What Salary Should I Pay My Filipino Domestic Helper in 2021?

Salaries of domestic helpers in Malaysia vary according to worker nationality, skills and experiences. If you are an employer of a Filipino foreign domestic helper, here are some things to note:

Minimum Salary

According to the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Standard Form Employment Contract, the minimum salary for a Filipino helper is USD 400. To account for Malaysian Ringgit (RM) fluctuations against the US Dollar, the conversion rate has been set at RM4.2 per US Dollar (as of 2021), amounting to a fixed minimum salary amount of RM1680 per month. 

Overtime Rate

On top of your domestic helper’s minimum monthly salary, your helper is also entitled to overtime pay if she works on her rest day. For your information, Filipino domestic helpers are entitled to one rest day every week. If they work on their rest day, they must be compensated for their daily overtime rate. This is how to calculate your helper’s overtime rate:

[Base Salary / 26 days (no. of official monthly working days stipulated by the POEA)] x No. of rest days.

For example, if your worker’s base salary is RM1890, her daily overtime rate would be [RM1890/26 = RM73]. If she works 2 out of 4 of her rest days a month, her salary entitlement would be [RM1890 + RM73x2].

Salary Ranges

Although the minimum salary is RM1680 per month, some Filipino helpers earn higher salaries due to their prior work experiences, skills and qualifications. Employers may need to pay a higher salary to hire a more experienced or skilled domestic helper. For example, a worker with nursing experience and/or certifications, who is hired to care for persons with illnesses, disabilities and/or special needs may command a higher salary. 

Payment Logistics

There are three convenient ways you can pay your domestic helper. You can pay them in cash, through online remittance platforms, or through transferring money into their e-wallet. More information about these methods can be found here. 

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 such as children’s tuition fees, or household utility bills, which often are due at the beginning of each month. Keeping a written record of each salary and overtime payment with both parties’ signatures is also advisable for ease of reference in the future if required! 

SOCSO Contributions

Finally, if you are a Malaysian employer of a foreign domestic worker, you must also contribute to SOCSO. For more information on compulsory SOCSO coverage for domestic workers, you may take a look at our blog post here.