Guiding our domestic helpers to manage their finances wisely
Many Hong Kong families employ foreign domestic helpers to care for their children and elderly family members, and to manage the household. While having a reliable and capable domestic helper can ease our worries, it is also important for us as employers to in turn take care of our helpers so that they don't feel stressed over their finances.
Domestic helpers work abroad primarily to provide for their families at home, and they carry a huge financial responsibility. A helper who is poor at money management and constantly facing financial issues will likely perform poorly at work. If she is tricked into borrowing money from a loan shark or becomes a guarantor for a friend who is borrowing money, she could fall into debt, and this could in turn affect the employer as well.
A TV show described domestic helpers as “familiar strangers”. So how much do you really know about your domestic helper who takes care of you and your family every day?
Your domestic helper is both your family member and your employee. Employers can show care by encouraging their helpers to be more financially savvy. This could include guiding helpers to be more aware about their financial commitments and working out a plan on how to finance them, nurturing good money management habits and avoid overspending, and coming up with a savings plan to take care of their future, etc. Encourage your helper to be equipped with essential financial knowledge from many free resources available.
Useful financial information for domestic helpers:
- Caritas Asian Migrant Workers Social Service Project
- Labour Department’s dedicated website for foreign domestic helpers
10 April 2019