What is the average Helper Salary & Benefits?
Posted by Hayzee (2253 days ago)
I just want to find out what everyone else is paying their Filipino Domestic Helpers?
What do you pay them per month for salary?
Do you give allowance for food or do you provide all their food (of their choice?)?
Do you give a standard annual bonus?
Do you give cash at Birthday, Christmas, Easter, New Year etc? If so, how much?
Do you provide phone credit per month for their mobile, if so how much?
Any other benefits?
Any feedback would be super helpful, so I can see if what I am paying my Helper is about average, or less or above.
Many, many thanks.
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Posted by cd (2253 days ago)
It doesn't really matter what any one else is paying their helper as long as you are happy with what you are paying yours. And I don't think there is an average, reading some previous posts there is some very wide extremes of payment out there.
But for us we pay $3,500 a month plus $500 food allowance. No annual bonus, $500 in the xmas card, maybe a small lai see packet at CNY, no phone credit as he never uses his mobile for us only to call his friends.
Posted by Moppet (2253 days ago)
Agree with cd there are lots of different payment amounts.
We pay $5.300 they eat and buy what they want food wise (of course not Lobster) we give half a months wages at Xmas and 10 days holiday so she can go home and the same in the summer. Gifts at birthday but not CNY as she's not Chinese and neither are we we give all holidays not just the stat holidays and 4 weeks a year holidays Plus one full weekend a month off. If we go away she has the time off once the basics are done so the place is clean and tidy when we get home.
Posted by Adfundum (2253 days ago)
we pay her $6,000 and 1200 food allowance. Christmas, Birthday and Lunar New Year we give her $3,000 and 2 weeks holidays including flight ticket to her home.
Posted by cara (2253 days ago)
second contract with same helper, we went from minimum wage to $3750. We do not give food allowance, she eats what we eat. If we have lobster, so does she.
In 3 years, she's had 6 weeks of holidays (paid) back to PH. Overall, we've given $500 for Xmas & birthday, $200 for CNY + small gifts.
Posted by Hayzee (2249 days ago)
Thanks everybody for sharing this info. I guess I pay somewhere in the middle of all these. (But certainly nowhere near as much as Adfundum!!!!!!)
Posted by meiji (2248 days ago)
Just curious... Adfundum, did you OFFER this amount in salary, or your helper requested it? What justifies this kind of salary to your helper? I am just curious. Thanks. (I have two helpers who work very hard, but would never dream of paying this kind of salary to them.) TIA for your info.
Posted by Martha (2248 days ago)
I seem to fit in between: I pay DH $4,000 plus $200 per month towards her mobile phone bill, we pay for all her food (and any extra she buys for herself), she gets 17 Public hols per year, presents at Xmas and her b'day (plus paid day off on her b'day). Haven't worked out if to pay her bonus or not, totally depends upon her performance. However, just for the record willing to pay more for someone who is more skilled and has more experience (would go to 5-6k max).
Posted by Hayzee (2248 days ago)
I'm almost the same as you Martha, I pay both my DH's $4,000 plus $100 towards her mobile phone each month, we pay for all her food and bathroom/toiletry items, gets all Statutory Holidays off, gifts at Xmas.
We are also willing to pay annual bonus based on excellent performance only.
I'm also curious like meiji, and would love to ask Adfundum what sort of Helper gets that kind of salary package!? Who did you hire Adfundum, Mrs Doubtfire?
Posted by Martha (2248 days ago)
Hayzee, it hasn't happened yet that I've paid DH 5-6k ...but I would do if I could find someone who had 5-8 yrs experience in HK of working with Western family, if they could also speak cantonese (rare obviously), and she was a really good cook and able to work independently ... I'd happily pay couple of thousand more for a lot less hassle!
Posted by souffleQueen (2248 days ago)
Our pay ranges from 5.5k- 9k .
I was paid 4.5K during the first contract, I just renewed for the 5th one and is paid 8.5K, plus 1k for main dishes as rice, spices , condiment etc are provided. I am in-charge of a household of 1 and there are a handful Filipinas and Filipinos ( not Philippinos) working under my -almost not needed-- supervision.
