Navigating Salary Trends for Foreign Domestic Helpers in 2023

The role of Foreign domestic helper salary (外傭工資)in households across the world is often undervalued yet undeniably crucial. With a steady increase in standards of living and a shifting global labor market, understanding and navigating the salary trends for these vital workers is more important than ever. In this post, we’ll explore how these trends are evolving in 2023, providing insights for both employers and employees in the unique landscape of domestic work.

Global Implications on FDH Salaries

The world is constantly in motion, affected by a myriad of economic, social, and political changes. The salary trends for FDHs are not immune. Attributable to various factors, such as supply and demand, cost of living adjustments, and even diplomatic relationships between countries, wages for these workers can fluctuate significantly from year to year.

Take, for example, the supply of FDHs from the Philippines—the largest provider of domestic helpers worldwide. Changes in the Memorandums of Understanding between the Philippines and host countries, seasonal fluctuations of demand, and adjustments to admission quotas can greatly affect the availability of workers and subsequently, the salaries they command.

Global initiatives also play a significant role. The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) efforts to set standards for fair treatment and wage negotiation have begun to influence labor regulations in some countries, gradually promoting stability and better wages for FDHs.

Country-specific Perspectives

While global trends are influential, national and local factors are equally—if not more—important when considering the salary of a foreign domestic helper. Countries and regions have their unique economic and legal frameworks that dictate minimum wages, employment rights, and conditions for FDH employment.

For instance, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are known to employ sizable numbers of FDHs, each with their distinct pay scales and regulatory environments. In 2023, we see nuanced changes within these regions. Singapore, for instance, has been gradually increasing the minimum salary requirements for FDHs, which has direct implications on the salaries for the majority of these workers.

The Middle East, on the other hand, hosts millions of FDHs, and the region is seeing a mix of policies aimed at improving living and working conditions, which can indirectly impact salaries. These include provisions for better housing, standardizing days off, and stricter enforcement of labor rights, often leading to better overall compensation packages for employees.

Rising Trends and Job Landscape Changes

The role of a domestic helper is evolving. FDHs are no longer just cleaning, cooking, and childminding but are increasingly assuming more responsibilities that require higher skill levels, such as caregiving for the elderly and those with special needs, and even managing households in the absence of employers.

In response, many countries and jurisdictions have begun to recognize this shift and have initiated certification programs or provided pathways for professional development. These value-added skills have the potential to not only increase the job satisfaction and self-esteem of FDHs but also raise the salary ranges available to them.


Navigating the salary trends of foreign domestic helpers in 2023 is a complex task that requires staying informed about a multitude of factors. Employers and FDHs alike need to be aware of the global and country-specific dynamics that shape these trends. By understanding these shifts, both parties can negotiate fairly and ensure that the invaluable work of FDHs is properly recognized and compensated.