Why should you have a driver at all? People hire drivers as they don’t get sufficient time themselves to complete every transportation requirement for the members of their family, be it children or elderly members who need the car to go somewhere. You, yourself may not be comfortable driving your car as it may be tedious and time-consuming and can also be dangerous due to rash driving in the city. To be safe, reach your destination, use travel time by working, and being relieved that children and elderly members in your family get the same service with a driver who is available for them, you can opt for hiring a foreign domestic driver.
Advantages to hire a foreign domestic driver
- A foreign domestic driver will be available to you full time and will be staying at your residence as a live-in just like a domestic helper.
- HK visa laws are the same for domestic helpers and drivers, hence the scope of work can be enlarged and the driver can be doing additional tasks at home apart from his driving duties.
- Most of the time a migrant driver will cost much lesser, than a local HK driver. Moreover he can do more types of household works, help in the family during emergencies and even take care of small children just like a baby sitter.
- You have the advantage of a driver on the call whenever you wish, as he is a live-in worker.
- A driver will keep the car maintained, get it serviced, cleaned, and polished regularly.
- It is also safe to let him have the vehicle as being a foreigner he has almost no chance to run away with the car or do any unauthorised work.
- You are his employer you have all his details and documentation which is also registered with the local police station and the Immigration Services.
Important things to know
Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW) is the name given to the visa category for domestic workers who come to Hong Kong by the HK Immigration Department. Drivers are therefore hired to do household duties and also perform the task of a driver. Typically such requirements are fulfilled by male applicants but you can also find some reliable lady driver. However, the live-in requirement is included as an added facility. Let us look at a few salient points that an employer must be aware of, to recruit a foreign domestic driver.
5 important duties that cover the FDW regulation
The migrant driver who has the FDW visa is directly connected to household activities. The special permission for driving is given to them as long as the driving duties are connected to any of the main five domestic duties that are governed by the visa regulations. The five main duties are:
- doing household chores
- taking care of the elderly members in the family
- managing children
Drivers will not only drive their employers. They will also have to drive family members and children. They should only drive family-friendly cars with maximum of 8 seats, like saloons and minivans. Driving duties should also include trips to the school, visit doctors, and drives to markets and shopping centers.
Drivers having the same visa type as domestic workers are eligible to a live-in facility at the residence of the employer. The employer should make sure to provide good security and privacy to both male and female workers in the live-in section of the residence.
It takes about 12-15 weeks for a driver application to process which is longer than the usual domestic helper. You must keep in mind that you will need to furnish a valid driving license of the driver along with the vehicle registration documents, insurance cover for the vehicle including cover for the driver, a supporting letter along with the ID934A application form filled in.
The foreign domestic driver should be well covered in the insurance policy. Check with your insurance company the best policy for your driver to avoid any problem later. They can give you better and updated information on the type of Insurance required.
Helpful points in your support letter
In order to convince and show the necessity for the hiring of a foreign domestic driver, it is important to be as convincing as possible and mentioning some points given below in your support letter. Enumerate various destinations and distances from home by describing the purpose of such trips. Like school & doctor visits, market and shopping centers. Mention the frequency of such trips on a weekly or daily basis. If getting local transport is difficult in your area, do not forget to mention it as well.
Don’t forget to check with your driver
- It is important to know the salary that the driver is demanding. A monthly salary between HK$9-20 is normally what the drivers ask for (It depends on the experience of the driver).
- Overtime payment is also expected.
- Male Drivers generally prefer doing driving jobs only. Therefore try to work out his duties mainly around driving with lesser household chores. If you are looking someone to take care of your kids and driver, it will be more easy to search for a lady driver.
Ask him these questions
- What sort of vehicles he can drive?
- Did he ever have any car accidents (record) ?
- Does he have any mechanical/technical knowledge regarding cars? (e.g. changing a flat tire or handling minor and common repairs)
- Is he willing to help with household chores (such as gardening, housekeeping, pet care etc.)?
- Knowledge of roads in Hong Kong and nearby areas (Hong Kong Island, Kowloon side, New territories)
- What were his former driving duties?
- How does he feel about overtime?
- And most importantly – why did he choose to come and work in Hong Kong?
Once you are satisfied with his answers, go ahead and hire him. Bring back peace in your mind with a new family member!
It is important to keep these details in mind to have a happy, helpful, and efficient driver within your household. We hope this information has been useful for you for your next hire.