When we travel, which is 3-4 months/year I get an extra 200 pounds per week. Two 2-4 weeks all expense paid holiday annually.
Present and cash for birthdays and Christmas's . We get all holidays but mostly not on the day itself. The downside here is that we hardly get Christmas days, New Year and off as we all have to work.
Posted by Hayzee (2247 days ago)
Posted by ywgchan (2247 days ago)
I don't really agree with this average as most expats I know pay LESS, the figures were around $4k for most full time maids even experienced. One said she get 8.5k, can she fly? 8.5k is the salary they pay local HK graduates at local firm.
What does it mean by when we travel, we get 200 pounds extra? 2-4 months all expense paid holiday annually sounds better than job of the guys that pay her salary? we work for multinationals & I dont think our employers pay us for our holidays!!! I know my friend took her helper to holiday, but she told me other than travelling expenses and food, no extra was required! I think the expats should be careful of this random posting.
Posted by meiji (2246 days ago)
I agree and was thinking of the same thing as ywgchan....
Soufflequeen, just curious, not doubting what you are saying, but trying to understand. WHY would a DH get $ 4500 for her first contract? on what grounds and on what background?
Whether you work for a big/rich family, with a big household... might determine some salary differences.... higher or lower...however, with the minimum salary going at $3400.... it just doesn't make any sense.
I hope my helpers NEVER read this post. I pay them above the minimum, plus bonuses, end of contact bonuses, air ticket to go home yearly... but I am quite shocked at the inumbers on this post.
It is DEFINITELY NOT "on average" numbers.
Posted by adele78 (2246 days ago)
I've done masses of research both here at asiaxpat and from other sources in very advance preparation for the possibility that we might hire a DH when we come to HK and I don't think I've heard of anyone else who pays as well as the soufflé! -not even near. It seems 6000 is the realistic upper limit.
In my opinion (take it as you wish) when hiring a new employee (of any sort) it is better to start at a lower salary and either give performance incentives such as cash bonuses, paid time off, some other appropriately appreciated gift or quaterly pay rises. By lower salary, I don't neccesarily mean minimum wage but at least from a lower salary you have somewhere to go. If an employee starts at a higher salary then there cannot be such a performance based innitiative to perform ones job at a higher competence in order to get a better wage, as the employee knows they can keep doing the same old mediocre job and get the same high pay.
You see a similar situation all the time in workplaces here in Sweden with trial periods before the real contract kicks in. The employee will bend over backwards for the 1st 3 months and then as soon as the permanent contract is signed and the job security is there (it's almost impossible to fire someone on a permanent contract here) they know they can sit back and do the bare minimum to say they're doing their job...it's a sad reality.
It reminds me of back when I was a teenager. Mum would pay my school fees, feed me, house me and clothe me and let me have a little pocket money but I couldn't just demand more pocket money to go out and buy whatever I wanted. I had to do my chores (ironing and vacuuming) in order to get the 'bonus' and I knew that if I slacked off I got the minimum and if I worked more I got more...simple! At the other end of the spectrum, I had a friend from a very wealthy family who had her own credit card at age 14 which was attatched to her dad's account and she'd just buy whatever she wanted and he would pay the bill. She'd think nothing of it and buy whatever she wanted and then b!tch and moan if she'd maxed out her $1,000AUD a month limit....slightly different situation, I know but same principal.
Posted by Hayzee (2246 days ago)
I"m glad ywgchan, meiji and adele78 agree that some of these ridiculously high FDH salaries in this thread are not seen as average but extremely high and rare and not an average at all. It seems that around $4000 per month is the average salary for a Filipino DH.
Posted by cbdc (2246 days ago)
Jumping in - we pay our helper $5,200 per month, plus a 13 month salary given to her at Christmas. She also gets a ticket home each year.
We have a large family. My helper tolerates a lot of chaos and last minute change of plans. When my husband and I are not around, she is responsible for instilling the values we hold. We are not on an expat package.
