How much is the Domestic Helper Salary 2023 in Hong Kong?

How much is the Domestic Helper Salary 2023 in Hong Kong?


02 Oct 2023 | 5 min read

Are you an employer contemplating the hiring of a domestic helper in Hong Kong, or seeking guidance on determining an appropriate salary for potential candidates? Look no further! This article is tailored just for you. We'll delve into the specifics of domestic helper minimum wage and average salaries, provide insights on how to decide the best remuneration package, outline the timing for salary disbursement, and discuss the benefits of offering a competitive salary.

What is Hong Kong Minimum Wage for Domestic Helper in 2023?

As effective from 30 September 2023, the government has set a domestic helper minimum wage of HK$4,870 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:

  • The refusal of entry of the helper by the Immigration Department, given any wage lower than the MAW filled in the Standard Employment Contract (ID407).
  • An employer who underpays would be sentenced to a maximum fine of HK$350,000 and three years imprisonment.

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$1,236 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:

  • Free accommodation in the house of the employer is a part of the package.
  • Any cost related to visa and passport processing
  • Quarantine fee of 21 days for helper after entering Hong Kong
  • The helper is also supposed to get a free ticket to return to her home country after the contract expires or gets terminated.
  • The employer has to cover the medical expenses of the helper and take out an insurance policy for the helper.

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.

When you should pay the domestic helper salary ?

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

What is the Average Domestic Helper Salary?

Overall, the current average domestic helper minimum wage has increase to around HK$5,300 in 2023.

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.

How should you decide the Salary of your Helper?

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.

Why is the Salary Important for the Domestic 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.

What are the Benefits to you for Offering Domestic Helper a Good Salary?

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.