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Ask Andreas: My helper wants to learn to drive…

ExpertsPost Category - ExpertsExpertsFamily LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - Domestic HelpersDomestic Helpers

We have the best Agony Uncle at Sassy Mama – Andreas is the author of one of our most-recommended books: Hiring & Managing Domestic Help. It’s an absolute must-have for Hong Kong mamas and you can buy it here!

This week, one mama wants some advice about giving her helper driving lessons…

My helper wants to learn to drive and is asking for us to help fund her lessons; she hopes that being able to drive could increase her earning capacity to support her family back home. We realise this could mean she eventually leaves her position with us and may not pay us back – are there any other risks we should be aware of i.e. looking into insurance/liability? Do you have any other advice?

While your helper wanting to get a driving license is commendable, you should perhaps only pay for the lessons if you actually need her to drive, unless you give the lessons to her as a sort of bonus. Certainly she can get another job but that can happen anyway.

If she will drive your car, you should inform your car insurance company so that they can add her to the “named drivers” list. This eliminates the large “unnamed driver” excess (HK$15000 on our insurance). Most car insurance in Hong Kong also has an excess for “inexperienced driver” that applies to those who have had their license less than two years. Our insurance pegs this at HK$10000, so quite a big extra chunk of money that you are liable for if she has an accident.

Finally, before you let helper to drive your children, consider what kind of driver she will be (or is). Focused or distracted? Calm or temperamental? In other words, would you trust her with the kids in the car?

For the only guide you’ll ever need on working with a helper, check out Andreas’ fab book ‘Hiring and Managing Domestic Help’ and buy it here.

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