Table of contents
List of expenses for hiring a foreign domestic helperEstimated total costs of hiring a foreign domestic helper for two years: salary and basic expenses Coronavirus’s impact on hiring foreign domestic helpers
How much does it cost to hire a domestic helper?

How much does it cost to hire a domestic helper?

Hiring a foreign domestic helper could be expensive. Hong Kongers lead incredibly busy lives. So, despite this, many families turn to domestic helpers to assist with their household chores. Did you know that you need to meet three requirements before you could hire one? These are your family income, and whether you are able to provide employee benefits and a maid insurance plan. When combined, this could be a huge expenditure. 

Today, our team at Kwiksure breaks down just how much you need to hire a maid. 

List of expenses for hiring a foreign domestic helper

Employer’s income must be at least $15,000

The Immigration Department of Hong Kong requires that all potential employers provide proof that their family income is at least $15,000. This is to prevent families who have insufficient or unstable income to hire maids, but unable to pay their salary.

Domestic helpers enjoy statutory holiday leave, board and lodging

You need to provide 12 days of statutory holidays leave and at least 1 additional rest day per week as an employer. This is according to the Labour Department’s “Standard Employment Contract and Terms of Employment for Helpers”. You also need to provide free meals or at least $1,121 worth of meal allowance and free lodging. For more information, you can check out the Labour Department’s Practical Guide For Employment of Foreign Domestic Helpers.

Minimum wage

In 2019, the government has raised foreign domestic helpers’ Minimum Allowable Wage to $4,630. After this adjustment, the monthly expenses for hiring a maid averages $5,926.

Domestic helper insurance

All employers must buy a domestic helper insurance plan and provide free healthcare to their maid according to the law. In other words, you must be responsible for your helper’s medical costs after you hire her. Of course, a smart employer will go for an insurance plan that includes healthcare and outpatient benefits to hedge against risks.

Comprehensive domestic helper insurance, on the other hand, is even better. Aside from meeting the basic legal requirements, it protects the employer and their domestic helper against liabilities. Furthermore, this plan protects you from losses that have resulted from dishonest acts, such as theft or being swindled by your helper. 

Has your helper been working for your family for a long time? Consider topping up your plan with additional coverage for chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc. This way, you can provide her with even more protection.

Lastly, the cost of the maid insurance plan is based on where your helper is from, the insurance period, nature of the work, and whether you have purchased the optional benefits. Depending on the coverage area, the premium for a two-year comprehensive maid insurance plan ranges from $550 to over $1,300. Just like buying other types of insurance, in addition to premiums, when choosing a maid insurance plan, you need to pay attention to details. Examples of these details include: claim limits, exclusions, and deductibles.

Kwiksure compares HK comprehensive domestic helper insurance, providing medical, accidental, and hospital surgery benefits for foreign domestic helpers, maids, and hourly workers.

Maid hiring center costs

Are you planning to hire a domestic helper through an employment center? Note that the center will generally charge you a fee ranging from $7,500 to $14,000. This already includes the price of a one-way plane ticket to Hong Kong. We recommend visiting a reputable maid hiring center, so you won’t incur any hidden fees from the intermediary company. Also, remember to ask your employment center to explain each fee as clearly as possible before you make your final decision. 

Maternity leave

According to Hong Kong’s labor laws, your helper could enjoy 10 weeks of paid maternity leave if she has been working for you for 40 weeks, and she got pregnant. During this period, her daily wage is four-fifths of her regular wage. 

If you hired a male domestic helper and his partner got pregnant, and he has also been working for you for at least 40 weeks, then he could enjoy 5 days of paid paternity leave. 

Traveling back to their home country 

You must pay for your helper’s flight tickets besides her base salary and meal allowances. Depending on where your helper is from, this cost averages around $3,000. This includes the cost of her return ticket after your helper completes her contract and returns to her country. It also includes the two days’ worth of transportation fees she will have incurred when she arrives in and leaves Hong Kong (i.e. $100 per day, so it totals to $200 for two days).

Continue reading: 

Procedures and precautions for termination or early termination of the contract for domestic helpers

What's the best way to find a domestic helper in Hong Kong?

How do you build a good working relationship with your domestic helper?

Estimated total costs of hiring a foreign domestic helper for two years: salary and basic expenses

Here is an example of how much it costs to hire your helper if she has her meals at home. As a result, this expense isn’t included in the meal allowance.

List of expenses

Monthly expense

Total expense

Domestic helper salary (per month)

HKD $4,630 x 24

HKD $108,480

Domestic helper insurance

HKD $1,300 x 2

HKD $2,600

Two-way flight tickets 

HKD $1,500 x 2

HKD $3,000

Meals and transportation allowances for the day your previous helper departs

HKD $100 x 2

HKD $200



Total HKD $114,280 with the average monthly expense of HKD $4,761


How much does it cost to hire a domestic helper?

Coronavirus’s impact on hiring foreign domestic helpers

These days, many domestic helpers are restricted from entering Hong Kong because of safety concerns for the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, employers can only hire those who have already completed their contracts and are already in Hong Kong. This high-demand-and-low-supply situation causes the helpers’ salary to inflate. Moreover, they tend to have additional demands as well, such as requiring an individual room or a comprehensive insurance plan. 

So, providing a comprehensive maid insurance plan could help you find the right domestic helper faster. Rather than asking for quotes from every insurance company, you should find a reputable insurance broker like Kwiksure to do it for you.

Aside from maid insurance, Kwiksure also provides motor insurance (third-party and comprehensive), motorcycle insurance, VHIS, and more! Get an instant, obligation-free quote today. If you want to chat with us, you can contact our expert insurance advisors. We can give you unbiased advice to help you decide on the right plan!


Contact Kwiksure to get domestic helper insurance quotes

Kwiksure has over 20 years of experience in the domestic helper insurance industry, comparing quotes from over 60 insurers in Hong Kong. Use our online quotation tool now to get a free domestic helper insurance quote!

The above information is for reference only. Kwiksure takes no responsibility for the accuracy and timeliness of the information. For the coverage, mode of compensation, benefit limit and premium levels of any specific insurance plan, please refer to the relevant policy terms.
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Author Kwiksure Team

Kwiksure is a licensed motor insurance brokerage company with over 20 years of experience in insurance. The company strives to simplify insurance and select the best insurance plans for customers that fit their budget and coverage needs.

Kwiksure provides a range of insurance products, including car insurance, motorcycle insurance, cross-border insurance between Hong Kong and Mainland China, home insurance, travel insurance, domestic helper insurance, and voluntary medical insurance. The team has been named "Best Car Insurance Broker" and "Outstanding Leadership Award" by various media outlets over the years.