Hiring a Domestic Helper through an Agency
Expect to pay CI$12 per hour for a minimum of four hours if hired on a full-day or half-day regular weekly basis. On a temporary basis, allow CI$14 or more per hour. The convenience of using an agency, such as AAA Caregivers, is that they train the staff, pay their health insurance, pension, and will replace them if they cannot work for any reason.
Hiring a Domestic Helper Directly
A domestic helper is primarily employed to clean the house, prepare food and babysit the children. They would transport the children to activities, but they would not be expected to plan activities or get involved with doing homework.
The standard working week in the Cayman Islands is between 40 and 45 hours per week. The Labour Law (2011 revision, as amended) states that the minimum wage is CI$6 per hour for a 45-hour week, or 9 hours per day. Anyone being asked to work over 45 hours should get paid 1.5 times the hourly rate for additional hours. If the employee is a live-in helper, then their 'in kind' credit (accommodations and utilities, etc.) can only account for 25% of their salary, meaning the employee must be paid a minimum of CI$4.50 per hour in gross monetary compensation. If this is not met, then the employee should call the confidential line at the Department of Labour and Pensions on (345) 945 3073.
For a very good full-time domestic helper/nanny, you would pay a salary of between CI$400 and CI$450 per week before overtime. This would be for a 45-hour week and you would expect this person to be able to drive, cook for your children and help with cleaning the house.
For part-time work, or babysitting, and working over the 45 hours per week, you will find that everyone will expect to be paid CI$10 an hour.
For non-agency helpers, you will need to take care of their health insurance, give them at least two weeks paid vacation per year, and pay them double time for working any public holidays. By Law, you do not have to contribute to a domestic worker's pension.
A good employer will also pay for one airline ticket home per year if the employee lives nearby (e.g. Jamaica) or a ticket home every two years if they live further away (e.g. the Philippines). They should also provide a Christmas bonus of between two-week’s and a month’s salary.
Hiring a Professional Nanny
A professional nanny is expected to have a university degree and/or some form of childcare training. Their role is to focus on the children and not on general household chores.
For a professional nanny working part-time (1pm-6pm Monday to Friday) you would expect to pay CI$2,000 per month. Overtime pay is CI$10 per hour. Typically, a nanny's job includes washing the children’s laundry, doing dishes, doing the household grocery shopping, preparing healthy dinners or homemade baby food, arranging activities, helping to organise and drive children to afterschool activities, assisting with homework, supporting any homeschooling and organising playdates. They would be expected to help develop a well-rounded, responsible child with a strong moral compass. Find professional nannies by word of mouth, or through local agencies such as AAA Caregivers. If you are looking for a live-in au pair, visit www.greataupair.com.
Most nannies would expect to be provided with a car to use seven days a week, a monthly fuel allowance of CI$50 to CS$100 (depending on distances involved between main household, school and certain activities), flights home (once a year no matter the destination), four weeks paid vacation, non-contributory health insurance, and to be paid their monthly salary whether the family are away on holiday or not. It is not unusual for a nanny to travel with the family on vacation and stay overnight as needed (but please check visa requirements of the holiday destination if the nanny is working on the trip). For overnight stays, the going rate is a sleep fee of CI$10 per hour or CI$75 a night. It is then CI$10 per hour for the hours the children are awake outside of the nanny’s regular working hours.
Work Permit Rules for a Domestic Helper/Nanny
If you are an expat, then you cannot submit your domestic helper's or nanny's work permit paperwork until your own work permit has been approved. It is illegal to have them pay for their own work permit. Helpers are not allowed to have dependents on their work permit and the absolute maximum time they can stay on the Island is ten years. You can take out a work permit for any nationality of a helper or nanny, as long as you can demonstrate a genuine need.
The Department of Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman (WORC) does not usually grant expats a work permit for a domestic helper or a nanny unless they can show sufficient need, i.e. they have children who need looking after. In this case you'll 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 on WORC's job page but a work permit for a ‘Domestic Helper’ does not need to be advertised. The work permit for a domestic helper costs CI$250 per year, while the cost for a nanny is CI$650.