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live in or live out helper

  1. #1
    twontheway is offline Registered User
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    live in or live out helper

    Hi,

    After some advice on whether to hire a full time live in or live out helper.

    I'm 4 months in with twins, live in a 3 bedroom with a partner who works freelance from home. To have a live in would mean hubby finds a space to rent and maid moves into his room. A local live out helper keeps hubby at home but either way we may need another part time helper when I go back to work and hubby gets busy.

    Any advice appreciated!

  2. #2
    elgoh is offline Registered User
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    Hi, my take is to go with a full-time live in helper. Having twins is really not easy when they are young and from friends who have them, there is never enough attention and time you can give them.

    It is not too early to start the process of looking for one now. Once you have selected a helper, it takes around 3 months before she starts work. If you choose one who is new to HK and/or inexperienced, it takes a while to teach her things around the house. But definitely, choose one who has experience with newborns before.

  3. #3
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    I have a live-out helper myself. But you should note that, technically, it is illegal.
    Personally, I think this law is unfair and discriminatory. I don't see why a Filipina maid is not allowed to have her own home -- and her own place to go on a Sunday instead of hanging out on an overpass like a homeless person. But the law is the law. And while I have never heard of my prosecution in my 15 years in HK, you are taking a calculated risk.

    In HK, people will tell you you "need" a live-in maid with a newborn, because that is sort of a societal norm. But almost nobody has 24-hour help in the West, and mothers survive just fine! (I did, breastfeeding a newborn exclusively, and then being a working mom).

    Here are the pros and cons
    Pros
    * You have more room at home. I sometimes work from home, and appreciate not having to convert my home office into a maid's room.
    * You have your privacy -- my husband and I like to have a glass of wine and a quiet chat each night after the baby is asleep and the helper is gone.
    * Your helper is probably happier -- and that also makes her a good worker. I have many friends, mostly local, whose helpers are worked all day and night, and they tend to have tensions, probably due to stress, fatigue and just never getting away.
    It's good for my helper to simply have a full day off, from Saturday night to Monday morning. Live-ins, with nowhere else to go, often spend their "days off" around their workplace. Or they end up sitting outdoors somewhere, like a park or streetside.

    Cons
    * You are taking a (small) legal risk
    * It costs more. We pay our helper $4,000 salary + $3,000 to cover her rent and food outside. If she lived in, she'd just get the $4,000, though your grocery costs would go up a bit.
    * If you're responsible, you will have to be involved in finding her a safe, clean place to live. Some of the boarding houses for helpers are not good. We personally put down a deposit on a small flat for my helper and her two friends to share -- but if anything goes awry, like her roommates don't pay their share of the rent on time, or there's landlord trouble, etc -- you have to step in.
    * Sometimes, when we had some tough nights and I didn't want to bother my husband (who gets up very early for a tough job), I wished my helper were there overnight. But she's always been great to occasionally spend a night -- like when baby was having sleep troubles and I was exhausted. We just pay her a bit of "OT"

    In the end, we're still happy with our decision to have her live out. Hope that helps!

  4. #4
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    BTW, if you are looking for a good, honest agency, try Arrow. Arrow Employment Services
    It's run by a Christian U.S. couple. (I'm not particularly religious, nor do I care that they are Christian, but they do do social work to make sure their helpers are safe, healthy, not tied up with debt or other problems).
    We've hired two helpers from them over the years and have always been happy with their service.
    Mostly they deal with live-in helpers from the Philippines.
    Last edited by Gracey; 05-08-2013 at 02:14 PM.

  5. #5
    candyman's Avatar
    candyman is offline Registered User
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    Vote for arrow. My helper was from them. And she is good. The agency was very professional, followed up after placement and sends me emails about updates and general information. I feel that the agency cares for both the employers and employees.

  6. #6
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Have a look at GeoExpat.Com. Domestic Helper Available - Full Time (Ads By Helpers) - Hong Kong Classifieds

    There are plenty of helpers listed here. It does require a little more time going through the ads. Simply register and you can add the helpers that you like to your " Watch List". Text the helpers on your shortlist to arrange a phone interview. If they pass the phone interview then arrange for a face to face interview.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  7. #7
    twontheway is offline Registered User
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    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the replies/advice and info.

    Gracey I agree domestic helpers not having their own homes is ridiculous, but that's the law and we have to work with it. I like your pros and cons list, something to consider and work out.

    We're thinking of a live out and seeing how it goes. But will check out the ads (thanks Rani) and the recommendation of Arrow just in case we change our minds!

  8. #8
    AileenLi is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the detailed response. I like my private time and have been considering getting part time help, or a live out helper. However, where would I go to to find one?

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