One of the countries with the most number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is Hong Kong. And the majority of this number is composed of domestic helpers also known as “nannies” or household service workers (HSWs). Not only is Hong Kong an attractive tourist destination for many Filipinos, but it has also become a second home for those looking for better work opportunities, particularly nannies or domestic helpers.
Also Read: 10 Photos: Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong During Sundays
In this post, we will share how much a domestic helper earns in a month here in Hong Kong. If you’re interested to know more about this and the kind of work domestic helpers do in Hong Kong, then continue to read below.
How Much a Domestic Helper in Hong Kong Earns – Monthly Salary of Foreign Domestic Helpers
As of 2019, there are 400,000 foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong. And out of this number, 98.5% of them are women. It is also good to know that foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong aren’t just Filipinos. There are also those coming from Indonesia and Thailand.
Domestic workers in Hong Kong pretty much have the same tasks as those in any part of the world where this type of work is needed. They perform basic duties such as cooking, serving, cleaning, dishwashing, and child care. For this reason, the law requires foreign domestic workers to live in their foreign employer’s residence.
And because of the growing population of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, there is also much interest in how much a domestic helper earns in the country every month.
Before we give you the exact figures and certain updates on this, it’s important to understand two things about working as a domestic helper in Hong Kong.
1. The Hong Kong government has set a minimum wage for foreign domestic helpers in the country.
The minimum wage law requires employers to provide a minimum salary requirement when hiring an employee. This means that employers cannot go any lower than the prescribed salary requirement but can give more according to their capacity, on top of other benefits they may provide based on the contract.
For domestic helpers who signed their contracts on or before September 28, 2018, the minimum wage was HKD 4,250. And on top of the minimum wage, employers have the option to provide their employee food allowance worth HKD 1,075 or to provide their food as they are sharing accommodations with them.
And for those who are planning to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong, there’s good news for you! As of September 29, 2019, the Hong Kong government has passed a wage hike for the minimum salary of foreign domestic workers in the country.
So from HKD 4,250, domestic workers who signed a contract from September 28, 2019 onwards, will now receive HKD 4,630 (approximately PHP 30,000) and a monthly food allowance worth HKD 1,121 (approx. PHP 7,120). Again, the food allowance is optional as they may opt to shoulder or provide the domestic helper’s food instead.
2. There are two types of employers in Hong Kong – Western and Chinese.
Based on Jean’s observation, Western or White employers usually offer higher pay to their employees compared to their Chinese counterparts. But this is not always the case as some Chinese employers also offer above the minimum wage and other perks or benefits.
But whether you get a Western or a Chinese employer, the important thing is the contract has to indicate that you will be receiving at least the minimum wage as per the law, and other perks or benefits provided by your employer may increase your earnings.
Here is the vlog shared by Jean also known as the Pinay Nanny Vlogger in Hong Kong via her YouTube channel:
A Fair Warning – Read Your Employment Contract
Also, here’s a small piece of advice. If you are to review the entirety of your contract, you would know that other than the monthly salary provided by your employer, you won’t be allowed to have any other source(s) of income. This means that you are not allowed to take on other jobs while staying in the country.
Also Read: 7 Things Domestic Workers Need to Tell Their Employment Agency
While this is a letdown for those who wish to earn more than what is stated in their contract, violating this clause in your contract could land you in jail, cost you a fine, have your contract terminated, or worse even, be deported and blacklisted from working in Hong Kong.
So if you’re having ideas of doing a side hustle (or “raket”) in your free time, do note that the Hong Kong government is very strict when it comes to laws concerning employment and labor contracts. And it’s in your best interest to abide by Hong Kong laws if you wish to enjoy your stay and work in Hong Kong as a domestic helper.
ALSO READ: 14 Legal Rights Every Domestic Helper in Hong Kong Should Know
As you may have heard, working as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) is no easy job, most especially as a foreign domestic worker. This population is considered to be among the most vulnerable population in society since most of the time, they only have their employers to turn to.
While the pay is much better than what is offered in the Philippines, this may also come with certain risks such as abuse and other violation of human rights, so it’s important that you are well-informed and are aware of the laws in Hong Kong or in any other country you choose to work in, for that matter.
But given the fact that Hong Kong is one of those countries with a huge Filipino community, it would be best to build connections with certain labor groups or organizations and of course the Philippine Embassy or Consulate General in Hong Kong to remain informed and updated on the latest news and events concerning OFWs in the country.
Also, understanding your rights and benefits as a domestic helper in Hong Kong will greatly increase your ability to adapt to life in the country and contribute to your work satisfaction.
ALSO READ: Pinay OFW Featured in ‘Humans of New York,’ Shares Hardships of Domestic Helpers