Many families employ domestic help either on a full-time, live-in or part-time basis. Helpers are employed primarily to do housework, cook and care for children and pets.
You can often find someone via word of mouth on Facebook forums such as ‘The Real Women of Cayman’, or ‘KY Mommies’, or you can try an agency. Make sure to ask for and check all references.
There is also a list of reputable companies in Cayman that provide in-home carer services for those who require additional assistance, such as the elderly or disabled persons.
Hiring Through an Agency
You may need to register with the agency if you would like to secure the same person on an on-going basis.
Expect to pay approximately CI$12 per hour for a minimum of four hours if hired on a full-day or half-day regular weekly basis. If you hire them as a one-off, the hourly rate is CI$14 (more if they supply the cleaning products).
The convenience of using an agency is that they train the staff, pay their health insurance, pension and will replace them if they can’t work for any reason.
We recommend the following three agencies:
Hiring Someone Yourself
If you hire someone yourself then the going rate for a full-time helper (between 40 and 45 hours per week) is approximately CI$400 per week, before overtime. For this salary they would be expected to be able to drive your children, cook for them and help with cleaning the house. For part-time work, babysitting or overtime, you will find that everyone will ask for CI$10 per hour.
If you hire your own helper on a full-time basis, you must apply for a work permit. Paperwork and instructions can be collected from the Department of WORC or downloaded from their website. Both the employer and the employee must fill in separate parts of the application and such things as a police clearance, passport photos and a full medical are required. They may be required to take an English test as well. It is worth noting that the Department of WORC does not usually grant expatriates a work permit for domestic help, unless they show sufficient need, i.e. they have children who need looking after, in which case you will also need to provide certified copies of the birth certificate of each child to be cared for and think carefully about the information you provide in your cover letter to support your application. Please note, a work permit for a ‘Nanny’ needs to be advertised in the newspaper for two consecutive weeks and costs CI$650 per year, but a work permit for a ‘Domestic Helper’ does not need to be advertised and costs CI$250.
You will also need to take care of your employee’s health insurance and pension, give them at least two weeks paid vacation per year and pay them double time for working any public holidays. A good employer will also pay for one airline ticket home per year and give a Christmas bonus of between two-week’s and a month’s salary.
Things to Know
You cannot submit your domestic helper’s work permit paperwork until your own work permit has been approved; it is illegal to make them pay for their own work permit; helpers are not allowed to have dependants on their work permit and the absolute maximum time they will be allowed to stay on the Island is ten years. You can take out a work permit for any nationality as long as you can demonstrate a genuine need.