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  • 1 Post By Kellbell

Domestic helpers

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    16

    Domestic helpers

    Hi there,
    It has now come to the time where I will be starting work full time and my partner and I were looking to hire someone to look after the house and the dog. we both will be working long hours so I guess It would be nice to get someone who does everything (cooking, cleaning etc) I guess one of the priorities is that he/she be very good with dogs as I have a lovable, hyperactive pointer who loves his walks and hates being alone. I just wanted a little advice about interviewing and hiring domestic help, which agencies are helpful amd what sort of things I should be asking in interviews etc wages for full time/live in, part time etc and contracts (what sort time period do helpers expect to sign contacts for etc) and of course the pitfalls!!!!
    I know it is a lot to ask. I would really appreciate the feedback though. (and if anyone has any recommendations for helpers) We live in a house in the new territories (Sheung Shui)
    I look forward to hearing from you
    Kind regards
    Kelly


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,561
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellbell:
    we both will be working long hours so I guess It would be nice to get someone who does everything (cooking, cleaning etc) I guess one of the priorities is that he/she be very good with dogs as I have a lovable, hyperactive pointer who loves his walks and hates being alone. I just wanted a little advice about interviewing and hiring domestic help, which agencies are helpful amd what sort of things I should be asking in interviews etc wages for full time/live in, part time etc and contracts (what sort time period do helpers expect to sign contacts for etc) and of course the pitfalls!!!!
    1) helpers do NOT get to choose the length of the contract. that is set by the gov't at 2 years. of course, following the legal amount of notice (one month) either party can break the contract.
    2) helpers do NOT get to set their own wages. employers are restricted as well. The minimum is $3580, but of course if you want to pay more you can. if you do NOT provide food, the minimum food allowance payable by the employer is $300. however, i don't think it is reasonable to expect someone to live on $300/month for food. you are also required to provide live-in accomodations for the helper. i'm sure you've heard numerous stories of live-out helpers, but if they are on a FDH visa, then they MUST live-in. if you choose to break this law, then the helper may have you by the balls if they choose to. you've been "forcing" them to live-out. at least that is what they could say when they take you to court. you are required to pay for a return flight per contract. so, if you hire someone from PH, then you must pay for htem to get to hk. at the end of the contract, you must pay for them to return. if you renew with them, then you are again required to pay for htem to get back to hk.
    3) everyone has strong and weak points. you should be able to get someone to cook, clean and care for your dog. HOWEVER, you WILL have to train them to your standards. a pointer needs a lot of exercise. you will have to emphasise to the helper that this does NOT mean walking to the end of the driveway and chatting to friends for an hour and then walking back. you MUST lead by example. if you want your bathroom cleaned a certain way, then show her exactly how you want it done. have her make a list for each room, maybe you can help her with it, so that for the first few months, she can refer back to it.

    for cooking, i told my helper that we would leave menu planning up to her. i didn't care what she cooked. i did tell her what i didn't like. i made clear to her that if she cooked something i didn't like, i would just tell her so that she didn't make it again. i made sure she understood that she would not be fired if we didn't like something. i went through my cookbooks and highlighted things i thought looked interesting. we've found this to be great! she makes some absolutely DELICIOUS food! over the 4+ years she has been with us, there have only been a couple of disasters. if you are picky about something, you need to tell her.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    16

    Hi Carang,

    Thanks so much for your time, and very good advice I will take on it board.
    I have seen several agencies in sheung shui, do you think an agency is a good way to go or word of mouth (have had a few recommendations as well....some from helpers themselves....unsure if this is the way to go though)
    Cheers


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    2,259

    Cara's advice on contract length, live-in etc is perfectly correct if you are employing a domestic helper through the foreign domestic helper scheme but of course does not apply if you employ a local part-time domestic helper.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,561
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellbell:
    Hi there,
    It has now come to the time where I will be starting work full time and my partner and I were looking to hire someone to look after the house and the dog. we both will be working long hours so I guess It would be nice to get someone who does everything (cooking, cleaning etc) I guess one of the priorities is that he/she be very good with dogs as I have a lovable, hyperactive pointer who loves his walks and hates being alone. I just wanted a little advice about interviewing and hiring domestic help, which agencies are helpful amd what sort of things I should be asking in interviews etc wages for full time/live in, part time etc and contracts (what sort time period do helpers expect to sign contacts for etc) and of course the pitfalls!!!!
    I know it is a lot to ask. I would really appreciate the feedback though. (and if anyone has any recommendations for helpers) We live in a house in the new territories (Sheung Shui)
    I look forward to hearing from you
    Kind regards
    Kelly
    Hi,

    It took us a while to find the right helper to look after our dogs. Cara's post above re: helpers walking to the end of the drive and chatting on the phone/ to friends for an hour is quite common here. Our helper takes the dogs on lovely long walks, but I've had quite a few friends who have had major issues getting their helper to do this. I guess what I mean to say is that you should make it very clear from the beginning that you want someone with experience with dogs, who likes them and who is willing to spend the appropriate amount of time exercising them. When interviewing, have the prospective ladies meet your dog and look at their initial reaction to the animal. If they approach the dog correctly and seem interested/ unafraid then you may have found the right person. Every now and again you hear about nightmare scenarios where helpers let the dog run away because they didn't have control or left a door open and you want to make sure that you hire someone who is aware of the kinds of crazy things dogs do so they know what to avoid...

    The other things - someone who can cook and clean - are easy.

    Regarding whether to use an agency - I've heard of mixed results. We interviewed ladies from a couple agencies, but ended up going with someone who was recommended to us. In theory the agencies will send candidates that meet your requirements, but none of the several agency candidates we met were at all interested in our dogs, which disqualified them immediately.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    16

    Yes...... I know it sounds crazy but he means the world to us. It is just piece of mind for me as both of us work long hours and I just wantr to know he is in good hands while we are busy. I guess I do like to take him for walks myself (early morning and late evening during summer) and it is good for both our psyches as well as bonding time. so just need someone who is competent enough to care for him during the day while he wanders around the yard/house.
    So glad to hear from a fellow dog owner.............thank you

    lenj likes this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    8,561

    ps> not only do i own 2 dogs, we also run a home boarding facility...
    so, you've had a couple of dog owners reply to your post...

    good luck!