  • A Singapore citizen.
  • Aged 65 years or above.
  • Living at the same address as in the NRIC.

You are also eligible if one of you is a Singapore citizen and the other is a Singapore permanent resident aged 65 years or above who is living at the same NRIC-registered address.

You will receive the concession rate automatically. No application is needed.

The levy concession will apply from the 1st of the following month after the aged person’s 65th birthday.

Aged person scheme (parent or grandparent)

You are eligible if you or your spouse has a parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandparent-in-law who is:

  • A Singapore citizen
  • Aged 65 years or above
  • Living at the same address as in the NRIC

You are also eligible if you or your spouse is a Singapore citizen and the aged person (relationship as defined above) is a Singapore permanent resident aged 65 years or above who is living at the same NRIC-registered address as you.

You need to apply if you did not give the aged person’s information when you applied for an FDW.

3. For Persons with Disabilities

If you have a person with disability in your household, you can apply for the following:

Persons With Disabilities (PWD) scheme

If you or a family member has a disability, you can apply to the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) for a levy concession under the PWD scheme.

You or your family member must be certified by a Singapore-registered doctor as someone who needs help in at least 1 daily living activity, e.g. showering, feeding, dressing and moving.

More information can be found here.

Foreign domestic worker grant

If you hire an FDW to care for a family member with a moderate disability, you may qualify for a monthly grant of $120.

(Last updated March 5, 2015)

Like this article?

Sign up to receive more personal finance tips every week.


  1. Katherine says

    I m applying a domestic maid for my dad whom is 89 years old. We are staying at a different address. Can my dad get a consassionary rebates for the levy?

    • June says

      We whole family are SG PR. We’re stayed next block only to my brother whom already a SG citizen. Can i ask him to apply the FDW on our behalf so to enjoy the concession rate of $60/mth on taking care of my children aged between 7yrs old to 13yrs old? N of course the nanny will be stay at my house then.

  2. salmah says

    Hi, i am living with my elderly mum who is 95 years old, we have 2 maids to help her with her day to day function. Except for the occassional feeding herself, she is not able to help herself in all other ways. My 1st maid gets the $60 concession on her levy. Will i be eligible to get any concession for the 2nd maid? i don’t have any children below 16 living with me.

    Thank you.

    • says

      Dear Salmah

      My understanding is that each household is eligible for levy concessions for up to two FDWs at any one time, including concession granted under other levy concession schemes. You can try to apply.

  3. says

    My husband is diagnosed with Colon Cancer and had spread to his lung which is now stage 4. Am I egilble to pay levy $60 and how to apply. He needs chemo and he will be weak after the chemo. My maid has to be with him to and fro to National Cancer Centre.


  4. Norlela wati says

    We have extended our maid work employment recently after she fininshed her 2yrs contract with us. We bought her a return ticket. She went back holiday for slightly more than 2weeks ( 17 days ). She left on 01Jun & came back on 17Jun. So how much shall i pay her for month of Jun ? Do i pay her the balance 13 days ? Thanks.

  5. Sarina says

    How much will AIC credit to our account now that the levy is $60 . Normally they will credit $120 every 15 th of the month

  6. noraini says

    Hi, just check, I understand that the levy for domestic helper who is taking care of the elderly will be reduce from $120 to $60 right?
    Currently my FDW is taking care my aged mother who is 80yrs old.
    When will the new levy of $60 starts because I’ve just checked my giro deduction still stand at $120.
    Thank you

    You can contact me @ 96552847

  7. Shirlynn Lim says

    Hi…i hv two younger kids 10 n 8 this yr but my maid levy they still deduct my acct 120 not 60 ..why?

    • Mark says

      Me too, was deducted $120 on 17th this month. I have a young child aged 3 yrs old. Thought started in May 1st, but deduction is still the $120. Not sure if it’ll be back dated adjusted next month.

  8. Frank Bai says

    Hi, Ivan, i just became a new citizen, u know, the domestic levy rate is different for PR and citizen, so i want to know how can i apply change my current levy?
    By the way , i employ maid to help to take care my 4 years old daughter, so the newest levy is 60 instead of 120, am i right?

    • says

      Dear Jasmine

      Yes, the levy is reduced to 60 from 1 May. If I am not wrong, as long as your child is a citizen, the levy will be auto adjusted.


    I am 57 years old. Recently I employed a maid for my 82 yrs old mother as I would to know whether I am eligible to get concession levy for my maid from $120 to $60 which will effect from 1st May 2015 as mentioned.

  10. Caren says

    I am a Singaporean and my husband is a Permanent Resident over 65 years old. We both live at the same address. Do we qualify for the concessionary rate? If yes, when will this take effect?

  11. Theresa says

    As both me and my spouse are singapore parment resident (SPR) and we have young children. Are we qualify for the concessionary levy rates for our Domestic Worker?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *