Domestic Helper’s New Information (2019 Update)

2019-03-01 09:00

As of Feb., 2019, there is approximately 390,000 Foreign Domestic Helpers working in Hong Kong. The majority of our Foreign Domestic Helpers come from the Philippines (213,000) and Indonesia (167,000).

In general, most of the Filipino Domestic Helpers possess a higher education level and better English language skills than the Indonesian Domestic Helpers. For this very reason, Filipino Domestic helper are more preferred because employers usually recruit helpers for child caring and tutoring. However, Indonesian Domestic Helpers are usually better in Chinese Language and hence more suitable for elderly care of non-English speaking families.

There is also a growing tendency of Foreign Nationals residing in Mainland China to recruit nationals from our neighboring ASEAN region for deployment as helpers and tutors in the major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen. We estimate that these 5 major cities in China may absorb a minimum of 150,000 domestic helpers/tutors in each city if the current importation policy is relaxed to allow local Chinese to deploy helpers.

Let’s know more about domestic helper’s information in Hong Kong.

1. Foreign Domestic Helper’s Monthly Wage/Salary Package
2. Licensing Inquiry of Foreign Domestic Helper employment agency
3. Domestic Helper’s Characteristics

1. Foreign Domestic Helper’s Monthly Wage/Salary Package

Foreign Domestic Helper’s minimum wage and salary in Hong Kong is regulated by the Hong Kong Government which stands at HK$4,520 per month currently and is subject to adjustment annually. With the rising demand for helpers and growing cost of living, some employers have began to offer higher salaries and other perks to attract and retain their domestic helper to avoid their helper from job-hopping. These perks may include the provision of food allowance, year end bonus, addition day off, longer annual leave and additional home trips.

Let’s have a look at the incomes of domestic helper in different countries:

Salary comparison of domestic helper in different regions of the world - 2017

Domestic helper salary 2017

Income comparison shows that the domestic helper labor shortage in Hong Kong can be even worse with the mainland China added into competition.

2. License inquiry of Filipino domestic helper companies

Before hiring a Filipino domestic helper through an employment agent, employers are reminded to inspect the following two licenses to verify if you are engaging with a legitimately licensed employment agency dealing in Foreign Domestic Helpers:

In the event where prospective employers would like to further confirm if the Hong Kong employment agent's partnering agent is legally licensed in the Philippines, you may also check its validity through this link.

3. Domestic Helper’s Features

Working at overseas is one of the particular features in the Philippines. There is about ten million Filipino working around the world; mainly the Middle East, the US, Canada, Oceania, Europe, as well as Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore in Asia.

Most Hong Kong-based domestic helper (Philippine/Indonesia) companies offer recruitment services of Filipino and Indonesian Domestic Helpers; the two major labor source of helpers in Hong Kong. However, as the number of Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong increases, their request for better pay and work conditions are becoming more demanding. The majority of Filipino domestic helpers are very thorough with the rules and regulations of the Hong Kong Labor Department and Immigration Department so employers must familiarize themselves with the same to build a good working relationships with their respective helpers.

Now we will bring you to learn more about the Filipino domestic helper, the largest group of domestic helpers in HK.

4. Race
5. Language
6. Religion
7. Economy
8. Food
9. Etiquette
10. Education

4. Race

Filipinos come from various ethno linguistic groups. Currently, there are more than 175 ethno linguistic groups, each with its own language, identity, culture and history. The modern Filipino identity, with its Austronesian roots, was developed in conjunction with Spanish, Chinese and American influences. (Source: Wikipedia)

5. Language

Filipinos have approximately one hundred and eighty dialects spoken nationwide. The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines impose with both Tagalog and English as the official national languages.

Since English is an official language in the Philippines, all Filipino domestic helper would prefer to communicate with local employers in English. As such, non-English speaking households are not recommended to hire a Filipino in their household to avoid miscommunication. Nonetheless, there are exceptions where a small minority of Filipino domestic helpers, who have long been working in Hong Kong, may possess Cantonese speaking capabilities. Overall, non-English speaking families may find it easier to manage domestic helpers from Indonesia and Thailand who are more suitable; especially when it involves non-English speaking elderly.

On the other hand, a research, conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, indicated that children with Filipino domestic helper would possess a better comprehension in English than children with domestic helper of other nationalities. The research revealed that Filipino domestic helper can help children to communicate better in English and hence the populations of Filipino domestic helpers have always been the highest amongst others.

6. Religion

Most Filipino domestic helpers are Roman Catholics. In the Philippine, about 85% are Roman Catholics, 6% are Islamists (mainly in the Mindanao area) and 2.9% Christians. Being as a Roman Catholic country, Filipinos possess a very different cultural than Islamic or Buddhist countries and Filipinos are generally more hospitable and outgoing.

7. Economy

Philippine is a lower-middle income country moving its way to a medium-middle income country. According to the research by World Bank, the GDP per capita at the Philippines in 2016 was USD2,951.00 and approximately 22% of its populations lives below its official poverty line.

The major industries in Philippine are agriculture, light industry and service industry. Domestic income in Philippine is comparatively low in South-eastern Asia, and the money transferred to Philippine from overseas Filipino workers is an important source of Philippine’s income. In recent years, the economy of the Philippine recorded a marked improvement due to the remittances from its national working at overseas.

8. Food

Filipino domestic helper have different food tastes from Hong Kong employers whose major food are Cantonese dishes. In general, Filipino's appetite are more westernized with some Filipino domestic helpers preferring more seasonings of various kinds to enhance the dishes' flavor. In short, most Hong Kong employers enjoy food in its originality which is a sharp contrast to Filipino's preference of intensively adding condiments like Soya sauce, vinegar and fish sauce.

9. Etiquette

It is not uncommon for Filipinos to be late. In fact, some Filipino domestic helper believes that being a little late is a sign of respect so that life is not pressurized by time. In addition, Filipinos have a very outgoing personality and sometimes like to lift the eyebrows to show greetings or laugh out at each others which local employers should not take it as an offense.

10. Education

Filipinos have a comparatively higher average education level than other South-eastern Asian countries and one indications is that their English competence are much better. The Philippine government offers free compulsory education from elementary school to secondary school. Because of the influence from the US, Philippine has adopted an education system similar to that of the United States' and English is widely used in Philippine. The majority of Filipino domestic helper would have received higher education; with most of them having received at least secondary to tertiary education.

With the more information above, we hope you could find the right helper for you and your family in no time!

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HLC Hotline : +852 3710 3710

More Topics you may interest in:
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3. Direct Hire - Local Filipino
4. Direct Hire - Incomplete Contract Indonesian
5. Direct Hire - Complete Contract Indonesian
6. Direct Hire for 1st Timer OFWs to Hong Kong
7. Direct Hire for Returning OFWs to Hong Kong