The Myth of Direct Hiring from Overseas - An Insight to its Core

2024-05-16 16:00

KL Home Care is committed to making the most intimate and best-quality agent service. We have a large pool of immediately available overseas care giver who have a wealth of working experience. Immediate interview could be arranged at anytime during office hours.

Advantages of Direct Hire

It is very common for local employers to hire their ex-domestic helpers to return to Hong Kong from overseas. To some extent, some families may even opt for head hunting domestic helpers in their neighborhood nearby for employment.

It is intuitive to assume that hiring someone whom you are already familiar with may often minimize your chances of disappointment. That explains why many employers would prefer direct hiring so to avoid hiring someone who is generally impatient with children, less inclined to be truthful and relatively more reluctant to work hard.


Current status of Direct Hire

In our recent internet survey, we have discovered that many prospective employers are confused with direct hire's processing procedures, the application timelines and fees required by both the employer and the worker concerned.

In today's current market, direct hiring charges to prospective employers may range from HKD2,000+ to HKD8,000+ from different service providers. But the question remains as to what items exactly do these prices cover? And what are the items which are not covered?

As a result of this confusion, there are numerous complaints on the internet about the scope of services provided and items of extra costs to be charged to either the prospective employer or the Foreign Domestic Helper at their country of origin.


Cost structure of Direct Hire

In order to understand the cost structure for the prospective employer, we shall refer to the Standard Employment Contract's (ID407) Clause 7 ad 8 where the employer's cost obligations are defined. These contractually binding items generally include the Contract Notarization Fee, Hong Kong Employment Visa Fee, medical check, Food and Travel allowance, Flight as well as OWWA membership Fee, AH Compulsory Insurance, DMW's PDOS and OEC/OFW ID Card in the case of a Filipino worker.

In general, when the prospective employer ensures that he/she has settled all the items as stated therein, the employer's contractual responsibility is fulfilled under the employment contract and hence it is important that you have acquired documentary proof from your local employment agency to avoid any legal disputes with the hired Foreign Domestic Helper in the future.

Chart 1 ID 407 Employment Contract Clause 7 and 8

Source From

In addition to the understanding of the cost structure for the prospective employer, it is also important to look into the cost structure of the Foreign Domestic Helper to get a overall view of the issue concerned.

So how many types of costs are applicable to the worker?

The answer is two and they are the Direct and Indirect Costs.
  1. In the case of a Filipina, the TESDA training and certification fees are the direct costs whereas Pag-IBIG Housing contributions and PhilHealth insurance funds are the indirect costs.
  2. In the case of an Indonesian, the BLK-LN training and certification fees are the direct costs whereas medical treatment bills to cure minor symptoms of sickness in compliance to the medical check standards are indirect costs.

We have listed out the Direct Costs (with light green in the inner circle) where Hong Kong employers are responsible for the blue fonts in the light green inner circle and the Indirect Costs (with dark green in the outer circle) to display the cost structure. It is obvious that the employer's cost obligations,under the Employment Contract (ID407), merely covers part of the Direct Costs.

In today's competitive market for talents and to avoid delays to report duty due to financial reasons, many prospective employers at Hong Kong have decided to bear for most remaining parts of the Foreign Domestic Helper's direct costs. The most common additional direct costs to be shouldered by employers may include the big ticket items such as training and boarding, certification of skills (TESDA NC II Domestic Work Certificate) while leaving the remaining minor portions of the In-direct Costs to be paid by the Foreign Domestic Helper as part of her commitment to the job application.

If you would like to pay for any part of the Direct Costs, please make sure that your local employment agency has made a legal commitment to you which is also binding to its overseas counterparts to avoid double or over charging to the Foreign Domestic Helper.

Further consideration may be drawn to the payment of Indirect Costs. These indirect costs may include passport cost, additional medical costs incurred due to minor illness discovered at medical check, domestic travel costs, Notary Fee of Affidavits, Authentication of Documents and photos (if required), Housing Funds Contributions (PAG-Ibig) or Local Health Insurance Contributions (PhilHealth Fees) in the case of the Philippines, any re-training or re-assessment at TESDA after his/her first attempt failure and fees relating to re-issuance of legal documents in support for exiting the country of origin as a documented worker etc...

Under most circumstances, prospective employer and employment agencies at both sides rarely get involved in these parts of Indirect Costs but it is often a source of misunderstandings and disputes between employers, FDH and employment agency(s). This is particularly severe when prospective employers have committed to shouldering part of the Direct Costs but later discovered that the hired helper had incurred other Direct and Indirect Cost expenses. It is worth noting that the hiring of Foreign Domestic Helpers from the Philippines and Indonesia, in bound into Hong Kong, must be applied via accredited employment agencies because both foreign governments require a local guarantor in Hong Kong to protect the welfare of the Foreign Domestic Helper so the Hong Kong employment agency is of critical importance in the entire transaction and hence should be chosen carefully.


Direct Hire Filipino domestic helper

At KL Home Care, in order to strike a balance of cost efficiency and effectiveness, we recommend the prospective employers to bear the followings when hiring a Filipino Domestic Helpers from overseas:


A. Employer's Cost Responsibility under the Employment Contract (ID407)

  1. Contract Notarization Fee (HK)
  2. Employment Visa Fee (HK)
  3. PDOS Fee
  4. OEC Fee/OFW ID Card
  5. OWWA Membership Fee
  6. Special Fare Air-Ticket (Manila to Hong Kong)
  7. AH Compulsory Insurance Fee
  8. Medical Check Up (Philippines)
  9. Pre-departure Urine for Pregnancy Test


B. Recommended Cost Responsibility outside the Employment Contract (ID407)

  1. HSW NC-II (Domestic Work) Training Fee (3-7 Days)
  2. 1st Time TESDA Assessment Fee


Direct Hire Indonesian domestic helper

Whereas in the case of hiring a Female Indonesian Domestic Helper from overseas, prospective employers are recommended to include the followings:


A. Employer's Recommended Cost Responsibility under and outside the Employment Contract (ID407)

  1. Contract Notarization Fee (HK)
  2. Employment Visa Fee (HK)
  3. Pembekalan Akhir Pemberangkatan Fee
  4. E-Kartu Tenaga Kerja Luar Negeri Fee
  5. Fiscal from DINAS TENAGA KERJA
  6. Special Fare Air-Ticket (Jakarta to Hong Kong)
  7. Overseas Compulsory Insurance Fee
  8. Medical Check Up (Indonesia)
  9. Pre-departure Urine for Pregnancy Test
  10. Registration at DEPNAKER
  11. Training Fee at BLK-LN
  12. Training Accommodation and Food Costs


Time Required for Direct Hiring

We also understand that time is of critical importance to most employers in Hong Kong when it comes to hiring.

In general, if both the employer and the Foreign Domestic Helper are in possession of the necessary documents, it takes around 10 - 12 weeks to hire a Filipina and around 12 -16 weeks to hire an Indonesian maid.

Source From Processing Time (Chinese Only)

Nonetheless, due to the increasingly complex hiring procedures required by the various governments, it is always safe to provide more time for advance planning, especially in the case of a maid replacement, and allow some time for unexpected delays.

Anyhow, the complications stated here are often puzzling to employers and many employers may be misled by market rumors. At KL Home Care, we believe in a fair employment deal and strive to maintain a high degree of transparency in our terms of service. As a matter of fact, we believe we may be possibly offering the "Best Value" Direct Hire Package in town.


Direct Hire Packages

If you are interested to learn more about our Direct Hire Packages, please feel free to go to Direct Hire Overseas FDH and Direct Hire Local FDH for more information.