HelperChoice reveals the areas in Hong Kong where foreign domestic workers get the highest salary

[Chinese version following English version]

As the Hong Kong Labour Department is expected to announce the foreign domestic workers minimum wage reevaluation by the end of the month, HelperChoice analyzed the data of more than 2,000 job ads posted on its platform from 1 October 2017 to 31 July 2018.

The study reveals a very encouraging trend: for the 2nd consecutive year, the average offered by employers located in Hong Kong increased faster than the legal minimum wage. While the minimum wage was increased by 2.3% in October 2017 to HK$4,410, the HK$4,799 average salary is HK$254 or 5.5% above the results of  the previous survey in 2017.  In the meantime, the consumer price index increased by 2.5%. This means that the have more to save, to send to their families back home or to improve their daily life in Hong Kong. For example, by saving HK$1,000 per month during 4 years, they can finance their children education: HK$250 per month can make a difference.

However, this global positive trend hides significant disparities between the different Hong Kong districts. While some employers in Happy Valley and Sai Ying Pun offer up to HK$8,500, most of the employers in Kwun Tong don’t offer more than the HK$4,410 minimum wage. These results correlate with our preceding results, showing that the helpers tend to earn more in affluent areas of Hong Kong, such as Central & Western, and the Southern district.

HelperChoice Average domestic helpers salaries
HelperChoice Average salaries by district

Unsurprisingly, the salaries are higher in areas favored by wealthy families and international residents. The top 5 Hong Kong districts with the highest wages are: the Southern side, Central & Western districts, the Islands, Sai Kung and Wan Chai. The global average for these 5 districts   is HK$4,881, which is HK$471 above the current foreign domestic workers minimum wage. In the sole Central sub-district, the average reaches HK$5,595, that is to say HK$1,185 more than the minimum wage. This is of course balanced by a high level of skills and experience required from the domestic workers working in these families.

On the other hand, HelperChoice also investigated the 5 districts with the lowest average salaries for domestic helpers. Although last year Siu Sai Wan offered the lowest average salary, this year, the areas that pay the less are Yuen Long, the Northern district, Wong Tai Sin, Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong, which collectively show an average wage of HK$4,562, that is to say only HK$152 above the minimum salary.

HelperChoice domestic helpers average salaries Hong Kong
HelperChoice domestic workers average highest and lowest salaries Hong Kong by district

Living arrangements

As in Hong Kong it is mandatory for to live with their employers, the domestic helper doesn’t include the cost of accommodation (nor allowance neither medical expenses) borne by the employers. Considering, the housing costs in Hong Kong, this has of course a huge impact on the domestic helpers’ budget and the money they can save or send back home. However, the comfort of the living arrangements plays a significant part of domestic workers living condition.

As the employers can specify the type of accommodation they offer to their domestic workers, HelperChoice also investigated which are the most common living arrangements. The survey exposes that a large majority (70%) of the job offers include a private room, 16% a room shared with a kid and 10% a room shared with another domestic worker.

HelperChoice domestic helpers most common living arrangements in Hong Kong
HelperChoice most common living arrangements in Hong Kong

While in most areas private rooms are common for domestic workers, Hong Kong remains a city where real estate often rhymes with high prices and small spaces. Therefore, 26% of shared living arrangements is not a surprising figure, and among all the districts, only Wong Tai Sin and Kwai Tsing are proposing a majority of shared accommodations.


該調查顯示出一個非常令人鼓舞的趨勢:連續第二年,外傭平均薪金的增幅高於法定最低工資的增幅。雖然法定最低工資由去年 9月30日起增加2.3%至4,410港元,但調查結果反映外傭的平均收入為4,799港元,較該平台的2017年同期調查結果高出254港元(5.5%)。而今年的消費物價指數上升2.5%,這意味著外傭們可以儲下更多錢、匯更多款回家或改善他們在香港的日常生活。每月250港元的薪金增長可以帶來很大的改變,舉個例子,一個外傭連續四年每月儲下1,000港元,她可以資助孩子接受更好的教育。








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