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Ask Andreas: do I have to pay for my helper's trip home at the end of her contract?

ExpertsPost Category - ExpertsExpertsFamily LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - Domestic HelpersDomestic Helpers

We have the best Agony Uncle at Sassy Mama – Andreas is the author of one of our most-recommended books: Hiring & Managing Domestic Help. It’s an absolute must-have for Singapore mamas and you can buy it here!

Today we have a question about if and when you have to pay for your helper’s trips back home…


At the end of my helper’s two-year contract, I know I’m supposed to pay her airfare for a 2-week trip back home. But if I have already paid for tickets and given her paid time off for several trips during our contract, do I still need to pay for the ticket at the end too? Does this depend on whether I am renewing her contract?

While technically the trip to be paid is coming to Singapore and leaving Singapore at the start and end of each contract, if you have already paid for trips home you have fulfilled your end of the deal. However, make sure you are clear about the arrangement with your helper so there are no arguments. If you are not renewing you only need to pay for her to get home since you already paid for her to get to Singapore at the start of the contract.

Note that if you do not pay for the specific trip home at the end of her contract (due to having paid another trip) and for some reason she does not leave Singapore, you can be held liable by the Ministry of Manpower for not repatriating her. This may include forfeiting your security deposit. Better safe than sorry in this case.

Note that you must pay the entire trip door to door, not just the airfare. This includes any taxis, buses, ferries, trains and aircraft she needs to take to get to/from her home to yours. If the trip is more than a few hours, you should also give her a good allowance.

For the only guide you’ll ever need on working with a helper, check out Andreas’ fab book ‘Hiring and Managing Domestic Help’ and buy it here.


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