When you are a working mother, one of the most important things you need to do is hire a nanny. You need someone you can trust enough to care for your children while you are out there taking care of business or working for a living.

In Hong Kong, hiring a nanny will cost you at least HK$4,210 a month. This is the required minimum wage for foreign domestic helpers. There are other expenses like food allowance that you need to pay if you don’t provide them with food. Nevertheless, hiring a nanny is a common practice in Hong Kong since in many families, both parents work, considering how expensive it is to live here.

Hong Kong’s Labour Department stated that the practice of hiring nannies started in the 1970s. The government allowed foreign domestic helpers or FDHs to work in the region to address the shortage of such workers. It even went as far as to create labour policies that will allow the workers to work legally while being entitled to rights and protection.

This means that it will be easy for you to hire a nanny to look after domestic work – and especially to care for your children.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Nanny In Hong Kong?

 

Legalities of hiring a foreign domestic helper

Before you can look for the right domestic helper that will aid you with your children and housework, you need to know how to do it legally. These are the important things that you need to know about hiring a nanny in Hong Kong.

  • Before you can hire, make sure you earn at least HK$15,000 a month.

Not only that, you also need to show proof that you have the assets to support the whole term of the nanny’s stay with you. For instance, if you give them a contract of 2 years, then you need to have assets that can support at least 2 years of that employment contract. This will be the case if you decide to hire an FDH.

  • You can go through registered agencies, referrals or personal ads to look for a nanny.

If you go through an agency, be prepared to pay around HK$3,000. If you find one on your own, you will only spend HK$1,000 or less. Either way, make sure that you use a Standard Employment Contract which is specified by Hong Kong’s Director of Immigration. You need to apply for an employment visa from the Immigration Department for your foreign domestic helper.

  • Apart from the minimum wage of HK$4,210 each month, you need to provide your nanny with suitable accommodations.

You will need to give them free food or at least a food allowance of HK$995 per month. You should also pay for their passage of coming to Hong Kong and going back home when their contract expires. On top of that, the helper should be given an insurance policy – in case they get injured or fall ill while under the employment contract.

  • Make sure the scope of their duties is clearly stated.

Will they only take care of your children or are they expected to help around the house as well? State this clearly.

  • When the time comes to terminate the contract, you must inform the Immigration Department in writing.

This should be done within 7 days of the termination date.

 

You can choose to give your nanny a bonus, especially if they are doing well in their job. You can give them 12 regular holidays as stipulated in the labour code. Remember, you have to treat them well because they will care for your children while you are away.

 

How to hire the right nanny to care for your kids

When you hire a nanny, especially one that will come from a different country, you have to know how to make the right selection. You need to be able to trust this person because they will take care of personal matters on your behalf. Here are some tips that will help you find the right nanny for your children.

  • The first concern that you will discuss with a potential nanny is their experience with raising a child.

If they are mothers themselves, it should be easy. But if they are single and young, ask them how they plan to take care of your child. Do not be afraid to go into details. Also, come up with scenarios that they should react to – this will help you observe how they think and if they will know what to do with your kids.

  • When talking to the nanny, ask them about the skills that they can do beyond caring for a child.

Can they cook? Are they able to do the laundry? Can they clean the house? You might be able to get them to help you in these areas too – for an additional pay of course.

  • Get references so you can talk to their previous employers.

Ask them why the contract was terminated. Try not to be too judgemental because what may not have worked for the former employer might work for you. However, if your gut feeling says that she cannot be trusted, then move on to the next applicant.

 

It may be true that it is easy to hire a nanny in Hong Kong. However, you have to realise that finding a good one that will stay with you and respect you and your family may be harder. Try to be patient with them and give them the benefit of your trust. Just remember, if you treat them well, they will also treat you with the same respect and trust that you show them.

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Abigail Wong is the Writer of The New Savvy. She is a Singapore Management University 2nd year undergraduate specialising in Strategic Management. From Tampa, Florida, she possesses an International Baccalaureate diploma from C. Leon King High School, and previously held the position of Treasurer of the King High School Division of the French National Honour Society and the Science National Honour Society. Abigail is currently acting as President of the French Cultural Club for SMU International Connections, and as a Resident Advisor and Fire Warden for the SMU Residences at Prinsep. Abigail is a Former Florida Science Olympiad Champion in chemical forensics and protein modelling, and former Health Occupation Student’s Association District Champion in clinical nursing. In her free time, Abigail enjoys interacting and caring for animals. She has previously volunteered for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay as an Adoption Assistant.
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