Since the early 1970s, Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDH) are an integral part of Hong Kong society but today more than ever: in 20 years the number of Domestic Helpers doubled representing today 11% of local households. Philippine and Indonesian people represent 95% of the FDHs, resulting in a significant rise of the contribution to the Indonesian and Filipino economies over the last years.
Even if currently childcare is the primary duty of foreign domestic helpers, the surge by 120% of the elderly population by 2034 will lead to a transformation of the care duties handled by the FDHs in the next years. LegCo (Hong Kong Legislative Council) rang the alarm bell, reporting that Hong Kong, contrary to other Asian countries, did not take any measure to respond to the manpower shortage.
“We have already noticed that more and more elderly people or relatives sign up to our online platform but it is more difficult to increase the number of candidates who already have an experience in this field.” Julie Delignon, HelperChoice Country Manager says. “The Government could learn from its neighbours to anticipate its citizens’ needs and facilitate the domestic workers upskilling,” she added.
Indeed, since 2004, Singapore provides monthly subsidies of more than HK$1,100 to households employing domestic workers to take care of elderly relatives as an employer is likely to pay a helper 20% more in the case of elderly care than for child care. Singaporean employers may also apply to get a partial payment of a special training dedicated to elderly care for FDHs.
Japan found its own way to deal with the rise of elderly care using robots but as of now it is far from being the cheapest option to take care of your elderly relatives.
About HelperChoice: HelperChoice is an ethical online platform that helps employers find the domestic workers that match their needs and give information about how to hire and manage domestic workers.