Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 

Domestic help - costs/ wages

  1. #1
    suzieq is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    19

    Domestic help - costs/ wages

    Hi again,

    Just trying to work out our expenses before we look to sign 'the contract'!

    Would really appreciate an indication of domestic care wages and associated costs.....i.e.

    1. wages
    2. food allowance
    3. how many trips hom do you need to offer
    4. health cost?
    5. visa etc.

    Also does family size (we have 1 x 9 mth baby) / main duties (i.e. cleaning vs. child care) etc influence pay??? Also, number of years service / previous employer etc.

    As an aside, not cost related...........

    what do the maids do in their spare time? Is it realistic for me to give 3 hours off in the middle of the day etc? I mean god, there is only so much they can do when there is only my hubby and sml baby - which I will no doubt be out with most of the time. Also, with a 3 bed appt. it would seem that you would want a break from each other???

    Thanks again for any advice

    cheers

    Suzie

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    i'm new to the whole helper thing... this is what we have done (there is my hubby, my 11 week old baby, myself and our dogs...however, she does not take care of the dogs at all)

    1) we pay her minimum salary $3270 but give her bonuses...ie$500 and a day off for her birthday(she'd only worked for us for 2 weeks at the time), on the long weekends that she goes out to stay with her friend we have paid for her boarding house costs and transportation
    2)there is a gov't levy that we pay $2400 every six months for the 2 year contract (this can also be paid in a lump sum of $9600 at the start of the contract)
    3) we do not pay a food allowance, she eats the same as we do... when we order in, we make sure there is enough for her too... if you do not want her to eat your food, then the minimum is $300/month
    4)they get one paid holiday home for 2 weeks every 2 years (unless of course you want to pay for more)... we are thinking of allowing her son to come to visit during the summer when i'm gone with the baby and there is only my hubby at home... we will pay for 1/2 of his ticket(if we can afford more then we will pay for the whole ticket)
    5) you must buy insurance when you sign the contract... the insurance that we got for her was $750 for the year... it includes dental and medical
    6)we didn't pay for the visa as it was included in the agency fee
    7)i would suggest NOT using an agency... we could have done the work ourselves for nothing except actual visa/consulate fees... most helpers who have been in HK for any length of time would know exactly what to do

    as for time off in the middle of the day....i have given my helper a list of what i want done once per day... once per week...twice per week and once per month...other than that, she's able to work at her own pace... if she finishes and doesn't have anything to do until she prepares dinner, she sometimes has a long shower, reads a book, watches AMERICAN IDOL etc. i don't mind what, so long as the work is done...it seems to work very well for us...
    but i haven't specifically said... you will have 3 hours off in the middle of the day...

  3. #3
    intrigue is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    54
    Hi,

    Yes its realistic to give her three hours off in the middle of the day but tell her that day or the day before or a few days before. I really wouldn't tell her that she can have three hours off every day as a perk of her job because you will need her at some point. You should keep the ball in your court with regards to time off.

    If you stipulate now that she has three hours off every day then you'd effectively be asking her a favour when you needed to rush out one afternoon and leave the baby behind.

    My helper has afternoons off on occasion and she goes out and in return for that I have no problem asking her to work on a Sunday afternoon - as I did recently when I came back from holiday and needed to sleep so I handed the baby to her. Its all give and take.

    As a working mother, my helper is at home all day with my son. When he has his naps she can do what she likes - be it a lie down, reading a book or whatever... then again I'm not home to see what she does. On a Saturday when I have my son she is more than welcome to come to me and ask if she can go out - after all her chores are done etc.

    Hope my garbled message makes some sense.

    Basically what you can say to her is .. look ... if the chores are done and you want to go out for a couple of hours, just come and ask.

    Problem solved.

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    suzieq is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    19
    thanks guys for your helpful feedback!

  5. #5
    Seb's Dad is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pokfulam
    Posts
    78
    hi suzie

    you are going to be one well researched chick!

    1) we pay our helper $4000 as well as a food allowance.

    2) our helper has different food preferences than my husband and i do (we like chicken and mussels and salmon and tuna, our helper prefers pork...and hotter food!!! and rice) we don't think it is fair to make her eat what we want her to eat. we give her an extra $400 per month for her food, as well as giving her a free reign in the kitchen, ie: rice, spices, milk, eggs, etc. when you give your helper a food allowance you are cutting down the possibility of your helper not getting enough to eat. most employers would be shocked if they knew their employer was not eating enough! they are providing the food, but often the helper is self conscious about it.

    3) we offer our helper two weeks off per year. as well, if she works holidays or sundays, we give her days in lieu. this is more than the government requires, but given how caring, honest and excellent our helper is, we want her to know she is appreciated, and that her happiness is important to us. tickets to the philippines and back are inexpensive, as well, so we can afford it.

    4) we cover all health costs. if she is sick, we pay for her to go to the doctor. this is a fairly common practise.

    5) we also pay the cost of the visa and the government levy.

    i am not sure if i would give time off during the middle of the day. i would probably word it otherwise: give your helper a list of your expectations, and say, once the chores are done and if the baby is sleeping, please sit down and relax yourself. i think it stipulates that helpers get one full day off a week, giving them afternoons and then asking them to work their day off is technically (i think) wrong.

    you will find when employing helpers that most of the ladies you see will be unwilling to work for a lower salary than they were previously getting. (understandably). like in the normal workforce, helpers with more experience generally command a higher salary. as well, additional skills (proficient swimmers, midwives, teachers, drivers license) can contribute to their previously receiving a higher salary.

    if you are interested, i would happily recommend josie james agency. (i am in no way affiliated with the company, but i did get my helpers from that agency. i have found them to be excellent). going through an agency is much less confusing than just putting an ad up and hoping for the best.

    Tel: 2377 2568, Email: [email protected]

    hope some of this helps
    tess and seb's dad.

  6. #6
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    i was very disappointed with josie james...i called them and asked them to fax me some information on available helpers... after one week i still had not received any info...so i called again and they basically said that because i was looking to hire someone to start beginning of feb that i was looking too early(mid-dec)...
    ... with the agency that i did use it started ok... but went downhill fast...
    they charged my helper too much $500 instead of the legal $327 for the fee... then they made her pay for the visa(it was supposedly included in the $2200 i paid to them)... i had to call her and ask for a refund to my helper... in the end they paid for the visa but refused to reimburse her for the extra on the agency fee!
    i also found that they didn't listen to my requirements(NOT afraid of dogs~we have 2 very big ones...experience with newborns...cooking ability... good release...can speak cantonese and english) i got some helper pretty much running away when they saw my dogs!
    beware of the agencies, i think that if i ever have to hire another helper i WILL NOT use an agency!

    you could try www.dollarsaver.com.hk (i think it is) they have ads from employer who are relocating and trying to help their helper find another employer

Similar Threads

  1. Pregnancy Costs
    By rani in forum Preparing for the Arrival
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 01-05-2009, 10:22 PM
  2. costs
    By jo123 in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-17-2007, 06:42 PM
  3. No ID yet - any problems or costs?
    By stephanie84 in forum Preparing for the Arrival
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-13-2007, 06:32 PM
  4. No ID yet - any problems or costs?
    By stephanie84 in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-05-2007, 02:44 PM
  5. Childbirth Costs
    By bulldogg in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-15-2005, 01:45 PM

Tags for this Thread

Scroll to top