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How much does it cost to hire a domestic helper?

There are a number of costs involved in hiring a domestic helper. Below is a rough guide, although you should keep in mind that every case is different and there may be unexpected costs not set out below.

Initial hiring cost

This usually falls between HK$7,500 – $14,000. The costs really depend on the contract status of the helper and if you use an agency. Be wary of agencies that sneak in hidden costs throughout the hiring process. More often than not, the price you are quoted at the start is very different from the price you end up paying. Fair Employment Agency does not charge any hidden fees. We are completely transparent about what’s included from the start. View our pricing to see which of our options is right for you.

Mandatory Employee’s Compensation Insurance

This one tends to be somewhere between HK$350 – $1,000 per year. It depends on the insurance coverage you would like to provide.


You are responsible for a domestic helper’s travel to and from their ‘place of origin.’ This means you have to pay for them to get to your home at the beginning of the contract and for them to get to their home at the end. This cost is typically between HK$2,000 – $5,000 depending on the place of origin.

Medical costs

The public health system covers domestic helpers in Hong Kong, but you are responsible for all medical expenses. Important note: alongside taking out mandatory Employee’s Compensation Insurance, the Hong Kong government strongly recommends taking out medical insurance on behalf of the domestic helper.

Maternity leave

A domestic helper who becomes pregnant may be eligible for 14 weeks of paid leave.

Maternity leave pay is four-fifths of the domestic helper’s regular pay.

A male domestic helper is entitled to 5 days of paid paternity leave, provided that he has been employed for at least 40 weeks before the beginning of paternity leave period.

New domestic helper costs

If you terminate your domestic helper’s contract early you may be responsible for more expenses than you had originally budgeted. For example, you’d have to pay for a flight home earlier than you expected in addition to paying more agency fees to hire another domestic helper. This is one reason why it is crucial to carefully select the right domestic helper during the hiring process.

Salary and food allowance

For domestic helpers, the current minimum allowable wage is HK$4,730 monthly and food allowance is HK$1,196 monthly. See more on salary on: What salary should I pay a domestic helper?

Optional (gifts and bonuses)

Some employers also choose to give gifts or bonuses to domestic helpers to reward or encourage them, or for special events such as a birthday, Christmas, or Chinese New Year. 


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Last updated on September 30th, 2022