The Economic Reality: Assessing the Fairness of Foreign Domestic Helper Salaries

The issue of foreign domestic helper salaries has been long-debated in many countries. Focusing on the global perspective of wage structures, this study aims to explore and compare the salaries of foreign domestic helpers. Domestic helpers are an important part of the workforce around the world, contributing to the smooth functioning of families and businesses. However, this labor-intensive job is still not entirely valued and recognized for its worth. Hence, this study sets out to explore the differences in wage structures for Foreign domestic helper salary (外傭工資)across countries, and the reasons behind these differences.

Wage structures vary between countries, and domestic helper salaries are no exception. For example, Hong Kong, a former British colony, is a large employer of foreign domestic helpers. In Hong Kong, the median salary of a domestic helper is around HKD 4,630 per month, while the minimum wage is HKD 4,520. This minimum wage is protected by law and should be given to all foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong. Other countries have a different set of rules regarding minimum wages for domestic helpers. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, the government sets the minimum wage for domestic helpers at SAR 800 per month (around USD 213), which is relatively low in comparison to other countries.

Another factor that affects domestic helper salaries is the exchange rate. In the United States, the hourly wage for domestic helpers varies depending on the state and the job requirements. The median hourly wage for domestic helpers in the U.S. is USD 10.98, but this can be higher or lower depending on the state and job requirements. However, when this is converted to other currencies, the value of the wage changes. For example, in the Philippines, where many of the country’s domestic helpers work abroad, the average monthly salary of a domestic helper in the United States would be around PHP 32,000, which is significantly higher than the average wage for domestic helpers in the Philippines.

Domestic helpers’ salaries also vary depending on their country of origin. In Hong Kong, for instance, the salaries of foreign domestic helpers from different countries vary. For example, domestic helpers from the Philippines generally have a higher salary than those from Indonesia. Hong Kong employers often set a higher salary for domestic helpers from the Philippines because of the high demand for workers from this country. In contrast, Indonesian domestic helpers have a lower salary because they are seen as less skilled and less proficient in the English language.

One of the major reasons why domestic helper salaries are lower than other jobs is because this type of work is often seen as unskilled labor. Many domestic helpers work long hours and are isolated from their families abroad. Additionally, there is a social stigma associated with this type of work. Domestic helpers often experience discrimination and marginalization from society, which reduces their bargaining power when it comes to negotiating salaries. It is important to note that the legal rights of domestic helpers vary between countries, and in some cases, their rights are not adequately protected.


In conclusion, foreign domestic helper salaries vary greatly between countries and are influenced by several factors. These factors include exchange rates, minimum wage laws, the country of origin of the domestic helper, and the perceived value of domestic helpers’ work. However, it is important to recognize that domestic helper salaries are often unfairly low considering the amount of work and dedication involved in this type of employment. As a society, we should strive to recognize the importance of this labor-intensive work and ensure that we are providing fair wages and labor rights to domestic helpers worldwide.


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