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Agency fees paid by helper?

  1. #1
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2009
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    Agency fees paid by helper?

    It seemed like all was going well with our helper application. We found someone we really liked and signed the contract in April. Her papers sailed through the Philippine Consulate and are in HKID's hands. We are expecting her by the end of June.
    I called up the agency to ask how her case was going. They said there was a small delay because she hadn't shown up for her medical exam. The helpful agency people said sometimes helpers do this because they don't have the cash to pay the agent's fee and feel ashamed. Sometimes, they are in debt and it's not even their fault -- they take out loans for other poor family members, etc, or get fleeced by second-rate banks preying on helpers.
    Huh.
    We chose this agency because we were told they do not have abusively high fees. They said they charged about HK 8,000-10,000 -- but that many other agencies charge double.
    Wow. That's about 3 months salary for a helper.
    Why do they have to pay such high fees? While the much-richer people who hired them pay low fees?
    Doesn't this make them, essentially, indentured servants for the first few months of their employment?
    I've asked the agency to sort it out. If she's really having some sort of financial problem, I'd rather know sooner than later.
    What would you guys do?

  2. #2
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    fyi if things are going well with the helper, some employers after a couple of months pay off the debt with the agency entirely making sure the money they makes all goes to her. it amazes me how much the agencies charge the helper when they make so little to begin with....I also assume most helpers have financial difficulties because of the line of work they are in...we paid of our helper's medical check-up.

  3. #3
    Biggie is offline Registered User
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    I'm using an agent that doesn't charge fees from helpers in Philippines except they have to pay for medical and training there , which I was told is required by the phl govt. That costs about 800-1000 hkd. Though this agent only process paperwork and not do introductions.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  4. #4
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    I am in the same boat as Biggie. I'm hiring a domestic helper out of the Philippines thru other means of referral (not thru agency). If the agency is not doing the job placement for the helper, then the fees are much cheaper. My current helper was telling me it was about 20,000 pesos for paperwork processing only versus 80,000 pesos for job placement.

  5. #5
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    I have done 2 direct hires (through referrals from other helpers) and we had to use an agency. But the agency didn't charge the helpers a cent. I told the helpers to let me know if the agency in Manila asked them for any money, because I was already paying for all the processing in HK. I think I paid $3200 here.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  6. #6
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    same as rani 2 direct hires through an agency...they didn't charge helper anything (though helpers must pay for their own medical - which according to my helper now is around HK200...not that expensive even to my helper she says as that is the only form of payment she needs to make) the whole processing cost 3200 + 2000 for insurance (but I believe you can purchase insurance elsewhere and not necessarily with the agency.

  7. #7
    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    We used Jocie James (in Central, on Pottinger St) on the recommendation of our helper when we hired her. The agency is run by their fellow countrymen and I'm told they don't fleece the helpers the way some of the local agencies do.

  8. #8
    Biggie is offline Registered User
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    Btw, i was told by multiple agencies that if it's the first time she works in hk then helper need to attend and pay for a training program in Phil.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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