Where it pays more for helpers

Top News | Cindy Wan 6 Sep 2018

Employers living in the Southern District offer the highest salary to foreign domestic helpers every month, while those in Kwun Tong pay the lowest, according to a survey.

Bosses in the Southern District pay their maids an average of HK$5,077 a month, the survey conducted by recruitment platform HelperChoice found.

The survey results come amid expectations that the Labour Department will announce a reevaluation of the minimum wage of helpers at the end of the month.

HelperChoice analyzed more than 2,000 job advertisements posted on its platform between October 1, 2017 and July 31 this year and found that the average salary offer is HK$4,799, around 5.5 percent higher than a year earlier.

As the statutory minimum wage for helpers was raised 2.3 percent to HK$4,410 last year, the actual increase in average salary rose quicker than the legal minimum.

Despite the encouraging growth in salary, the survey showed a wide disparity in wages in different districts.

In general, helpers in districts favored by wealthy families and international residents tend to receive a higher pay.

Southern, Central and Western, Islands, Sai Kung and Wan Chai are the top five districts as employers offer salaries about HK$470 higher than the minimum wage.

With the average wage at HK$4,881, helpers earn between HK$4,751 and HK$5,077 in the top five districts.

Across the city, it is only in two districts - Southern and Central and Western - where maids earn more than HK$5,000 a month on average, which is about HK$600 higher than the statutory level.

In the Central subdistrict, the average pay reaches HK$5,595, some 27 percent higher than the minimum wage.

While some employers in Happy Valley and Sai Ying Pun offer up to HK$8,500 a month, most employers in Kwun Tong opt to pay their maids the minimum wage.

The bottom five districts are Yuen Long, North, Wong Tai Sin, Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong, where wages range from HK$4,489 to HK$4,594.

Maids in those districts get around HK$4,562, just HK$152 higher than the statutory minimum.

HelperChoice also conducted research on living arrangements of helpers.

It found that around 70 percent are offered a private room to sleep in, while 16 percent have to share a room with their employer's child. About 10 percent share a room with another helper.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

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