Getting domestic help in Hong Kong



Many families in Hong Kong have a live-in domestic helper or ‘amah’. They are typically female and Filipina, but there are also Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, Sri Lankan and Indian helpers employed here.

Full-time domestic helpers work six days a week and usually live in your home. Your home in Hong Kong will most likely have small quarters for live-in helpers, and it is your responsibility to furnish these quarters. Full-time helpers’ duties include cooking, cleaning, ironing, washing and helping to care for your children.

Employment Contacts

Employers sponsor their helper for two-year contracts, and this contract can be renewed. In addition to wages, an employer must also pay a food allowance and airfare to go home at the end of the contract. Full-time domestic helpers are also entitled to paid public holidays. You are also required to shoulder the processing fee of the contract, visa and passport renewal of your helper. 

Some expats see great advantages in hiring house workers who can help provide them with more free time and an easier lifestyle. There are some things to consider before hiring domestic help. Some expats don’t like the loss of privacy and the challenges of an employer/employee relationship. Also, the people you hire may not do things the way you want them to, and some tasks you might be better off doing yourself.

In Hong Kong, you can choose to hire the services of a local or foreign domestic helper. If you are in need of a local domestic helper, you can post a job ad and search for candidates online.

If you would like to hire a foreign domestic helper, you need to be a Hong Kong resident with monthly household earnings of at least HK$15,000 to prove that you can support the employment of the helper for the contracted amount of time. There are recruitment agencies you can approach to help you with your search. Alternatively, you can recruit a foreign domestic helper through personal ads or recommendations.

Whether hiring a local or foreign domestic helper, there are specific employment contractual laws and guidelines you should adhere to. Take note that you are required to pay for any medical treatment your domestic help requires should he/she fall ill or suffer from injury. It is therefore recommended that you take out an insurance policy that covers both your liabilities for employees’ compensation (this is compulsory) and potential medical and other expenses of your helper.

For more information on the hiring of domestic help, check here.