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Domestic Help in Bangladesh

Most expatriates employ household help. For those unaccustomed to having full-time household employees, this may take some adjustment. The number and hours of servants required depends upon family size, desires, size of living quarters, size of servants’ quarters, and the extent and type of entertaining. Salary depends upon servants’ ability, responsibility, and understanding of English. Like all other salaries, local inflation and cost of living affect servants’ salaries.

A bearer is a personal servant, housekeeper, or maid (usually male) and currently receives about $75-$105 a month. A cook/bearer earns $80-$135, and a full-time cook (usually male), responsible for all shopping, $80-$135.

An “ayah” (nursemaid, female) cares for small children for $65-$95 a month; usually the ayah is an ayah/bearer who helps with the household chores.

A “mali” (male) may be hired to maintain the yard for $65-$95 a month. Additional combinations may be a mali/“chowkidar” (guard) or mali/bearer.

Drivers (male) are also available for $75-$115.

There are many combinations of household staff depending on the family’s needs. Many expatriates hire a combination guard/gardener to provide residential security for other hours.

Employers have no specific legal liability regarding servants, though most pay medical expenses for illness and injury. Servants should have a complete medical examination before employment and a periodic checkup by a local doctor.

A yearly holiday bonus equal to one month’s salary is standard. Also, at separation, one month’s salary is paid for every one year a servant works. In essence, servants are paid 14 months wages for every 12 months they work. In addition to wages and bonuses, tea, bread, milk, sugar, soap and rice are sometimes supplied. Although there may be standard customs regarding help, firmly set your own rules, regulations and boundaries for your household help.





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