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How do I hire cheap nanny/domestic help from abroad?

(66 Posts)
jhosti Fri 27-Oct-06 13:58:14

Hello! I'm expecting baby #2 and cannot afford the cost of a nanny or pay the childminder to look after 2 kids... I'm orginally from Malaysia and my husband from France, we're considering hiring a domestic help from Malaysia (soooo cheap!!) who could look after the 2 little ones and do all the cooking/cleaning/ironing... but not sure how to go about it. Is it difficult to get a work permit and is it expensive? Has anyone tried it?
Thank you so much!!

ameli Fri 27-Oct-06 16:47:23

personally . iwouldnt trust someone i dont even know anything about with my child. i MANAGED ON MY OWN WITH ALL THE COOKING CLEANING AND IRONING TOO!

CreepyCrawlyCarmenere Fri 27-Oct-06 16:53:21

I don't know how you would go about it but I thought ameli's post was a bit harsh. Good for you ameli for coping but not everyone can.
Jessie, why don't you ask at the embassy?

WitchICouldGiveUpWork Fri 27-Oct-06 17:12:33

Only way to hire someone from Malaysia is if you lived there and then moved here and they came with you.Other than that-impossible and VERY severe fines for you if caught employing an illegal.
As for being "soooo cheap" the poor girl would have to live and should be paid a reasonable wage (for the UK)for the hours and duties she would do.

Did you not consider the cost of childcare before planning number two? I assume you work?

superloopy Fri 27-Oct-06 17:24:57

As a trained nanny with many years experience can I just say "You get what you pay for". You may get someone very inexperienced or with ulterior motives (just wants to get to the UK). Please be careful with who you chose to care for your most precious babies and don't just think about the ££'s.

RTKangaMummy Fri 27-Oct-06 17:40:49

Superloopy exactly

mrsmalumbas Fri 27-Oct-06 17:43:51

Hi Jessie

Having lived in Asia for 8 years I can understand your view on this - it's totally normal in places like Malaysia and many other countries in Asia to have help at home. It's not necessarily a "high status" thing but something quite normal that many families choose to do. There's nothing wrong with it and it can be a great source of support when you have a new baby - if you can do it, why not? We were really lucky and brought our helper back to the UK with us. She really likes it here and it's a great help for us as not only do we have childcare in our own home with someone we are very fond of and trust, but the kids have a great relationship with their "auntie" and we have help with the housework and cooking to boot. Fab! From what I understand it's fairly common for domestic helpers to come here and then transfer to another employer, usually via an agency to do all the paperwork. If they live with you then you have to provide them with a self contained room (ours has her own room with TV, stereo etc) plus you have to provide all their meals - we also buy ours winter clothes etc as it's not an expense she would have had at home. However if they live with you then minimum wage does not apply, so it's up to you to agree hours and a fair wage. Many live in helpers earn extra money by taking in ironing or babysitting. You do have to sign various undertakings that you will be responsible for them etc - I guess the process would be slightly different if you were hiring someone new rather than bringing an existing employee with you as we did. Our helper is very much part of the family and there are upsides and downsides to that - including a certain loss of privacy, but we think that's worth the upside. FWIW I do think you have to be willing to take someone on board as a member of the family not just as "cheap help". I am sure a quick trawl through the yellow pages or online would help you find a reputable agency.

Issymum Fri 27-Oct-06 17:49:40

"However if they live with you then minimum wage does not apply, so it's up to you to agree hours and a fair wage."

I have a feeling that MNet has been round this loop before and I'm not sure that that's a true statement. I genuinely can't remember but I think that the minimum wage does apply but you are allowed to make a specified deduction for accommodation costs. Sorry not to be more helpful, but I would do some internet research if you're going down this route. Some colleagues of DH brought their nanny back with them from Dubai and she later took them to Court for failing to pay her a minimum wage. I don't know what the outcome was as they wouldn't talk about it!

Issymum Fri 27-Oct-06 17:55:22

Whoops! I'm wrong. This from Nannytax. First paragraph, third line down.

WitchICouldGiveUpWork Fri 27-Oct-06 20:41:04

Quote"look after the 2 little ones and do all the cooking/cleaning/ironing"

And expect her to doit for less than the cost of a childminder????

