“If a helper is willing to come to a country where the sending country pays a monthly wage of 700,000 to 1 million won, the argument that they should be paid four to five times more (as minimum wage) in Korea is not beneficial to young couples,” said Choi Joong-hoon (pictured메이저사이트), a member of the National Assembly for the Transformation of the Era, in reference to the ‘Foreign Domestic Helpers Bill’ he introduced.
The idea is that foreign domestic helpers should be introduced at a low wage that is satisfactory to the sending country, so that the middle class, including domestic career changers who are unable to hire domestic helpers due to high wages, will benefit.
“I recently met with a domestic worker who has been working in Singapore for 15 years and interviewed him about the wage level,” Cho told Maeil Business on Thursday, adding, “He said, ‘If I went back 15 years ago, I would make the same choice. I educated all my family members with the money I earned in Singapore, bought land, bought a house. I’m grateful,'” he said.
He also shared an anecdote about meeting with Singapore’s Minister of Labor. “According to the Singaporean labor minister, sending countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar offer a minimum of $330 to $420 per month to hire domestic helpers, and they only manage to operate at a level of $700 to $800 considering the cost of living in Singapore,” Cho said.
“In Korea, only about one in every 100 households, and only very high-income earners, currently use domestic helpers,” he said, adding that the bill aims to popularize the use of foreign domestic helpers with the help of foreign workers like in Singapore. “You can find enough foreign domestic helpers to work for around 700,000 to 1 million won per month,” Cho said, explaining that “we need to consider the reality of working couples and the situation of foreign workers who are willing to come under such conditions, rather than viewing it as ‘labor exploitation’ or ‘forcing passion pay.'”
He also introduced the international market for domestic help. There are monthly minimum wage levels set by the sending country. In U.S. dollars, these are $420 in the Philippines, $400 in Indonesia, $370 in Sri Lanka, and $330 in Myanmar.