When we talk about work matters, salary is one of the most important things every employee needs to learn about. It’s the same thing for everyone whether you’re a manager, a freelancer, or an OFW working as a domestic helper.
In this post, we will talk about money matters, specifically, how domestic helpers are paid by their employers in Hong Kong.
Disclaimer: The information published is based on the experience shared by the vlogger/YouTuber. The information provided may change without prior notice and may differ in actual scenarios. Let this article serve as a guide only.
Here is the video guide shared by a Filipina domestic helper in Hong Kong, Jean, a.k.a. Pinay Nanny Vlogger in Hong Kong on YouTube. If you find her tips helpful, you may check out her YouTube channel to catch more interesting content about her work and life as an OFW in Hong Kong.
Here’s How Employers Pay Workers in Hong Kong:
Nowadays, payment and other transactions can be done in several ways. And as an employee, you need to know what these modes or methods are so that you can maximize the convenience, safety, and security of your hard-earned money.
It’s quite interesting to know that there are more than just one or two ways domestic helpers can be paid for their work here in Hong Kong. And that’s a good thing, right? Because if we receive our salaries on time, then we can easily manage our budget and the funds that we send back home.
Although we will not be mainly talking about financial literacy in this post, we will provide you some simple tips and advantages that you can get from each mode of payment. But first of all, let’s talk about your employment contract.
Your employment contract, typically referred to by domestic helpers and agents here as the blue contract, should provide the basic details of your employment which includes your salary, allowance (if any), accommodation arrangement, benefits, as well as your roles and responsibilities as a foreign domestic helper (FDH).
The mode of payment, which is not included in the contract, will be discussed to you by your employer once you have been deployed in their residence. Here are some of the modes of payment they can offer you:
1. Cash on hand salary (Signing the payroll)
This is the most common type of payment of salary for domestic helpers. Your employer will pay you in cash every month and you have to sign a payroll as a receipt of your payment for that month. This one is pretty straightforward and is common in smaller households.
The advantage of this mode of payment is you have cash on hand. This means you can readily use the money that you have with you. This is especially useful in times of emergency or if you need to pay someone (i.e. a loan) in cash right away. However, if you have all your cash on hand, you also might be prone to spending it, misplacing it, or losing it in various ways.
Tip: If you receive your salary in cash every month, you can keep a notebook where you can track your expenses and allocate funds for what you need, what you need to send back home, and the rest is for your savings. This way, you can manage your finances better, and can easily set aside funds that you need to put in the bank or send via the remittance center.
2. Bank to bank transaction
According to Jean, this is the most convenient method of receiving her salary because she only has to get money for her expenses and the rest will be put into her savings or remittances back home.
However, to facilitate this method of payment, you need to have, of course, a bank account.
Although employers can open a bank account for their domestic helpers, you can also do this yourself if you have the following requirements:
- Hong Kong ID card
- FDH employment contract (blue contract)
- OEC number (for Filipino domestic helpers)
Bring photocopies of each of the above-listed documents as well as the original document(s). Simply visit the bank of your choice and sign an application form to open a bank account and you’re all set. Your employer needs to have your account number so they can send you your salary via bank transfer every month.
Tip: When choosing a bank to open a savings account, you can first consult with your employer because they might be able to help you in this process. Otherwise, get a bank that does not charge a lot of fees, require a deposit, and/or a monthly maintaining balance.
As mentioned, if you have all of your salary in the bank, it’s easier for you to save up, as well as track and manage your funds. This also provides you and your employer a record of the transactions for your salary payment. And, if you are familiar with online banking, you can easily pay for certain purchases without needing to use cash. You can explore more benefits offered by your bank.
3. Pay cheque (Cash out at the bank)
If your employer does not want to have a lot of cash on them on your payday, they can course their payment through a bank cheque. For this, you will need to physically visit the bank where the cheque comes from. You just need to present some IDs and have the cheque encashed at the counter.
Tip: You can request the teller to deposit the rest of your salary to your savings account if you do not want to encash all of it since it is better to not have a lot of cash on you when you are outside.
4. Office cashier
We’ve mentioned that payment transactions for a domestic helper’s salary may vary from one employer to another. And this has been the case with Jean, whose employers are both lawyers and have an office in Hong Kong. The cashier in the office does the payroll for all the staff and employees, including domestic helpers.
This is basically the same as #1 but done by another employee on behalf of the employer. The risks and benefits are the same as the ones detailed under point #1, plus, according to Jean, what’s nice about this set-up is that they get to meet other people who work for her boss. This set-up is typically how it’s done in companies, usually facilitated by the company’s HR or accounting personnel.
So there you have it. There might be several methods of transactions for getting paid as a domestic helper, but the most important thing is that you get paid on time, and you know how to maximize your finances through each of the methods we shared. Always consider setting aside part of your earnings to your savings so that you have funds you can use in the future or for emergency purposes.
If you’re already working as a domestic helper in Hong Kong, how do you get paid by your employer? Are there other methods that were not included in the list? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below!