RTKangaMummy Fri 27-Oct-06 20:52:41

There are some people on here who pay peanuts to the women/girls who they have living with them to look after their children ALL day while they are out at work

I certainly know of one but I am sure she will come on and give an opinion soon enough without me naming her

My moto is:


HappyMumof2 Sun 29-Oct-06 09:45:34

Message withdrawn

zippitippitoes Sun 29-Oct-06 09:50:08

I hate this soo cheap thing..she would be a real person with a lot of work on her plate and you just want her to be barely paid for it

ameli Sun 29-Oct-06 15:13:56


apparantly im too harsh, in saying that i could cope. I think its our responsibility to manage or at least try to, does not mean we pay soeone to do all the things we should be doing. Why dont you just advertise"replacement mother required".

expatinscotland Sun 29-Oct-06 15:20:26

I have to say, I agree w/ameli.

Yes, I've lived in places where this was common and we had staff.

Even in my native country, my mother has always had hired help.

My mother has no kids at home anymore and still has a cleaner and gardener.

Fair enough.

But they're not 'soooo cheap' or expected to be slaves who are ready to do it all at your beck and call.

If they're hired as cleaners, they're that, not expected to do everything.

Also, to get the person a visa is getting tougher, w/very good reasons. To keep people from taking advantage of desperate people by basically enslaving them.

HappyMumof2 Sun 29-Oct-06 17:56:24

Message withdrawn

WitchICouldGiveUpWork Mon 30-Oct-06 22:45:55

No repnse to the question of whether she works then...or answers to the concerns raised....quelle suprise.

bluejelly Mon 30-Oct-06 22:58:34

This kind of arrangement is v normal in asia and often works really well.

CountessDracula Mon 30-Oct-06 22:58:49

Why do you not get an au pair? Are you planning to leave the children with her and go out to work (as obv you can't with an au pair)

If not then I think you should pay a living wage to a nanny and not get in cheap labour.

Schhh Mon 30-Oct-06 23:30:48

Britain favours the Commonwealth countries for visas, or a very short list of other countries for Au Pairs. You can't get visas from other countries, unless you have lived there and employed the person.

I would echo other posters, and urge you please, not to get someone who works hard 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. Even if they're sending money home, it really isnt right.

WitchICouldGiveUpWork Tue 31-Oct-06 11:19:26

I know it does blue jelly but we are not in asia!

donnie Tue 31-Oct-06 11:33:18

' soooo cheap - look after the 2 little ones and do all the cooking/cleaning/ironing '

agree with happymumof2 and ameli - what an attitude. This is a really unpleasant OP.

eldestgirl Tue 31-Oct-06 11:48:44

Yeah this kind of arrangement is really normal in Asia and it works... if you can stomach paying appallingly low wages to someone who has left her own children behind, and expect 6 days a week, 12 hour days and EVERYTHING done for you. Except it's not all done is it? The children get parked in their cots with their dummies, or in front of the TV whilst the poor maid tried to get everything else done to her employer's satisfaction. This is one of the things I detest about living in Asia.
The hilarious thing is, should you "import" a maid and try the same routine, it doesn't take long for them to realise that there are very nice, decent employers all over the UK who will pay the minimum wage (and more)in return for the sterling service these women provide. And a transfer is bloody easy.
Moral of this tale: Not bringing despicable Asian practices into the UK.

WitchICouldGiveUpWork Tue 31-Oct-06 22:15:09

Couldn't have put it better myself Eldestgirl!

oldnewmummy Tue 31-Oct-06 23:43:10

12 hour days, 6 days a week? Luxury!

I live in Singapore, and some maids work about 16 hours a day 7 days a week. Always find it really disturbing to see maids washing cars at 7am and midnight, but it's very common. Some of these girls don't get their own room, and sleep on a mat on the kitchen floor. Wages start at 100 pounds a month

The economic arguments (remitting money back to home country etc) have some merit, but it's no justification fot making the girls work such hours or treating them badly.

Not all people do. Some people treat their maids very well, with fairness and respect, but there are far too many stories of "maid abuse".

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