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, a newbie family wants to know what essentials to provide for their helper…
Q: Our new helper is starting soon (we are newbies!); what items should be provided by the employer besides bed sheets and towels? Toothpaste, soap, conditioner, shampoo, feminine sanitary products, seasonal clothes?
A: Technically you do not need to provide anything except furnishings for her room. I recommend you get more than the bare minimum here; perhaps some nice curtains and a rug. A little extra goes a long way towards making a new helper welcome. Many employers do provide sheets and towels and I think you should, but there is no obligation. She should provide her own toiletries and clothing (some employers provide toilet paper). If she does a good job you can always give her a nice gift basket with toiletries for her birthday or for Christmas.
As long as she works with you only in Hong Kong you are not required to provide clothing, unless you want her to wear a uniform. However, you should reimburse for swimwear if she will be swimming with your children or coming on a beach vacation with you. And if you take her with you somewhere cold you should buy her appropriate clothing.
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.
Do you have a question for Andreas? Email [email protected] with the subject line “Ask Andreas” and we’ll make sure it gets answered on the site!