The minimum wage set by the local administration is a good reference point for what a full time live-out worker should at least be paid. In Jakarta, the minimum wage for 2019 is Rp3,940,972.00/month and employers will find that they need to pay a higher salary to hire and retain more experienced or skilled domestic workers. While live-in staff usually are provided with accommodation (sometimes food and toiletries too), they usually work longer hours than live-out domestic workers and will expect similar levels of salaries.
Having managed hundreds of placements, here are the salary ranges we have seen:
- a nanny who has worked for expat families, can speak intermediate English and can provide reference letters will expect IDR4,000,000 to IDR5,000,000.
- a full time cook who can do groceries, plan meals and cook independently various types of cuisines will expect a minimum salary of Rp4,000,000
For many of us, it can be a challenge to align what is fair with what we feel we can afford, but by offering the worker the highest wage you can, not only are you showing her how much you value her work but you are reinvesting in your own household and doing all that you can to ensure the best support for yourself, your home, and your family. Indonesian domestic workers are not used to speak up, and would rather resign (or say they need to go back to their “kampung” for a family emergency) than ask for a small raise. This is why compensating fairly, aligning salary with the realities of the market and creating an environment where workers feel comfortable speaking is so important.
Normally, an employee will receive a raise periodically, typically once a year. This provides incentive and reward for service.
Employers are also expected to provide a Tunjungan Hari Raya (THR) bonus, usually at Idul Fitri (or possibly at another time of the year depending on the employee’s religion). For staff members who have worked for a year or longer, the THR equals one month’s base salary. If staff have worked for less than a year, the THR is usually pro-rated.
Remember to plan for potential overtime hours and agree on an hourly rate (which usually falls between Rp25,000 to Rp40,000 per hour on weekdays, and 30,000 – 50,000 on weekends and public holidays.