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  • Elaine Sim

Indonesian helper contract salary, payments, rest days and overtime pay (2023)

Updated: Apr 18

As of April 2022, the Indonesian and Malaysian government have negotiated a new contract for the hiring of Indonesian helpers in Malaysia.


Basic salary


The basic salary of Indonesian helpers is now RM1500 monthly.


Rest day and overtime pay


Indonesian helpers are now entitled to 1 weekly rest day. If they are required to work on their weekly rest day, the overtime pay rate is RM86.54 daily.


How to calculate rest days worked and overtime pay?


The Malaysian and Indonesian authorities have not provided detailed guidelines on how to manage rest days and overtime pay for Indonesian helpers in Malaysia. While in Hong Kong, helpers are entitled to 24 hours of continuous rest, the regulations are not spelt out as such in Malaysia.


Therefore, our recommendation is to discuss rest day arrangements with your helper.

  1. Start by asking your helper how many rest days she would like to take monthly.

  2. Secondly, determine how your helper would like to spend her rest day. For example, by going to church (for Christian helpers) or resting at home.

  3. If your helper is resting at home on her rest day, it would be helpful to determine her rest hours and communicate the same to the other family members.

If you and your helper agree that she works half day and will receive half day's overtime pay, determine what those hours are and ask her if she agrees too. It's always a good idea to document rest days worked and agreed overtime pay to prevent misunderstandings during pay day.


How to pay your helper's salary?


Salary payments for Indonesian helpers is not very straightforward since many helpers prefer to send a significant portion of their salaries home. And many helpers typically require assistance from their employers to do so, because many are not familiar with international transfers. While the Malaysian government requires all foreign workers to open bank accounts in Malaysia for salary payment purposes, this is not always the most practical solution. This is because most workers find TT transfers very complicated and many Malaysian banks are also reluctant to open bank accounts for foreign workers.


Use Wise instead


Our recommendation for salary payments is to use Wise. Wise offers an attractive solution for this unique problem and a win-win solution for both employers and workers. Since most Indonesian helpers have an Indonesian bank account, it's easy for them to open a Wise account and obtain a visa card (for just RM40!). Employers can pay salaries to helper's wise accounts in RM; helpers can send money back to Indonesia in IDR at very attractive rates on their phone app too.


Alternatively, you may also pay your helper in cash (which requires them to remit money at a remittance counter) or assist them in remitting their salaries to Indonesia through remittance companies such as Western Union or Merchantrade. There are local banks like Ambank, CIMB or Maybank that partners with remittance companies too, enabling you to make some of these payments through the banking platform.


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 info@migratesafe.org or +6082-295175 for more information.

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