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Salary For Maid/helper


alexherald

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If i was hiring a maid fulltime to live in my house and she was required to work 8 hrs per day I would pay the going minimum wage for a store clerk which is about 337p per day.  She would get 1 day off per week. Out of that wage i would deduct 1500 per month for her accomodation and 100 per day for 3 meals per day. Then I would deduct SSS, taxes etc.  That way she is being treated like others working in Cebu.  Why people seem to think that maids are second class citizens worth only 2000-4000 per month is beyond me.

Maybe I am not understanding your math but at 337/day once you minus the deductions, I think you come up with less than 4000/month in the helper's pocket. 

 

But in a broader sense, I think we are talking apples and oranges here. You can't compare what is paid to a helper in your household to what a company pays an employee. Remember that when a company (in any culture) pays an employee, that wage is part of the cost of doing business. The cost is passed on to the consumer and is a large deduction in determining the company's profits and therefore taxes. This is true in any country. So I am not sure that most individuals can or should try to compete with the wages paid by a corporation, even in the Philippines where the wages are small.

 

It's a tough call really. If everyone has to compete with the going wage for employees, many people will decide not to hire helpers or other unskilled workers. Does that mean the helper gets a better job or ends up with no job? IOW are those 337/day jobs plentiful and available to everyone? We know they are not. 

 

Even in my 1st world country there are similar examples. I have a handyman I found on Craigslist who does unskilled or semi-skilled labor for me at $20/hour. Is that the going rate if I hired a company for similar jobs? Of course not. If that was the standard I had to measure against, I could not and would not hire anyone to do such jobs. IMO, the guy gets work at $20/hour cash and I don't have to do hard or dangerous labor jobs in my old age. It's a win-win. But if I had to pay him the going rate, provide food, provide a place to sleep, pay his insurance and taxes - then it aint such a good deal.

 

When I move to PI I suspect we will consider a helper. We will certainly pay the legal requirements and maybe a bit more. But if I have to compete with local companies, then I can't afford it and one person goes unemployed. Who does that benefit?

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You can be extremely generous with your domestic helpers, but this has unintended consequences. My wife paid them nearly double the going rate, and the aunties and cousins came around to explain that the helpers talk among themselves. It creates pressure for others to be also generous. If not relatives, your neighbors might resent it. The explanation given by the family is my wife is American so she felt obligated to pay the American rate.

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You can be extremely generous with your domestic helpers, but this has unintended consequences. My wife paid them nearly double the going rate, and the aunties and cousins came around to explain that the helpers talk among themselves. It creates pressure for others to be also generous. If not relatives, your neighbors might resent it. The explanation given by the family is my wife is American so she felt obligated to pay the American rate.

What you pay your employee is between you and them, not some meddling relatives or neighbors. You don't owe anyone an explanation. The aunties and cousins need to mind their own damn business.     

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We pay ours just over 2000/month, but she does everything, cooking, cleaning, nanny duties (less now my step-daughter-to-be is older), shopping, pays bills (SAO gave her a second card in her name).  She also has room and board, comes on trips with us if SAO's daughter is with us which adds to our costs.  She hooks into our internet and many has been the night when I've lost the discussion over to watch on TV is SAO and "Ate Dai" gang up on me!  She works 6 days a week and when I've been there doesn't tend to go far on her day off (I think she hangs around on Sunday's to see what the silly Kano is going to do next!).  She is gold and has been on the scene a lot longer than I have so I generally don't get involved.  And yes, she's SAO's cousin. Dangerous thing to do but I see her more as part of the family than anything else.  I guess it's a hangover from when I was small, my mother had a Vietnamese "helper" who is now in her 80's - she was a refugee in the 70's - she doesn't do much anymore but mum keeps her around as company and to keep us kids in line when we're home - she still scares the bejesus out of me but I love her and her grand kids are all close friends of mine. Alice from the Brady Bunch??

 

As to the minimum wage?  Well when I was in the Navy, cheap housing, free medical and all the other benefits cost.  My accountant once told me that that can be "grossed" up so I guess that can be said for any benefits live-in help receive.  No sure how that applies to the law in PI though. 

