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What Should You Give Your Domestic Helper for Chinese New Year?

Kung Hei Fat Choy (恭喜發財) !  is around the corner and it is now time to get everything in order for entering the Year of the Rat! 

Chinese New Year celebrations are not only about the big feasts and good wishes but more importantly, the essence of family and sharing. Many of us have formed close bonds with our , who, in a way, become a part of our families and part of our various celebrations. 

HelperChoice surveyed domestic workers across the locations and found that Chinese New Year was the most common time of year for domestic helpers to receive gifts from their employers. This celebration is a special time of year for many families in Hong Kong and Singapore. It is also an opportunity for us to acknowledge the hard work and contributions that domestic helpers make in our homes.

Here, we have 5 gift ideas for you to consider! 

1. Lai See/ Ang Bao


Image source: Spacious

Giving out Lai See (in Hong Kong)/ Ang Bao (in Singapore) is a tradition during Chinese New Year. Usually, people wrap lucky money in red envelopes is expected to bestow happiness and blessings on the receivers. Speaking of how much to be wrapped in the red packet for your domestic helper, it depends on your income and your gratitude. Don’t feel stressed out about it. No matter the amount, it is the thought that counts.

2. Buffet Coupons

Image source: Trip Advisor

Who doesn’t love a big feast during a festive celebration? Giving buffet coupons to your helper is also a good way to show your appreciation. There are tons of restaurants and hotels offering buffet coupon in Hong Kong and Singapore. Check out OpenRice (Hong Kong)and ChopDeals (Singapore) for their latest buffet coupon offers!  

3. Traditional dishes from helper’s home countries 

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Image source: Unplash

If you are to invite your domestic helper joining the reunion feast with your family, it would be a lovely touch to present a few traditional dishes from your helper’s home countries. Check out BuzzFeed article (“22 Malaysian Foods Everyone Should Learn How To Cook”) for Malaysian dishes idea, Panlasang Pinoy Filipino Recipes for Filipino dishes idea, and BBC Food for Indonesian dishes idea!

4. New clothes

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Image source: Mamamia

To set a proper tone of the new year, it has been a tradition for most Chinese/ Singaporean families to buy a new set of clothes before Chinese New Year and wear them on the New Year’s Day. It is to symbolise kicking off a fresh start of a new year. Get your helper some decent looking sweaters or a jacket would be a good gesture. 

5. Holiday arrangement

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Image source: Unsplash

All domestic helpers in Hong Kong are entitled to 4 statutory holidays (i.e. mandatory holidays) over Chinese New Year 2020: the First Day to the Fourth Day of Chinese New Year (25- 28 January 2020).

If you ask your domestic helper to work on any of these days, remember to give her or him alternative rest days as compensation and let your domestic helper know the arrangement in advance.

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