What is a FDW?

This is the acronym for foreign domestic worker. A much preferred term of reference than maid.

Which countries are the approved sources of recruitment of FDW?

Bangladesh, Hongkong, India Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand.

What is the minimum wage for FDW?

Singapore has no legislation for minimum wage policy for FDW. Unlike the past, minimum salary of FDW no longer depends on supply and demand, but is pegged to minimum salary stipulated by the authorities of the supplying countries. The minimum basic salary of a Filipino FDW is S$580.00 and S$550.00 for an Indonesian FDW.

Weekly Rest Day

All FDWs who have their work permits issued on or after 01 January 2013 will be entitled to a weekly rest day. However, employers may compensate their FDWs if there is mutual written agreement between both parties for the FDWs to work on their rest days. The compensation could be a replacement rest day taken within the same calendar month or compensate the FDW with extra pay. Formula for calculation of each rest day pay is as follows: basic salary divided by 26 = compensation for one rest day.

What is the current levy payable?

As of 01 April 2019, the following levy rates apply:

  • First FDW employed by a family: S$300.00 per month
  • Second FDW employed by the same family: S$450.00 per month
  • Concessionary Levy: S$60.00 per month

Concessionary levy rates applies to families with a child less than 16 years of age, and elderly member person with disability.

Levy charges begin one day after the FDW arrives Singapore. However, for FDW who have been to Singapore for the first time, levy will begin on the fourth day of her arrival (excluding the day of arrival).


What are my commitment as an FDW employer?

Aside from the consideration of financial cost, employers are obliged to follow work permit rules and regulations. Employers:

  • Are legally responsible for the supervision and management of the FDW.
  • Must provide for the upkeep and maintenance of the FDW.
  • Must provide a safe working environment for the FDW.
  • Employ the FDW at the address stated in her work permit card.
  • Engage the FDW only for domestic chores.
  • Pay the FDW’s salary within seven days after her salary period.
  • Bear the full cost of repatriation and ensure that the FDW is repatriated to her town or place of
  • origin within her home country.

What is the difference between the Filipino and Indonesian FDW

Literacy is very high in the Philippines and attending college is strongly encouraged. They speak and understand English reasonably well and generally have no problem communicating with employers when they arrived. Familism is strong in the Philippines. Children live with their parents until the day they are married. They strived to take care of parents and unemployed siblings even though economic conditions does not permit it. They sacrificed personal happiness by getting jobs overseas, in order to send money home. Many continued to work overseas until their children completed college or university education.

Philippines is a roman catholic country and the Filipinos’ faith in God is very powerful. The positive aspect of religion is deeply reflected in the Filipinos in the face of despair and helplessness. They always remain positive, hopeful and resourceful.

The Filipinos have no dietary restrictions but rice is a staple in their diet. They are popular with family with young children and are good housekeepers.

The largest ethnic group in Indonesia is the Javanese who make up 41% of the total population. Majority of our Indonesian FDWs are Muslim and they come from East and Central Java and Lampung.

Compulsory education in Indonesia last for nine years, which includes six years of primary school education, followed by three years of secondary school education (Sekolah Menengah Pertama) which begins at age 12 or 13. After that, students either enrolled in high school (Sekolah Menengah Ata/SMA) for another three years. Most with financial constraints choose to find a job and start working.

National schools or public schools in Indonesia followed the Indonesian curriculum and every subject is taught in the Indonesian language. Even English itself is taught by Indonesian teachers who speak English. Generally, those who completed SMA education reads and understands simple English but have problem expressing themselves. The intensive English language training at the Training Centre before departure to Singapore helps them to cope with conversational English when they arrived Singapore. Indonesian FDWs have a knack for language. Those who have worked overseas in Taiwan and Hongkong speak fluent Mandarin and Cantonese after a couple of months of interaction with their employers. Many also learnt to speak our local dialects after working with families with dialect-speaking elderly folks.

Their religion forbade them to eat pork. Over the years, Indonesians have ventured to work in Hongkong, Taiwan and Malaysia and have no issues working in Singapore Chinese homes and are willing to handle and cook pork, although they do not eat it.

Indonesian FDWs are hardworking, hardy and determined workers. They get along well with elders and are respectful and patient with them. They are also the preferred choice for the care of the elderly and disabled.

For how long are the FDWs trained?

The Indonesian authorities mandate that FDWs heading to work in Singapore undergo forty days of training before departure.

To improve the lot of Filipino FDWs heading for overseas employment, it is mandatory for the FDWs to undergo skills assessment by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), after completion of training. TESDA-certified FDWs will be issued Certificate of Competency. FDWs with years of work experience as household workers abroad with TESDA certification to prove may avoid going through TESDA again.

Filipino FDWs also undergo an orientation course on country-specific language and culture training, sponsored by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Do you deploy other nationality of FDWs?

Maid-Power deploys only Filipino and Indonesian FDWs to Singapore homes because we are convinced that by far, they are the most suitable for our local families. These two nationalities have a longer history of serving local families and over the years, have adapted well and assimilated to our local families’ way of life.

Can I select a FDW from your website?

We do not post our biodata on website. We believe selecting a FDW is a very personal matter and we need to speak with you to better understand your family’s requirements in order to be able to help you shortlist someone suitable.