Should I hire a domestic helper?

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Question: I've heard that lots of people in Hong Kong hire domestic helpers. What does that involve? Are all domestic helpers from abroad and live-in? Is it possible to employ a local staff on a permanent basis who works a 40-hour week and who live by themselves when they are not at work?

Mr T replies: What you've heard is certainly true. There are more than a couple hundred thousand domestic helpers working in Hong Kong, and many families (including the Talls) employ one. They are overwhelmingly from abroad. In the recent past, the vast majority were from the Philippines. Filipinos still predominate, but the numbers of Indonesian helpers is rising very fast, and there are also helpers recruited from Thailand, Sri Lanka, and other Asian countries. I've written three articles on what it's like to employ a domestic helper if you'd like to read more; links are here, here, and here. According to current regulations, your domestic helper must live in your home if she is from overseas. This requirement doesn't apply, of course, to helpers/housecleaners/babysitters, etc. (almost universally part-time) who are from Hong Kong.

Mr B adds: It's also definitely possible to get live-out domestic helpers [but only if they are HK residents}. I don't like the idea of someone living in permanently, as I feel it will really cut into my privacy. We just have someone in on weekdays to look after BabyB, and help with some of the housework.

A reader adds: Yes, it is possible to hire local people to work a 40 hour week for you, but it will likely be more expensive than hiring a foreign domestic helper.


The batgung add: The Hong Kong Immigration Department provides a great deal of information on employing domestic helpers.

This page is a good place to start if you want to find out more about the regulations related to hiring a local domestic helper.

Here is a sample contract for DHs.

This pamphlet (note that it's a .pdf file) is a more readable guide to employing DHs, and it includes samples of various receipts and letters you might well find useful.

This page has a long, long list of FAQs on domestic helpers, covering just about any imaginable eventuality.

If you are actually looking to begin the hiring process and want to search ads for helpers available in Hong Kong, here is a good place to start.

Comments

part time domestic helper

can anyone pls explain the rules and process around hiring a part time maid in hong kong? we have a very small flat so do not have room for a live in and only need someone about 3 days a week. (no kids)

from what i have seen on the faqs of various sites it says part time maids are illegal?....do not understand....

thanks!

Part time is possible

see the comments here

Regarding domestic helpers' living space

I am wondering in HK, do domestic helpers have a room when working at employers' homes?

Many thks!

Living space for domestic helpers

Not necessarily. Living arrangements for DH's in HK vary considerably. The luckier ones have a full bedroom in the flat. Some have a purpose-built 'maid's room', often attached to a flat's kitchen. These are usually quite cramped. Many share a room with one of the employing family's children. And some must make do with sleeping on a sofa or pull-out bed somewhere in the flat.

The government regulations do not stipulate a completely private room -- just a bed, blanket and pillow, along with light/water and toilet/bathing facilites, are actually required.

DH's room

There's no regulation here in Hong Kong that employers have to give our DH a room compulsary. I had heard some case that some of them even is sleep at the living room of the house having no privacy at all.

Poor living condition

You know the one working next to my flat is sleeping in a narrow bed right behind the house door. Poor.

hiring a domestic helper

yeah, im a domestic helper here in hongkong. the part time helper is illegal if she is from abroad like me. but if she is a china woman no problem. anyone who in need of houseboy? pls email me...heres my email add sweetheart6272001@yahoo.com. because my husband like to come here to work. pls. thanks a lot in advance.

well come locals live in

well come locals live in worst situation..have you seen a cage house...!...unbelievable...but they have topay for it..!

Domestic Helper

I am not very clear in this point, Do domestic helpers will bound MPF scheme in Hong Kong? If, so where do I get possibly more information about it. Any site or article Pls advise !

Thanks

Domestic Helpers don't need MPF

See question #7 here.

DH Inquiry

Good day, I just finished my caregiving course and Im planning to go to hong kong to look for a job as a caregiver or DH but I dont know w/c one will be the fastest and easiest. Is it by having an agency here in the Philippines or by looking personally an employer in hong kong? What will be the advantage and disadvantage of this? And just in case Im already in hong kong ang my eployer is not treating me like a human can still go home and not finish the contract? How long is the usual contract of a DH in hong kong?