Getting the Work-Life Balance Right

Moving to a new place can be an incredibly exciting experience, but we understand that it can also be challenging, especially in the beginning year. While you are endeavouring to build a new home, explore new areas, and meet new people, it could be challenging for you to simultaneously adapt to a new education and healthcare system, and secure a fitting job. That is why we are here to help! We’ve created practical guidelines to help you thrive during your first year in Hong Kong.

We understand that juggling work and childcare can be a struggle, and we have a solution that many people in Hong Kong find very helpful - hiring a live-in domestic helper. They can assist with childcare responsibilities such as school drop-offs and pick-ups, as well as household chores like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

To find a suitable domestic helper, you can use the Smart Living portal for hiring a locally trained part-time helper or appoint a trusted domestic helper agency that's registered with the Department for Labour and Employment for finding a suitable foreign domestic helper. You can outline your requirements, such as language abilities and experience working with children or babies, before posting the vacancy on the Smart Living portal under ‘Recruiting Helpers’ for an easy match.

It's worth noting that hiring a domestic helper comes with some financial responsibility. The current minimum allowable wage for a foreign domestic helper is HK$4,730 monthly, with a HK$1,196 monthly food allowance if free food is not offered to the helper. Additionally, you are responsible for Mandatory Employee Compensation Insurance, which costs around HK$350-$1,000 annually; their round-trip flights for them to travel to and from their place of origin; as well as all medical expenses. If you opt to use an agency, there is also an initial hiring cost between HK$7,500-$14,000.

If you're a parent of a young child and have decided not to employ a domestic helper, don't worry! There are plenty of other childcare solutions available in Hong Kong that you can consider. The Social Welfare Department in Hong Kong provides a range of government-subsidised day care services such as the Child Care Centre (CCC) Service, Occasional Child Care Service (OCCS), Mutual Help Child Care Centre (MHCCC), and the Neighbourhood Support Child Care Project (NSCCP). Many pre-schools take children from the age of two, so that’s another option to consider.  

Hong Kong also offers a comprehensive range of public medical services and educational resources that you can access. From women’s health services to maternal and child health centres, you can find support for any members of your family who may need it. If your child has special educational needs, the Child Assessment Service can assist you with this. They have Child Assessment Centres situated all across the city.

We understand that moving to a new country can be challenging, but it's essential to establish a support system to help you adjust to your new surroundings. Hong Kong is a friendly city, and it's easy to make connections and form friendships here. Take advantage of parent groups, online forums, and local community events to meet like-minded people. And remember, whether you choose to employ a domestic helper or not, you've got this! With some forward planning and perseverance, we're confident you can embrace your relocation journey.

We hope that this information helps you make an informed decision and makes your transition to Hong Kong smoother. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have further queries.