House Rules for Domestic Helpers

Clear house rules will lead to a happy family

Helpers are a blessing to many families, but managing them can be challenging. Drafting house rules for domestic helpers and specific helper guidelines will create some much-wanted peace. 


Every household has their own rhythms and habits. A new helper joining your family may have difficulty with the house rules used in your family. Even if she has a lot of experience, she will need time to learn your way of doing things. You can discuss the house rules for domestic helpers during the interview or on the first days that your new helper joins your family. The general rule is the earlier you discuss house rules the better. It is good for the helper to know your expectations, but be flexible with the nitty-gritty details because no one can do it exactly as you do.

Clear house rules will lead to a happy family
Happy family with their domestic helper

General points

1. Working hours
Daily: 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

2. Day off and the hours (needs to be 24 hrs)
Sundays – day off from 0:01 a.m. till 23:59 p.m.

3. Open communication
If something happens e.g. something is broken or you feel uncomfortable, come to discuss it with us.

4. Key- and safety-related matters
You have your own key, make sure to lock all doors.

5. Mobile phone usage
 A mobile phone can be used during breaks, for emergencies and after work.

6. Bringing friends over
If you want friends over, you need to discuss this with us first.

7. Sleeping out
If you want to sleep out, let us know at least 6 hours in advance. You will have to be back the next morning for duty.

8. Loaning and borrowing money
Wherever possible, you should not borrow, loan or lend money. If you have financial difficulties discuss this with us first.

Money-related issues

1. Monthly salary & food allowance
Your starting salary is HK$4,500 with a food allowance of HK$1,400 (if applicable). We will review this regularly if necessary.

2. Health insurance
We have bought you a basic health insurance and dental care with X Company.

3. Grocery shopping/market
We will give you money for shopping and household goods on every Monday. Keep all the receipts and write down all your expenses in the book/app provided by us. If you go to the market, we trust that you do not keep change for yourself. Every Sunday we will go over the finances and any change should be returned. In case you need more money, just let us know.

4. Other costs
If you need money for anything, please let us know.

It's important to discuss house rules
Discussing house rules


1. Brands
Please buy the brands we prefer. If you are not sure you can take pictures of our preferred brands. In case our brand is out of stock, you can buy it later.

2. Cleaning
Please follow the general cleaning schedule (attached). In the cleaning schedule outline what has to be done daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

3. Laundry
Make sure to separate the laundry by baby clothes (no fabric softener), colour and fabric. Use the dryer only for sheets and towels. Please iron the clothes as specified.

Leave (for helpers in Hong Kong)

1. Sick leave
We will pay your sickness allowance based on the legal recommendations of the Labour Department. The paid sick days are accumulated at a rate of two paid sick days for each completed month of service for the first 12 months, thereafter four paid sick days. The daily rate of sickness allowance is equal to four-fifths of the average daily wages of the helper.

2. Annual leave
You are entitled to paid annual leave after serving every period of 12 months with us. We will increase it progressively based on the Labour Department’s regulations. We will discuss when to take the annual leave together.

3. Statutory holidays
You are entitled to 12 statutory holidays annually. After you have been with us for three months, we will pay you the holiday pay as per Hong Kong law.

4. Emergency leave
If you need to return to your home country for an emergency (e.g. parent’s illness, family death etc.), you should come to us to discuss the arrangements.


You can make the basic house rules for domestic helpers as detailed and specific as possible, but try and keep it as simple as possible so your helper doesn’t get confused.