Explaining the Required Bond Deposits For Hiring a Domestic Worker

Whether you are purchasing maid insurance or perusing the Ministry of Manpower's (M.O.M.) website for maid employment information, you will notice that there are a couple of bond deposits that you are required to make. Since these bonds are several thousand dollars each, it may be disconcerting as to why they are required in the first place and under what circumstances you may end up losing your money. Below, you will find information on the most common bonds you will be responsible for when hiring a maid.

Table of Contents

Bond TypeBond AmountAverage Cost of Insurance Add-on
Ministry of Manpower Security (Waiver of Counter Indemnity)S$5,000S$53.50
Philippines BondS$2,000S$43.94
Philippines BondS$7,000S$74.45

Ministry of Manpower Security Bond

Unless your foreign domestic worker (FDW) is Malaysian, you will have to deposit a S$5,000 security bond to the Ministry of Manpower before your maid arrives to Singapore. This bond is a guarantee that you will not break any laws surrounding her employment. You can find it bundled with your maid insurance, but it is possible to purchase it individually. Some insurers will free you from depositing the bond altogether by writing a letter of guarantee on your behalf. In the event that you forfeit (lose) the bond, the M.O.M. will come after your insurer first, who will then collect the S$5,000 from you afterwards. Your FDW is not allowed to help pay for the bond.

You will no longer be liable (legally responsible) for the bond in the event that you cancel the work permit without breaking any conditions of the bond and your domestic worker returns home successfully. You will also not be liable if the bond conditions are broken because of your maid's failure to comply (if she gets pregnant or fails to show up for work). However, this will only be the case if you can prove that you informed her of the work permit conditions and you reported the violation when you first found out about it.

On the other hand, you will end up paying the bond if you break the conditions of the contract by not paying her salary on time, failing to provide medical coverage or failing to send her home after her work permit expires. If your worker goes missing and you have put in considerable effort in trying to find her within one month (including filing a police report), you will only be liable for half of the bond (S$2,500).

Waiver of Counter Indemnity

When you are looking to purchase maid insurance, you will notice that some insurers offer an option to add the "waiver of counter indemnity" to your plan. This basically means that in the event the M.O.M. bond is breached through no fault or negligence of your own, you will only be liable for S$250 and the insurance company will pay the remaining S$4,750. This is a great option to consider due to the risks of being an employer and having a possibly tumultuous relationship with your maid. By paying an extra S$53.50 with your insurance plan, you can save yourself not only the S$5,000 deposit up front, but you will also only lose a fraction of the bond amount in the event of a contract breach. For example, FWD, not only includes the waiver of counter indemnity in its plan for no extra cost, but it is also the only insurer to completely cover the S$5,000 bond in the event it is breached.

Philippines Overseas Labour Office Performance Bond

If you are hiring a Filipino FDW, you may be responsible for submitting a S$7,000 bond to the Philippines Overseas Labour Office (P.O.L.O.). This performance bond is a contractual obligation between you and the Philippines government to make sure that your Filipino maid is being paid the right wage, has a rest day, has sanitary living quarters and will receive adequate medical and dental care. You are also not allowed to withhold your FDW's passport without her consent. More stipulations can be found in the bond contract. If you are hiring your domestic worker through an accredited maid agency, your bond requirement could decline to S$2,000.

The performance bond is only required if your FDW plans to go home to the Philippines for vacation, though it is important to note that this is holiday leave is required for every two years of a Filipino FDW's employment. If you are hiring a Filipino FDW for one year, you may not need purchase the bond at all. You will also have to renew it every time you renew your Filipino maid's work permit. Some insurers offer a letter of guarantee for the bond, just as they do for the M.O.M. security bond. By paying the insurer an additional premium, usually between S$60 and S$90, you will be freed from depositing the P.O.L.O. bond in its entirety.

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