Higher pay has maids choosing Taiwan, Hong Kong over Singapore

Other News Materials 28 April 2008 07:11 (UTC +04:00)

Fewer foreign maids are choosing to work in Singapore, with those from the Philippines and Indonesia now preferring Taiwan and Hong Kong, a survey said Monday, the dpa reported.

The 20 maid agencies surveyed by The Straits Times said that the higher pay and a compulsory weekly day off are key factors.

Singapore's mandatory English entry test on hygiene and housework, as well as a minimum age of 23, are also turning some away as the competition for maids intensifies.

Indonesian and Sri Lankan maids are paid 280 Singapore dollars (190 US dollars) a month, and those from the Philippines up to 350 Singapore dollars (244 US dollars).

Maids in Hong Kong and Taiwan earn about 482 US dollars and 524 US dollars, respectively.

There are 170,000 foreign maids in Singapore, mostly from the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

The comparatively low wages have led to a shortage of experienced maids, Peter Loh, director of Swift Arrows Maid, told the newspaper.

"They use Singapore as a stopping stone before going to Hong Kong and Taiwan," he was quoted as saying. "They also try to pick up some Chinese to aid them in the future."