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  • Elaine Sim

How much does it cost to hire a Filipino helper (maid) in Sarawak and Malaysia (2024)?

Updated: Jun 18

Hiring a helper (maid) in Malaysia can be costly. Here are some fees to take note of.

Our agency fee (Filipino placement) -- RM17,800 (One-off)

Agencies (licensed and unlicensed) in Kuching charge anywhere between RM10,000 to RM22,000 to hire a helper. These fees may go towards paying sub-recruiters, agencies, medical centers and insurances, passport offices, completing compulsory migration processes, visas and the helper's travel to Malaysia. Kindly note that the Philippines government has very strict work abroad requirements for their own citizens. It's compulsory to go with a Malaysian licensed agency that is accredited by the Philippines government. There are only two agencies in Sarawak with this accreditation, and Migratesafe is one of them.

Salary Payments -- USD$400/ RM1,800 (monthly) with RM70 (daily) overtime rate

The monthly salary of Filipino helpers is USD$400 or RM1800 monthly. Due to Malaysian Ringgit weakening, many Filipino helpers prefer their salaries to be pegged against the USD currency instead. It's highly recommended for employers to pay in USD, although it is compliant to pay the fixed rate of RM1800 monthly as well. Filipino helpers are entitled to a weekly rest day or overtime pay of RM70 in lieu of rest days.

Monthly allowances and living expenses -- RM300 - 400 (monthly)

As an employer of a Filipino helper, you are her sponsor and you are required to provide accommodation, three meals a day and provide some other basic hygiene products. Some employers may choose to offer a fixed monthly allowance for their helpers to manage their own meals.

Ad hoc medical or dental bills -- RM1000 - 2000 (annually)

Occasionally, you will also be required to pay for some medical or dental bills as incurred as most of these costs are not covered by insurance in Malaysia.

Permit renewal -- RM610 - 810 (annually)

You will need to renew your worker's permit annually. Each permit is issued for 12 months at a time.

1st helper: RM630 annually

2nd helper: RM810 annually

Repatriation costs -- RM500 - RM1000 (One-off)

Under the contract, you are required to cover your helper's repatriation to their hometown in the Philippines at the end of her contract.

Total Costs to hire a Filipino helper (maid) for 2 years


Unit cost

Payment frequency


Agency fee

RM17,800 (one-off)



Salary payment + overtime

RM1,800 - RM2080 (monthly)


RM43,200 - RM49,920

​Monthly allowance and living expenses

RM300 - RM400 (monthly)


​RM7,200 - RM9,600

Ad hoc medical and dental bills

RM1,000 - RM2,000 (annually)


RM2,000 - RM4,000

Permit renewal

RM630 - RM810 (annually)


RM630 - RM810

Repatriation costs

RM600 - RM1,500 (one off)


RM600 - RM1500

Total cost

RM71,430 to RM83,630

In total, to hire an Filipino helper for two years, you can expect to spend around RM71,430 to RM83,630. Interested to know how much it costs to hire an Indonesian helper instead? Read this.

Our website and its contents are provided for general information purposes only and nothing on this website or in its contents is intended to provide professional advice. Please contact us at or +6082-295175 for more information.

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