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What do you all pay your helpers

  1. #9
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    thanka2 - "Minimum salary is $3,580 in Hong Kong. And I don't think that paying a higher salary will necessarily ensure that you are able to hire a "good helper" (maybe a "greedier" one?) "

    I am sure that is not the logic that your or your husband's employers use.

    You advertise a job, and you offer a salary based on paying what you have to pay to get what you need. If a helper has great experience and an excellent work history and asks for over the minimum, she not being 'Greedy' - she's positioning herself in the market for a particular kind of job or employer. If you don't want to pay it, then don't - but don't denigrate hard working women to dare to charge for their services based on a higher skill/training/experience level.

  2. #10
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyV View Post
    thanka2 - "Minimum salary is $3,580 in Hong Kong. And I don't think that paying a higher salary will necessarily ensure that you are able to hire a "good helper" (maybe a "greedier" one?) "

    I am sure that is not the logic that your or your husband's employers use.

    You advertise a job, and you offer a salary based on paying what you have to pay to get what you need. If a helper has great experience and an excellent work history and asks for over the minimum, she not being 'Greedy' - she's positioning herself in the market for a particular kind of job or employer. If you don't want to pay it, then don't - but don't denigrate hard working women to dare to charge for their services based on a higher skill/training/experience level.
    In my experience, salary isn't the number one determiner of whether or not you end up with a "good helper." Our helper is AMAZING and she is definitely not making $6,000 HKD/month. We spoke with her early on regarding her plans and our plans and just like in any job, with experience and service to one employer come pay raises.

    I think that you are reading a lot more into my comment than what I typed or even what the heart of what I meant. I in no way was "denigrating hard working women to dare to charge for their services based on a higher skill/training/experience level." I was simply saying that just because a helper comes at you with a figure of $6,000 HKD (or more) doesn't guarantee that she will in the end be a "good helper" for you or your family--there are just as many helpers with less "skill/training/experience" that end up being perfect matches for the families they work for. I think that in order to demand a market rate that is almost twice as high as the standard rate a helper must have incredible "skills/training/experience" to offer up. And if others are comfortable paying their helpers that amount, that is their business dealings. As far as helpers requesting that wage--if they can "prove" to their potential employer that they are worth that much on the market and the potential employer agrees then more power to them.

    Let me be clear that I am a mother who has worked as a freelance consultant for several years so I definitely know how to bid a job for myself and I have no problem asking for what I am worth in terms of experience--I do understand this principle quite well, thanks.

    The person who made this original post initially asked if that figure was kosher for hiring a "good helper" and my personal experience and feelings say that that figure won't guarantee you a good helper--having a good eye/knack, good contacts and a little bit of luck will get you just as far (or maybe further). There are different ways to accomplish the same task, however and money does talk. But, let us remember that money is not the only factor that talks.

  3. #11
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    I didn't read anything into it. You used the word greedy in connection with a helper asking for 6k. What is a 'good' helper, anyway? People have different expectations.

  4. #12
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyV View Post
    What is a 'good' helper, anyway? People have different expectations.
    My point exactly.

    I put the word greedy in quotation marks. It was more of a sarcastic comment than anything.

  5. #13
    lalila is offline Registered User
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    hi every one thank you for your comments i agree someone on minimum may be just as good or even better actually than someone asking for 6000. i just wanted to know if it was normal for helpers who had the western experience with small children to be on this kind of money and seems its not very normal thank you all very much xx also if anyone does or has head of a good helper please please can you pm me i havent seemed to have much luck on the agency side i have two very young children and obvioulsy need someone who can manage the two from time to time so i can pop out when needed thank you all

  6. #14
    zyxwv is offline Registered User
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    Just to give one more point of view.......As of January, our helper will be in that range. We hired her at the minimum and increased her wages pretty substantially last January and will do so again this year (and next year etc). When we hired her, she had been out of HK for a while to take care of family in the Philippines so (my guess is) she didn't feel she was in a position to ask for more than the minimum, even though she has loads of experience/skills.

    Initially, it was my husband who suggested the large increase (our helper didn't request it) and I was wary because I thought it might set a precedent that we would feel compelled to stick to. We talked it through and decided that even if it did, the value that our helper provides to us still far and away exceeds what we pay her. We continue to feel that the higher pay could be really meaningful to her and her family and is not going to break the bank for us. In our home country only the truly wealthy (i.e., not doctors, lawyers, mid-level bankers and the like) have live-in help, so that probably makes us appreciate her all the more.

    To cut a long story short, whenever it is we leave HK, our helper will be back in the market and I would think that she would at least tell potential employers what she is making and hope they can match it. So, if helpers quote you those figures, they are not necessarily being greedy or unreasonable. That said, just like when any of us moves jobs (particularly when we are forced to), the opening salary request may be just that and the helpers you are talking to may be willing to accept less if they feel they can't find the right situation otherwise.

  7. #15
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    I am a westerner with young children and I pay similar to what you have quoted, as do most of my friends in similar situations. From my point of view, I work and my helper takes care of my precious children. I have a good one and once I knew she was good and someone I wanted to keep for a long time, I paid her a lot, gave her lots of time off, treated her well in other ways and hoped she stay. She did ! This is so important for me as a working mum. I think that people who terminate their helper to avoid long service leave are bonkers.

    The difference between the minimum wage and what I pay is frankly not material to me, but makes a big difference to my helper and her family.

    We are leaving HK in a few weeks and my helper has found another position on slightly better wages, due largely I guess to my glowing endorsement (fully warranted). So there is most definitely a market for helpers with the right skills, experience and attitude.

    Just sharing my experience, not judging others.

  8. #16
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    I would like to add that we hired a helper who had 12 years of experience working for families with children in Hong Kong. She had glowing reviews from everyone we spoke with and within five months we were forced to terminate her contract because she was not a good fit for our family and did not do the job we required her to do up to our standard. Most of our friends said we should have terminated her long before then but she was our first hire and we were trying to work something out and hope that she would be a suitable candidate. Years and years of experience and glowing recommendations still don't guarantee that you'll be wanting to pay your helper a huge sum up front--if you have in mind to pay them a rate higher than minimum wage, I would wait first and see how they do in their first contract and then talk about it--unless you have the money to spend and it isn't material to you. Sadly, I have to say, that we cannot afford to pay our helper what she is worth at this point but she still does an amazing job taking care of my precious child--whom she treats as her own and we have a fantastic working relationship. When I win the Mark 6 she will be reimbursed fully for her duties. :)

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