What salary should I pay my Filipino domestic helper (maid) in Malaysia? 
Published on 30 Nov 2023, last updated on 5 Feb 2024
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In January 2023, the POEA/Department of Migrant Workers in the Philippines revised the minimum salary for Filipino domestic helpers (maids) in Malaysia to USD$400, at the fixed MYR equivalent of RM1800.
This is the minimum domestic helper salary. Employers can choose to pay a higher monthly salary to attract and retain workers with more experience and/ or skills.
Filipino domestic helpers are entitled to one weekly rest day per week. If you and your worker choose for her to work on one of her rest days, you will need to pay her the overtime daily rate. Her total monthly salary should include her base salary + overtime pay.
The overtime daily rate for domestic helpers is calculated as follows:[Basic monthly salary / 26 official working days per month (as stipulated by the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers)]
For information on Indonesian domestic helper (maid) contract terms regarding minimum salary, rest days and overtime rates, read: Contractual differences between Filipino and Indonesian domestic helpers (maids) in Malaysia (2024)
Download our salary calculator template to calculate your domestic helper’s monthly salary entitlements. Apart from her basic salary, remember to include her monthly food allowance if you do not provide her with 3 shared meals per day.
- We recommend that you pay your domestic helper’s salary by the end of every month worked and in any event, no later than the 7th of the following month so that your helper can manage her financial obligations effectively. Many helpers are the sole breadwinners of their families and need to remit money home to pay for utility bills, tuition fees and more.
- Calculate and include overtime pay on top of your domestic helper’s base salary for every rest day that your helper worked.
- We would also advise keeping a record of every salary payment, getting both parties to sign off on each payment made for better employee management. You may refer to these records in the future if required.
- If you are a Malaysian employer of a foreign domestic helper, don’t forget that you are also required to contribute 1.25% of your helper’s monthly salary, including overtime pay to SOCSO. Read: Understanding SOCSO coverage for employers of domestic helpers (maids) in Malaysia
As an employer of a domestic helper or maid, you might be wondering how to pay your helper’s salary. Here are different ways that we would recommend for your convenience:
Paying your helper’s salary in cash and assisting with remittance
Most domestic helpers would send their salary home in cash to their families via remittance companies such as Western Union or International Money Express and keep a certain amount of cash for themselves as their pocket money in Malaysia. It would be convenient for domestic helpers to send their money home over the nearest remittance counter on their days off.
Unlike traditional banking, customers of remittance services need not open a bank account or provide much documentation to transfer and receive money internationally. The hassle-free nature of remittance services makes it a popular service for many migrant workers. Remittance companies allow you to transfer funds through a variety of options: online, in person, bank account or mobile wallet. Your receiver can also receive the funds through a variety of options: in person, bank account or mobile wallet.
There are a variety of reputable remittance companies such as Western Union, MoneyGram and Merchantrade. To choose, you should consider the following factors:
- Exchange rate: You may want to pick the option that gives you the best exchange rate during the time of sending so that your recipient receives the highest possible amount in her local currency.
- Transfer fees: Some companies may have the best exchange rate in the market, but charge exorbitant transfer fees for their services. Check if it’s a flat fee, a percentage, or no fee at all, which is usually displayed before you send or pay.
- Pickup method: This is an important consideration. Be sure that your recipient can receive the funds through the remittance company you have chosen. Some workers’s families may only have one or two company agent locations in their local provinces for cash pick-up.
- Convenience: You can opt to transfer via the convenience of your bank account, as many remittance companies are linked to Malaysian banks.
The following are remittance companies linked with Malaysian banks:
- Maybank & Western Union through Maybank2U
- CIMB & MoneyGram through CIMB Clicks
- Public Bank & Western Union through PBe
You can also choose to download the remittance company’s mobile application, though some direct channels may require you to do the first transaction over the counter before you are able to do it directly on the mobile application or online.
Paying your domestic helper's salary into her bank account
We highly recommend that you assist your domestic helper in registering a Wise account in Malaysia, so she can get access to local bank details that can be used to receive salary payments.
Wise accounts can be used to hold and exchange 40+ currencies, with an optional debit card that can be used in Malaysia, too. Your helper can also use her Wise account to send money home internationally to her family's bank account. Wise currency exchange always uses the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees, and no foreign transaction fees to pay. (Source: Can a foreigner open a bank account in Malaysia? Guide for foreigners)
Opening a Wise Malaysia account is easy and can be done entirely online or using your smartphone. To open a Wise account as a foreign domestic helper/ maid in Malaysia, you’ll need to upload:
- an image of the helper's passport
- a proof of address, which is the residential address listed in the helper's work permit
- a copy of the helper's work permit to prove her legal residence status
Pinkcollar is not affiliated with any of the remittance companies mentioned here. We do not receive a commission and/ or fee for referrals and/ or recommendations made on our sites. The goal of this article is to share information that we think might be helpful for employers and domestic workers, and should not be taken as representations made on behalf of the companies mentioned here.