Hiring domestic helpers through Direct Hire and Agencies
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Hiring domestic helpers through Direct Hire and Agencies

Date Posted: 15/06/2021

Hiring domestic helpers through Direct Hire and Agencies

There are multiple employment agencies for foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, regulated by Labor Department and the government. It is important to understand packages offered by Hong Kong employment agencies to avoid deception. Domestic worker agencies allocate different “categories” for different domestic workers. Some employers prefer to hire locals as helpers whereas others prefer to hire foreign domestic workers coming from the Philippines and Indonesia. The cost involved in hiring these helpers ranges from 2,500 HKD to 10,000 HKD, depending on the agency offerings as well as the original domicile of the helper (local or overseas).

Employment Agencies and their Duties

Agencies need to match domestic helpers with employers based on their needs and guide employers through the entire hiring process. They are responsible for paperwork including the process of signing the contract, the correct filling of details and documents submission for Visa application. Domestic helper agencies aid in matching domestic helpers and employers, also assisting employer and helpers to sign Standard Employment Contract (form ID407). After the signing, agents will notarize the contract from the Philippine or Indonesian consulate. Employment agencies also aid employers and helpers to renew contracts, terminate them, book medical check-ups and the like.

Packages offered by employment agencies

Employment agencies offer multiple services to employers other than contract and visa processing. Ask the agency about contract costs, medical check-ups and even visa fees. One can pick and choose the packages and services:

  • First entry visa fees as levied by Hong Kong Immigration Department
  • Medical check-up fees for locals and overseas hires
  • Philippine OWWA membership fees and mandatory insurance
  • Employer mandatory insurance;
  • Accommodation fees if included by the agency
  • Housekeeping training and language training fees
  • Departure fees (for overseas hire);
  • One-way air ticket from the origin country to Hong Kong;
  • Airport pick up service for helpers
  • Application for HKID card as required
  • Consultation on Labor Department legislations and other Hong Kong government entities
  • Medical check-up in Hong Kong usually consists of several checkups and assessments including VDRL, testing for syphilis, testing for hepatitis B, HIV, testing for diseases affecting the digestive tract, Urine Routine, Urine for Pregnancy and X-Rays.

Direct Hire of Domestic Helper in Hong Kong

It is important one knows the major differences between employing overseas helpers or locals in Hong Kong.  The employment contracts should be set and, you must understand the process of hiring a domestic helper. 

Criteria of Employers

An employer is regarded as the sponsor of their helper. Based on the legislation laid down by the Hong Kong Immigration Department, the following are criteria required for sponsorship:

  • The Employer should be financially stable with an income beyond HK$ 15,000.
  • The employer must be a resident of Hong Kong.
  • An employer should provide accommodation for helpers and pay at least a minimum allowable salary of  (HK$ 4,630).

What you should expect when hiring a helper directly

Employers need to hire someone with finished contracts or helpers with a released contract! If it is not urgent then one can opt for a long process to hire overseas domestic helpers.

If you need to find someone quickly, you’ll need one week to identify and interview helpers with the right profile. Your network of friends and relatives can help you find the right people to hire. This is recommended because their referrals are usually honest.

Some agencies can do this job for you if you do not want to hire directly. Though using an agency maybe be a little expensive, it will save you from extra tasks such as handling the paperwork.  Use specific websites and social media platforms to search out domestic helpers in Hong Kong and then you can proceed to interview helpers for the vacant position(s).

Ensure the helpers you prefer are residing in Hong Kong for quick hire or they are no longer in the employment of a different employer.

For helpers who have finished their contract or one whose employment contract was terminated for genuine reasons, the Immigration Department can prepare a new working visa for them. Scrutinize the status of the previous contract during the interview with the helper.  The reason for termination, if that is the case, should be clearly stated by the helper. Vagueness cannot be tolerated.  Once you find a helper that fits your profile, proceed to make preparations for an employment contract and visa application. The Immigration Department Offices in Wanchai has all the necessary files.  If you prefer, you can get the documents from their website. An employer will bear the brunt of all expenses incurred by the domestic helper although they need to request receipts, before resuming employment with you.

What to do when hiring domestic helpers living outside Hong Kong

When hiring a domestic helper who lives outside of Hong Kong, it is advisable you call candidates or arrange Skype meetings with them.  The process of hiring help outside of Hong Kong is usually long and may take as much as four months. We cannot exclude the paperwork you will need to handle. Getting help outside of the country comes with a lot of stress, a lot more than you face when hiring domestic help within Hong Kong. Contact an agency to help ease your stress. Go through the firm’s work ethics, their terms and conditions in case you are dissatisfied with the type of helper you get; check the length of time required to start an employment contract and the fees together with a breakdown. This information will help you understand the manner of agency you are dealing with.

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