HelperChoice, the online platform that matches employers with domestic workers at no cost to helpers, analysed data from about 3,000 recent job ads posted by its users.
The mean salary offered to helpers is HK$4,545, or HK$235 (5.4%) more than the current minimum wage for domestic workers of HK$4,310. This is very encouraging for foreign domestic workers (FDW) as this difference is 23% higher than the one calculated in last year survey.
Data shows that domestic helpers tend to earn more in Hong Kong Island and in the outlying Islands. In Sheung Wan, a wealthy area of Hong Kong Island, employers offer an average of HK$5,195, or HK$885 more than the minimum. The next best rate by area is on Lantau Island, where helpers were offered $5,185 on average.
There are some striking differences with HelperChoice salary survey of last year: Stanley which was the area offering the best salary in 2016 is now only in the third position while Victoria Peak (previously 2nd) is in 12th position.
The lowest average salaries are in the North district where the average rate is HK$4,371 just HK$61 above the minimum salary. Nevertheless, the area where the salary is the lowest is not in the north district but in Siu Sai Wan in Hong Kong Island with an average salary at HK$4315, closely followed by Diamond Hill (HK$4343) in Kowloon and Shau Kei Wan (HK$4,337), in the north east of Hong Kong Island.
In HelperChoice job ads, employers can also fill in the minimum number of years of experience required for their helper. Not surprisingly the districts in which the salary is the highest are also the districts in which the required number of years of experience is also the highest, with the average minimum years of experience reaching 3.6 years in the Southern District and 1.8 years in the Northern District. The average salary is about HK$4,700 for 3.5 years of experience, HK$4,600 for 3 years, HK$4.450 for 2.5 years of experience and HK$4,400 for 2 years.
Moreover, there are other factors or reasons that cause employers pay a higher salary like for instance the number of children to look after, the types of household chores or the types of care duties for elderly persons. Specialised skills also play a big role in determining the salary. For instance, drivers in Hong Kong are paid more than HK$7,570 on average as they are able to take on extra errands and duties such as taking the kids to school.
Our readers should not forget that the salary of FDW in Hong Kong does not include the food allowance, costs of accommodation or medical benefits and yet Hong Kong’s average salary is one of the highest in Asia which makes this city the preferred destination of foreign domestic workers.
The government will announce a review of domestic workers’ minimum wage at the end of this month. On September 30 last year, the government announced a 2.4% increase in the minimum wage for foreign domestic helpers, from HK$4,210 to HK$4,310 while it increased also by 2.4% from $4,110 to HK$4,210 in 2015.
 Drivers are not included in our sample of foreign domestic workers for this survey