Posted by ywgchan (2245 days ago)
How did you find such good helper ? Did you use an agency ?
Posted by donkey1 (2245 days ago)
I think the pay has to be in proportion to the experience and also the amount of work the helper needs to do - for example if you have a big family and a big apartment/house, there is more work to do and therefore it worth paying a bit more. but if you only have 3 people in a household living in an average size apartment, the workload is lesser and therefore the pay will be a bit lower.
Posted by Moppet (2244 days ago)
I think people should pay what they can honestly afford as long as it's at least the min and not try to get away with paying the least they can and get the most they can out of the helper. Just because some people believe there helpers are worth paying a higher salary too doesn't make them odd or over the top it makes them willing to pay what there helper is worth. These women work very very hard and deserve to paid accordingly especially those who are caring for our children. To me anyone paying the min should not be expecting a helper to work more than the basic 39 hours a week (basic for basic). Yes we can get away with paying less but that doesn't make it right and stating that some HK people earn less doesn't make it right either and does not justify us paying what most of us know is a low wage for the hours we expect the helpers to work. (of course that is not all employees) So plain and simple pay what you consider to be really fair for what your helper has to do and you wont go far wrong.
Posted by kittycat2 (2243 days ago)
It is ridiculous to compare the salary if a helper with a local graduate. Have you ever met a local graduate? Would you trust them with your children? To cook a meal for you? Trust me, I have worked with a lot of the latter and 8.5K is a lot more than the majority deserve.
Posted by lii (2243 days ago)
I think souffleQueen is speaking from the point of a DH while most of us speak from the point of the employer. You must be an excellent DH to receive that type of package.
As a first time DH employer, we started ours at $3800 HKD a month, including all meals (she eats what we eat or she can expense meals if we leave her at home - within reason), all supplies she requires (bed sheets, toiletries), $200 for xmas. My in-laws also sometimes buy her clothes and give her food when they stop in.
In all honesty, I agree with Adele that incentived pay is probably the easiest way to manage performance based work. Afterall, not all DH's are created equal. It's always best to start at the minimum and work your way up.
My DH is mediocre but we have a large family to manage. I will definitely provide a generous bonus (and I've told her) if her performance improves at the end of the year.
Sometimes, it's easier to give more than take back what you've already promised.
Posted by pammy123 (2242 days ago)
i have a fantastic helper who takes care of the house chores plus my kids activities outdoor. She's on the move from 6 in the morning. She's been working for me for more than 3 years and has proved to be the best( i would say). she's reliable, honest and very dedicated. I pay her 4500/month, 500 christmas, 500 b'day and even though we are not chinese, still she gets a red packet from us (200) and annual performance bonus. Last year, I gave her 1000 for no sick-leave bonus too!
I believe, if they work well, they should get well too!
Posted by souffleQueen (2237 days ago)
Quoting ywgchan " One said she get 8.5k, can she fly? 8.5k is the salary they pay local HK graduates at local firm.
What does it mean by when we travel, we get 200 pounds extra? 2-4 months all expense paid holiday annually sounds better than job of the guys that pay her salary? we work for multinationals & I dont think our employers pay us for our holidays!!! I know my friend took her helper to holiday, but she told me other than travelling expenses and food, no extra was required! I think the expats should be careful of this random posting."
First I find it rude to talk about someone as if he/she is not there. Can I fly? If I can you will be the last person I'll tell.
Somehow you have dissected my post. Again it's 2-4 weeks all- expense paid -paid holiday twice a year. Before and after our UK trip. And yes, 200 pounds extra on top of what I am being paid when we are away. The person who is paying our salary does nothing but sign hundreds of thousand if not millions to charity. And who happen to believe that charity, indeed begin at home. Someone who redefines kindness, compassion and generosity. So yes, we are a lucky lot. We have fully furnished flats to live-in, our personal computers, our own tv/dvd's in our own room and HD TV's in our -- when I say our I mean us, helpers-- downstairs receiving room with subscription to all channels available in HK. So, just because your employer does not give you the same perk as us, mere (?) helpers there is not reason for you not to be at least, glad that there are helpers that are in the best employment possible instead of fuming and turning green with envy.
