Thinking about getting a helper? Here's everything you need to know about hiring a helper in Hong Kong for the first time
While so many things in Hong Kong are super convenient to enjoy – we’re talking short trips away, access to great beaches and hiking trails galore – hiring a helper can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re new to the process. So Edouard Muller from HelperPlace has put together an easy guide on everything you need to know about hiring a helper in Hong Kong for the first time to make life a little simpler.
1. Do I need a full time or part time helper?
One of the first things you need to be quite clear on before hiring a domestic helper in Hong Kong is whether you need a full time or part time help? When it comes to hiring domestic helpers in Hong Kong, you can either go for local helpers or foreign helpers. Local helpers are candidates who are legal residents of Hong Kong and are eligible to be hired as both full time and part time workers. Whereas, foreign domestic helpers are residents of The Philippines or Indonesia, who are only eligible to be hired as full time workers in Hong Kong.
Another important yet tedious part of hiring a domestic help in Hong Kong is knowing the basic legal requirements. For instance, in order to hire a domestic help, you must be a legal resident of Hong Kong with over $15,000 monthly household income. Secondly, you should not have a history of underpaying a help in the past, nor should you have been blacklisted due to any issue with a helper.
3. Ensure enough safe space for your full time helper
Full time helpers in Hong Kong are required by law to live with their employers. Before you consider hiring a full time domestic helper in Hong Kong, see to it that you can provide her with a separate room with sufficient space to get reasonable privacy. It’s a requirement of Hong Kong Labour department, and it is important that your full time domestic helper in Hong Kong is safe and has adequate space that is clean and hygienic.
4. Define your requirements
One of the most important things you need to keep in mind before hiring a helper in Hong Kong is defining all your requirements for the shortlisted candidate. Cross checking your requirements will make sure that the candidate has agreed to your expectations before being finalised for the position. You need to be very clear and articulate each and every task that the helper is expected to perform to avoid confusion from either party
A domestic helper can be hired for a variety of household chores, like cleaning, laundry, cooking, child care, elder care, pet care and more. So, it is extremely important that you clearly define the role of a domestic helper, before making the final decision. Talk about every task in detail and inform the helper about time restraints and house rules, if you have any.
5. Medical & physical fitness
Another factor that you must not ignore when hiring a domestic helper in Hong Kong is their ability to take up physical tasks. Therefore, you must always consider hiring a helper who is physically and medically fit, so there are no hindrances completing day-to-day tasks. If you need someone to take care of an elderly patient, your helper must be strong enough to help them, similarly, if you have many small children, they will need to be fit enough to run around with them.
6. Compensation insurance, monthly salary and day off
If you are considering hiring a full time helper in Hong Kong, then it will be mandatory for you to take care of your helper’s compensation insurance as well as medical expenses. Moreover, the monthly minimum salary is HK$4,630 and your helper must have one rest day per week (80% of the workers have Sunday off.) Don’t forget that experienced candidates won’t accept basic salary, and workers, just like at any job, should be paid in respect to their skills and experience.
7. Hiring without an agency
You have the option to choose a domestic helper in Hong Kong without any intermediate assistance, like that offered by a recruitment agency. You will have more choices to find the right match and you will save the agency fees (up to HK$12,000), but, as Hong Kong regulations are strict, you can only hire a candidate who is already in Hong Kong and finishing her contract (or terminated due to relocation/financial reason). In order to find and hire a domestic helper without an agency, you will have to interview candidates on your own and arrange the contract. Then, you will have to process the working visa by yourself, all of which can be time consuming.
8. Hiring through an agency
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to hire a domestic helper in Hong Kong is to get in touch with an ethical hiring agency. An agency will provide you assistance to screen, schedule interviews and process all the papers (immigration and consulate). A trusted hiring agency will have a big enough database to help you find the right candidate without much fuss. Another perk of hiring a domestic help in Hong Kong through an agency is that you can be confident about whom you’ve hired, as hiring agencies have a complete record of their candidates.