Are you an employer considering hire a domestic helper or deciding what salary to offer to the candidate to work in Hong Kong? Here is the right article for you! This article will explain you the minimum wage and average salary of helper, how to decide the right salary to offer, when to pay the salary and the benefits to offer a good salary.
As effective from 1 October 2021, the government has set a Minimum Domestic Helper Salary of HK$4,630 per month which the employer has to pay to the foreign domestic helpers.
The Minimum Allowable Wage (MAW) is a statutory minimum salary for all Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDH) in Hong Kong regardless of their nationalities.
The consequence of illegal wage includes:
You should pay extra attention to the MAW, that even with an agreement with the helper, underpaying is still counted as illegal.
Besides monthly wage, the Standard Employment Contract also includes a food allowance of HK$1,173 per month which has to be paid by the employer separately. If the food allowance is not offered then the employer has to provide Free food to the helper. This means that the helper will cook his or her food with the ingredients supplied by the employer.
Here are some additional costs included in the law that the employer needs to bear apart from the basic salary:
These laws show that the employer not only has to pay the domestic helper salary but also take into consideration other expenses before hiring a helper.
According to Labour Department, the employer should pay the helper within 7 days after the end of the wage period (i.e. every month counting from contract starts), by cheque, bank transfer or cash. You can download the Sample Wage Receipt of FDH at the “Practical Guide of Foreign Domestic Helper”
Overall, the current average domestic helper salary has increased to around HK$5,100 in 2021.
There are some areas with more local families in Hong Kong like Fanling, Tsuen Wan, Tseung Kwan O, Tuen Mun and Yuen Long where the helper salary is just a few HK dollars above the Hong Kong minimum wage, the average helper salary in these areas is close to HK$4,750. A lot of employers there, have a preference to hire candidates coming from overseas, these candidates accepting most of the time the minimum salary in order to work in Hong Kong
Areas with families with higher income or with more expat families like Stanley, Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay and Clear Water Bay pay the helpers the best salaries in Hong Kong. The range of helper salary in these areas is from HK$5,000 to HK$8,000. Some helpers can get the chance of earning even higher salaries of up to HK$15,000 from employers living in Happy Valley, Pok Fu Lam, Sai Kung, Kowloon Tong and Central.
The domestic helper salary not only depends on the minimum wage requirements set by the government and the area of employment but also on factors like the skills and experience of the helpers. Helpers are paid more if they have a driver's licence, more than 10 years of experience, a first-aid certificate or experience in nursing. Both locals and expats looking for helpers who are the best skills for their families.
You should consider all these factors when making an offer. Remember to increase the wage voluntarily if the helper is well qualified for the job. A lot of people are looking for finished contract helpers to start within 3 weeks. As they are not alone to interview these candidates, offering a higher salary will give more chances to hire the right helper.
The helper leaves her own country and family to work for them in a foreign land. It is important to acknowledge the service provided by the helper.
The helper sends a part of the helper salary to her family back home and spends money to live in hong kong (food, phone, internet, shopping, activities....). Daily expenses take up more than half of the salary after which the helper is left with a few hundred dollars as savings. Even after working so hard, the financial condition of the helper does not improve.
The helper comes to Hong Kong with the expectation that the wages will help in improving her family's standard of living. However, in reality, with the rapid increase in prices, MAW is not sufficient to cover the all the expenses of the helper's family. The salary is the first thing that a helper looks at when a job is offered. The wage should be lucrative enough for the helper to consider moving from one country to another.
It is very difficult for families living in Hong Kong to find domestic helpers to provide help in household work under the COVID pandemic situation. The availability of helpers is in shortage due to travel restrictions. Therefore, employers offering unattractive wage would be almost impossible to find a finished contract helper in Hong Kong.
The only solution for the employers to offer helpers good salaries. In that way, employers have higher chances to find a helper locally and can save quarantine fees and travel costs for hiring from overseas.
There are various benefits that the employer can enjoy by providing a good salary to the helper. The biggest advantage is that a good salary helps in retaining a domestic helper for a long time. The family employing the worker can benefit from the service provided. If the salary is lucrative and in accordance with the skill and qualifications of the helper, she will be motivated to perform better and work harder.
A harmonious relationship can be established between the helper and the employer which is based on mutual benefit. It is always better to have satisfied helpers rather than complaining ones. The level of trust between the helper and the employee also increases so that both can depend on each other. All these advantages are available to employers who pay good wages to the helpers.
Treating the helper with respect and acknowledging her effort can go a long way in creating a good working environment for the helper and increasing helper productivity. Therefore, an important issue like domestic helper salary should be carefully considered before employing a helper.