One of the most pressing issues employers face when hiring a maid in the Philippines, and perhaps elsewhere in the world, is deciding for the appropriate compensation. Here are some practical tips on determining the reasonable rates for each of your helpers.

Manage your own expectations first

Importantly, it should be clear to you what you want from your maid. What will be her responsibilities? Will she be cleaning the entire house by herself or not? Based on this, what will be her qualifications? Experienced or inexperienced? Consider the arrangement as well, that is, whether she will be a stay-in or a live out maid. It would be better to list your negotiables and non-negotiables even before starting to look for prospects. 
After listing your requirements, it is now time to allocate a budget. How much can you afford to pay for her daily rate? You may refer to the agency rates, but this too may vary from agency to agency. Anyhow, if you are going to obtain your maid from an agency, it can guide you in deciding the suitable rate for her.

Now, decide for her compensation package

You also need to provide your prospects of the things that she may expect from you as her employer. There are three important factors under this – scope of work, compensation, and benefits. Nonetheless, we had to add the fourth important factor, which is the perk that the maid will receive.

1) Work

We already mentioned this above, but for emphasis, you must have a fine print of the maid's job description. When interviewing the maid, you may ask her about the things that the is comfortable doing. Definitely, you also need to gauge her willingness to be trained and learn other critical tasks especially if she is not equipped to do this and that task. 

2) Compensation

For reference purposes, based on Kasambahay Law, a maid should be earning from Php2,500 per month if within NCR, Php2,000 if in cities and first-class municipalities and Php1,500 if in other municipalities. Wage adjustments can be made based on the regulations of the Productivity Wage Boards. Then again, it can be also based on your – the employer's – sole discretion. 

Maids are also entitled to a 13th month pay.

Never ask the maid what rate would she want because she'll only say 'bahala na po kayo.' That's a black hole and in the end, both of you will only be disappointed; you'll be disappointed because she isn't performing and she'll be disappointed because she'll feel that she's not properly compensated.

Finalize an actual rate as her starting salary. You may engage her in a probationary period of at least three months. Then, you can decide whether to increase her rate or not based on her performance. 

3) Benefit

Verbalize the benefits. These are also mandated by the law. Maids, who have rendered at least one year of service, are entitled to five days of leaves with pay annually. That's on top of the days-off. 

Likewise, if the maid has rendered at least one month of service, she must be covered. Monthly contributions are required for SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG. Premium contributions must be shouldered by the employer if the compensation is less than Php5,000. 

It should be clear to you what you can afford in terms of paying the basic salary and the law-required benefits. You can always decide later to give her other monetary benefits (aka bonus) especially during Christmas and her birthday. 

4) Perk

Regardless of whether the maid is a full-time or part-time helper, there are perks involved. These perks include as simple as toiletries and medicines to as sophisticated as skills acquisition and travel plans. Again, that's aside from the usual “perks” like food and lodging. 

Knowing all these, you can start with Php2,500 as the base salary and proceed accordingly. If you are feeling a little generous with which Filipino employers are known for, you may start with a Php3,000 base salary. You may also increase her pay like, let's say, annually. It could be a fixed amount or a percentage. You may also offer overtime pays for working on days-off. Some households give their maids Php1,000 per year of service. 

Mind you, these are not hard rules; just mere suggestions. While the compensation package may depend on your discretion, be reminded that the person's performance should always be taken into account.