Edited by BrettGC
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If i was hiring a maid fulltime to live in my house and she was required to work 8 hrs per day I would pay the going minimum wage for a store clerk which is about 337p per day.  She would get 1 day off per week. Out of that wage i would deduct 1500 per month for her accomodation and 100 per day for 3 meals per day. Then I would deduct SSS, taxes etc.  That way she is being treated like others working in Cebu.  Why people seem to think that maids are second class citizens worth only 2000-4000 per month is beyond me.

Maybe I am not understanding your math but at 337/day once you minus the deductions, I think you come up with less than 4000/month in the helper's pocket. 

 

But in a broader sense, I think we are talking apples and oranges here. You can't compare what is paid to a helper in your household to what a company pays an employee. Remember that when a company (in any culture) pays an employee, that wage is part of the cost of doing business. The cost is passed on to the consumer and is a large deduction in determining the company's profits and therefore taxes. This is true in any country. So I am not sure that most individuals can or should try to compete with the wages paid by a corporation, even in the Philippines where the wages are small.

 

It's a tough call really. If everyone has to compete with the going wage for employees, many people will decide not to hire helpers or other unskilled workers. Does that mean the helper gets a better job or ends up with no job? IOW are those 337/day jobs plentiful and available to everyone? We know they are not. 

 

Even in my 1st world country there are similar examples. I have a handyman I found on Craigslist who does unskilled or semi-skilled labor for me at $20/hour. Is that the going rate if I hired a company for similar jobs? Of course not. If that was the standard I had to measure against, I could not and would not hire anyone to do such jobs. IMO, the guy gets work at $20/hour cash and I don't have to do hard or dangerous labor jobs in my old age. It's a win-win. But if I had to pay him the going rate, provide food, provide a place to sleep, pay his insurance and taxes - then it aint such a good deal.

 

When I move to PI I suspect we will consider a helper. We will certainly pay the legal requirements and maybe a bit more. But if I have to compete with local companies, then I can't afford it and one person goes unemployed. Who does that benefit?

 

Fair enough.  To change it around to the traditional way of thinking I would do a compensation package of Full room and board, SSS and taxes paid and pocket money of 4000p per month, but that's just me. I would however be very particular in who I chose and would expect very high standards of work. This person would also have to be a good cook and shopper.  The money saved from eating in, getting the best prices from the market etc would more than make up for the wages paid so everyone wins.

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I would do a compensation package of Full room and board, SSS and taxes paid and pocket money of 4000p per month, but that's just me. I would however be very particular in who I chose and would expect very high standards of work. This person would also have to be a good cook and shopper.  The money saved from eating in, getting the best prices from the market etc would more than make up for the wages paid so everyone wins.

That's a great concept but try finding (and keeping) people like that, especially outside major cities. More often then not, you have to compromise and take the best of you can get. If they don't steal you're ahead of the game.

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Just to ad another reference point:

My fiancee worked as a maid for few years before we met. Her longest term employer was a wealthy Manila family that had lots of hired help. The maids worked 14 hour days and only had 1.5 days off once per month. They had full room and board included, but the employer did not pay SSS or PhilHealth, and the employees were mostly too young or ignorant to even ask for it. The pay was 4500 during the first year and 4800 after that. My fiancee eventually left this employer despite of the good pay because she was burning out with the endless hours and had no time for social life. While working she used to send her entire pay to the province, and her parents actually built a nice (relatively speaking) house with the money she sent.

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What you pay your employee is between you and them, not some meddling relatives or neighbors. You don't owe anyone an explanation. The aunties and cousins need to mind their own damn business.     

 

That's what my wife said, in a polite way.

 

Hah! Tell that to the Filipinos and they will reply the equivalent of, "Dorothy. This ain't Kansas." In the extended family system that dominates life in the Philippines, we were the outsiders.

 

We are still doing it. The latest is selling our primary residence to live full time in a small RV. In some cultures property ownership is an important status symbol. I was asked, "What will your children inherit?" Both already own homes that are bigger and more valuable than ours. Different mindsets, I guess.

Edited by JJReyes
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What you pay your employee is between you and them
That's a great concept but try finding (and keeping) people like that

 

:hystery: Sorry Mike, the devil made me do it.  :bonk:

 

It would be nice if a maid could keep her mouth shut about what she gets paid but I have yet to see that in Philippines.

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