The Cost Of A Domestic Maid
But unless you have family members, friends, or a dray of squirrels that are both willing to help you and experienced in the art of babysitting, cleaning, and cooking, chances are you will look towards hiring domestic help.
The cost to be borne by you to hire domestic help comprises of two components: money and time.
Agency fee and monthly salary
A January 2013 article published by New Straits Times reported that the cost for a Malaysian to hire an Indonesian domestic worker has increased from RM4,511 to RM6,700.
However, much like everything else, this price has since increased to RM7,800 which is made up of RM3,000 for management costs and RM4,800 to ‘buy’ biodata of a prospective maid from Indonesian recruitment agencies. Of the total cost of RM7,800, you, as a prospective employer will pay RM6,000, while the remaining RM1,800 will be borne by the maid via deductions of RM300 from her monthly salary over six months.
As an employer, you are also required to pay a minimum monthly salary of RM700 with no current laws on maximum monthly salary (i.e. you can pay as much as you want provided it’s more than RM700 per month).
Waiting time is a common occurrence especially if you are looking to hire an Indonesian maid. According to Malaysian Maid Employers Association (Mama) president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein to The Star, there were approximately 200,000 Malaysians on the waiting list for maids.
This comes as no surprise as Indonesian maids are high in demand in Malaysia as the upfront fee for their employment is lower due to an agreement to fix agency fees between the Malaysian and Indonesian government. In contrast, the agency fee to hire a maid from the Philippines can run up to RM10,000 and fluctuates according to market forces.
How time influences cost
In a December 25, 2013 article, The Star reported that as a result of high demand and short supply, many Malaysians have resorted to paying a higher agency fee to expedite the procurement of a maid to what Engku Ahmad (president of Mama) believes to be either unlicensed agencies or agencies who are not members of Malaysia’s two main recruitment agency associations.
These unscrupulous recruitment agencies have been said to charge desperate Malaysians – especially dual income households, as high as RM14,000 for an Indonesian maid. Despite paying a higher price, employers are still doubtful about their maid’s ability to perform given tasks and are distraught at their inability to make claims from these agencies should their maid run away.
If RM14,000 sounds like daylight robbery, perhaps there are other options that are cheaper:
Getting a domestic help sometimes depends on your preference. The key to having a domestic maid is getting your money’s worth along with the peace of mind that comes with it. Once you have weighed the pros and cons, perhaps spending the extra RM8,360 in a year is still worth the money.