How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Domestic Helper in Hong Kong? | Article – HSBC VisionGo

A complete guide to calculating costs relating to hiring a domestic helper in Hong Kong, including the average salary of domestic helpers in 2021.
Lifestyle  ·    ·  2 mins read


Hiring a domestic helper, from credible sources, is one of the best choices to bring convenience and comfort to daily life in Hong Kong. With the norm of "time is money" and "efficiency is the key to success" in Hong Kong, the lifestyle is often high pressured filled with work schedules. Therefore, many Hong Kong people choose to hire domestic helpers to take off some burden and allow them to improve their quality of life and living. The condition is, one needs to be very careful with hiring a domestic helper and the many associating aspects. If you have a plan to hire a domestic helper in Hong Kong, besides the monthly salary you're paying, you also need to fully understand how many costs are attached.

What is Hong Kong Minimum Salary for Domestic Helper in 2021?

  • As of October 2021, the government has maintained a Minimum Allowable Wage (MAW) of HK$4,630 per month, which employers must pay to domestic helpers.

  • The standard employment contract also includes a monthly food allowance of HK$1,173, which must be paid separately by the employer. If the employer does not give food allowance to the helper, free food must be provided. This means employers will provide ingredients for the helper to cook his or her own food.

  • Free accommodation in the house of the employer is also required. 

Additional costs such as medical expenses, travel fees and more need to be taken into consideration before hiring a domestic helper. It will be covered in detail later.

2021 Average Domestic Helper Salary in Hong Kong

During the COVID-19, due to the travel restrictions announced by the government, the number of local domestic helpers is falling short. Therefore, the average salary of domestic helpers in 2021 has increased and is over $5000 per month.

Generally speaking, the salary would vary depending on the skills and experience of the domestic helpers. For example, they are more well-paid if they have a driver's licence, more than 10 years of experience, a first-aid certificate or experience in nursing. Other factors such as the number of children and the territorial differences would also vary the salary. Employers need to take into account these factors before making an offer and should make a higher offer if they are well qualified. Another important factor is the availability time. As domestic helpers have a fixed contract for 2 years, a lot of people are looking for finished contract helpers in order to start within 4 weeks. As the candidates can be interviewing for multiple employers, offering a higher salary or better accommodation will give you more chances to hire the matching helper.

An Overview of Costs of Hiring a Domestic Helper

Here is the overview of table of all the expense items involved, with slight variations depends on different needs:



The Cost of Hiring

  • Hiring through a domestic helper agency: HK$3,500 - HK$12,000

  • Direct hire through online recruitment platforms: HK$300 - $500

Employee’s Compensation Insurance

Domestic helper insurance: 

HK$300 - HK$1500 per month

Travel Costs

Travel from or/and to helper’s home country:

HK$1,500 - HK$4,000

Basic Pay and Food

  • Basic salary: HK$4,630

  • Food allowance: HK$1,173

Medical Expense

All medical expenses of domestic helper

Maternity Leave

Pregnancy during the contract term is eligible for 14 weeks of leave with pay

Costs of Terminating Contract

If the employer terminates the contract early: 

  • Travel costs for helper

  • Hiring cost to the agency for a new helper (if needed)

Hiring a professional domestic helper

Now, you understand the costs of hiring a domestic helper and the average salary of a domestic helper in 2021, you can have better financial management with your budgets. To save yourself troubles and protect yourself, you are advised to hire through a professional domestic helper agency, although the cost is much higher than direct hiring without an agency. You may also seek help from professionals for your domestic helper needs e.g. the immigration department, labour department, online social platform or ethical agencies.