Moving overseas and managing staff

Moving abroad with staff

Some UK families prefer to take their original staff on a trial period to see how things progress or hire local staff once settled. The Lady’s recruitment teamcan support you with the process of hiring new UK staff should you wish, freeing up your time by taking responsibility for your recruitment needs while you prepare for your move. 

It’s important for candidates to be flexible as often roles and duties can be blended, especially when a household is getting settled overseas. One international family, currently based in Hong Kong, told us how delighted they were to find first class domestic staff, although they had decided to take their own staff over with them in the first instance. 

UK staff must be prepared to work hard to protect their role if they want to keep hold of it overseas, as the competition is fierce and domestic staff in places like Hong Kong will take a much smaller salary and will work over 70 hours a week without complaint.

Mary, mother of three and wife of hedge-fund broker, Ben, says ‘when we moved over from London we let our London housekeeper go and we took our UK nanny with us, but after three months we realised her work ethic was not on a par with the Filipinos here so we let her go and sent her back to London. We now have two girls who are domestic helpers, they work six days a week and live-in. One has added driving privileges. Both also nanny, cook, clean, do the food shopping, gardening and occasionally homework with the kids.’

Of course most British domestic staff are fully committed, professional and hard-working but it is important to be conscious of competition for their roles, when a family moves abroad. Hiring abroad is complicated and there’s plenty of paperwork to negotiate. If you are a family that travels a lot it is wise to ensure your staff have not been refused a visa previously as this is more than likely to happen again.  

Top five essential qualities and attributes for domestic staff both abroad and in the UK:


  • Honesty
  • Great work ethic
  • Positive attitude
  • Good sense of humour
  • Great rapport with family
  • Flexibility

To speak to our recruitment team about your needs, contact us here.