As for your friend who takes her/his helper too..well I do not work for her. And really, as far as i know there is an undertaking an employer has to sign when the helper applies for entry visa wherever he/she wishes to whisked his/her helper away.
As for you telling expats to be careful about my posts, you have insulted their intelligence and their own stand on what is good/bad for their own helper. It is one thing to express your opinion, another to try to force it down to someone else.
Posted by souffleQueen (2237 days ago)
@ Adele-- then you are not within the circle of our employers' . 5.5 k here is the starting pay and you opined that helpers should start low and work their way up just like everyone else's. Read my post again--- I started at 4.5k on my first contract and was raised to 5.5k after a month.
As donkey1 said it should be proportionate to the work load and size of the husehold etc. True, we only work for 1 person but the house we live is two stories 6000 square foot +++ with a garden/pool/tennis court/lawn three times as large. 8 fridge, 14 air-cons not counting the centralized one , 12 TV's and you get the drift.
We all have lots of very easy days but when we have busy ones..it really is busy.
Forgetting about our pay, if ever we have to be reduced to the minimum, I bet you...we all will stick with our employers. Simply because of how our employer has been to us over the years and the whole family too.
My bottom line, forget about the minimum pay what you can afford and what you think she deserves. But, I am not too keen on employers who tell helpers a possible bonus after a job's well done. To me, a helper should do her job and try to find ways to improve along the way not because of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but because she/he enjoys the journey.
Posted by silopanna (2237 days ago)
This is getting a bit ridiculous. The original posting for this thread is "what is the average helper salary and benefits?" Not - "Who has the best domestic helper job and salary in Hong Kong?" You seem very intelligent souffleQueen. Why would you post the above? You must be astute enough to know that is far from the average...I don't think anyone is jealous of your situation. They are simply trying to point out that is not the average - even for some non domestic helpers in the same pay range. I think a lot people here, including myself, are happy to hear that an employer that can afford it is as generous as yours. Certainly much better than the horror stories that we hear sometimes about helpers being mistreated and not fairly compensated.
I agree with the above advice - pay what you can comfortably afford and leave room for incentive. Our helper has been with us for one year. We just increased her salary from $4000 to $4500. She also received an extra month's salary at Christmas along with gifts and $1000 on her birthday. She eats what we eat - organic, very high quality food. I buy all her household needs like toothpaste, shampoo, etc. She has cable with all the channels. I do not pay any phone bills. In return, she is a genuine gem of a person. She works hard, is patient and caring with our children and animals, and has the most pleasant attitude no matter how hard her day. My opinion is that the average salary for start is around $4000 (plus food allowance if you choose of course) with some bonuses here and there.
Posted by cbdc (2237 days ago)
silopanna - i think the greatest benefit you provide your helper is that you describe her in such positive terms. like any employee i am sure she has her flaws, (don't we all), but i am sure one of the reasons she is happy with you is because of the respect you are treating her with.
with my discussions from various helpers, being treated with respect and kindness is the benefit most employees appreciate, that any employer can afford and not all choose to give.
Posted by Puti (2202 days ago)
We have an amazing helper. We pay pretty much the minimum - in keeping with our Social Circle - a quick question to the parents of our kids friends mean that our helpers salary/benefits = theirs.
However, our helper is exceptional - what we have done is put a percentage of his salary away in a bank account (he does not know this) - at 2 years, and I have no doubt he will still be with us in 8 months - he will get nearly 3 months salary as a lump sum bonus. Husband and I talked it over, and decided that a good, lump sum gives him the most choices, by putting it away each month - we don't feel as though it is a huge sum, rather what is due, and we feel good that we get such a gem, even though we are paying pretty much the minimum.
Posted by abitnaive (2201 days ago)
Puti, although you and your husband are paying your helper close to the minimum amount, it sounds like you treat him very well and let him know how much you appreciate the contribution he makes to your home and the quality of living you enjoy because of him. I bet he feels pretty lucky to be with such a gem of a family.