Salaries of Domestic Helpers in Tokyo - the Determining Factors

As with any human resource, there is a wide range of salaries for full-time domestic helpers in Tokyo. Effectively, demand and supply economics come into play to determine the market price, or salary. Since no situation is identical, there are a number of variable factors that come into play, in determining the fair salary of a domestic helper in Japan. Here are some of the factors that may be considered:

1) Factors relating to the "level" of the domestic helper

- The amount of experience of the candidate is of course a big factor. Naturally a more experienced helper will have usually worked for different families and been exposed to various situations in her work. A more experienced candidate is especially beneficial for families where both parents are working, and requiring a more autonomous helper to take care of the kids.

- The level of salary expectations. As with any job in any field, the amount of salary earned in a previous job provides a benchmark or target for the next position. Naturally, if a helper is used to earning JP300,000 per month in her previous job, from a motivational standpoint she is unlikely to want to move down to a position paying JPY 180,000 per month.

- The skill set. If a helper can bring more to the table, so to speak, she should be better rewarded. Is she able to take care of different age groups, clean impeccably, cook different foods, iron shirts more professionally?

- Expertise, Special qualifications or licenses. For a position taking care of a new born a background in midwifery would certainly be an advantage to offer greater piece of mind. Likewise, if the position requires the helper to be able to drive a car, a Japanese driving license is necessary. The limited availability of such workers in the market shifts the salary up.

2) Factors relating to the employer and the job position

- Level of Intensiveness of the job. A position where there are three children to take care...picking the kids up from school...and full housekeeping...with cooking for the whole family etc would require the offering of a higher salary than, say, a position with one new born child to take care of.

- Number of working hours. A domestic helper working 11 hours per day 6 days a week, would expect to receive a higher salary than a position 5 days per week, 8 hours per day. This naturally has a correlation with the above point.

- Intangibles. The attractiveness of the position, the behaviour of the kids, the "niceness" of the employer, the location...these may have an impact on the amount of salary the helper would take to accept the position.

- Live-in vs Live-out. A helper for a live-in position would usually receive less salary than their "live-out" counterparts. With live-in positions, the employer would cover living costs such as food, utilities, travel with the family (if applicable), therefore the salary of the helper would be pure disposable income. However, if a family is not sponsoring the visa of a live-in domestic helper and is employing a "localized" person who already has their own home in Japan - then there would be very little difference in the salary of a live-in worker compared with a live-out worker.

3) Market conditions
Other external factors such as general availability of domestic helpers, immigration rules, competition for jobs, the macro-economic situation etc can affect the level of salaries of domestic workers.

If you would like to find out more about the salaries of domestic helpers in Tokyo, call Chez Vous on 0120-699-100 to speak with a consultant. We will be happy to help!

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