HelperChoice survey – More than a third of the domestic helpers plan to offer a gift for Christmas to their employer. What about you?
HelperChoice interviewed more than 100 domestic workers based in Hong Kong, Singapore but also in some Gulf countries (mostly Filipino) to know more about how they are going to celebrate Christmas. In this article, you will know more about the kinds of gifts domestic helpers would like to get for Christmas, what they plan to send back home and if they plan to offer their employers something!
More than a third of domestic helpers are going to offer a gift to their employers or to their employer’s kids and 19% know that they won’t offer anything to their employer. Unexpectedly, 42% of the domestic helpers still do not know whether they are going to offer a gift to their employer or not.
On the other side, about half of the domestic workers we interviewed receive a gift from their employers. 30% indicated that they received a cash bonus, but also clothes, jewellery or makeup (18%) and for the luckiest, a flight to go home (1 out of 8 domestic workers). Very few domestic helpers get additional rest days (6%).
This is important to point out that 22% do not receive anything for Christmas but receive gifts for other festivals like Chinese New Year. Nevertheless, 26% do not receive anything at all.
However, between what domestic helpers wish and what domestic helpers get there is often a gap. Even if 30% receive cash, twice as much would prefer to receive money pocket rather than clothes, jewellery or makeup (4%). They would also love to get a flight to go back home (a third of them), even if of course not all the employers can afford such an expensive gift.
Surprisingly, domestic helpers would like to get more training: only 1% of the helpers receive this kind of gift for Christmas while 3.5 times as much would love to be enrolled in a cooking class, baking class or even music class! HelperChoice has different partners proposing various courses that you can find here.
Almost half of the helpers will go to church for Christmas, 21% will celebrate Christmas with their family and 20% with their friends. Unfortunately, 16% of domestic helpers will have to work for Christmas. Statutory Holidays are mandatory in Hong Kong (i.e. you must give your domestic helper the day off), irrespective of the length of service (i.e. no matter if your helper has been with you two years or only two days she must get the day off). According to the Hong Kong Labour Department, the employer can choose the statutory holiday either for the Chinese Winter Solstice Festival (22 December) or for Christmas Day (25 December).
Almost 9 domestic workers over 10 plan to offer a gift to their family for Christmas. Half of the domestic helpers send cash for Christmas through money transfer (Western Union, TNG…) so that their family members can buy what they prefer and/or get some delicacies for this special day. Thanks to Balikbayan boxes or acquaintances who are going back to their home country (or if they are lucky, by themselves), domestic helpers also offer toys or mobile phones so that their children can keep in touch with them when they are working abroad.